troubled emotionally and usually deeply
The old man looked agitated today.
marked by extreme anger
He was furious with himself for being caught.
to grasp hastily or eagerly
Still holding on to the boy’s arm, the old man snatched the notebook away, set it down out of Hugo’s reach, opened it, and flipped through the pages.
tremble convulsively, as from fear or excitement
The old man shuddered at the sound of the breaking toy.
collect discarded or refused material
The jars sat on shelves made from scavenged planks he had found inside the walls of the station.
inclined to shake as from weakness or defect
Under his rickety bed lay a pile of Hugo’s drawings.
Peering out through the numbers, Hugo spied the old man again, alone in his toy booth at the end of the hallway, looking through the pages of Hugo’s notebook.
take charge of or deal with
He could tell it wouldn’t need to be wound for another day or two, so Hugo kept going, until all twenty-seven clocks in the station had been attended to, just the way his uncle had taught him.
come out into view, as from concealment
He emerged through the golden doors into the dark streets of Paris.
worn and broken down by hard use
They soon arrived at a decrepit apartment building across from the graveyard.
ask to come
Hugo, he said, “Don’t you know that the sound of clicking boot heels can summon ghosts?"
showing or making known
Not knowing what else to do, he walked to a cluttered pile of boxes in the corner of his room and moved them to the side, revealing a hiding place in the wall.
being the only one; single and isolated from others
The sole purpose of the machines was to fill people with wonder, and they succeeded.
not arising from natural growth or characterized by vital processes
It was as if the magicians had created artificial life, but the secret was always in the clockworks.
lacking or not affording physical or mental rest
Later, when he visited his father at his clock shop, Hugo watched him carefully, and then when he grew restless he made little mechanical animals out of the extra bits and pieces lying around.
having many complexly arranged elements; elaborate
The machine was so intricate, so complicated, that he almost got dizzy looking at it.
having or showing excessive or compulsive concern with something
Meanwhile, Hugo’s father grew obsessed with getting the automaton to work.
expecting the best
They remained optimistic that it could be fixed, and they talked about what the automaton might write once it was working again.
works for an expert to learn a trade
“You’ll be my apprentice,” he vaguely heard his uncle saying as they walked.
an assertion that someone is guilty of a fault or offence
There it was, like an accusation, reminding Hugo that everything in his life had been destroyed.
the remains of something that has been destroyed or broken up
Hugo took a deep breath, went back, and cleared away the charred debris.
causing fear or dread or terror
The automaton was heavy and in several pieces, but he picked it up and, not having anywhere else to go, returned to the dreaded station.
so badly formed or out of shape as to be ugly
He stared at the misshapen pieces of metal and was thankful that his uncle still hadn’t returned.
a feeling of affection for a person or an institution
“What is your attachment to this notebook?” he demanded as he shook Hugo.
make calm or still
The steady rhythm of the clock lulled Hugo to sleep, but he dreamed of fire and woke up with a start.
being or suggesting a cavern
The coffee was hot, and as Hugo let it cool, he looked around the cavernous station at all the people rushing by with a thousand different places to go.
full of or marked by resentment or indignant ill will
One moment he felt hopeful that he’d get his notebook back, the next he felt angry and resentful.
with dexterity; in a dexterous manner
He rubbed the buttons on his jacket and deftly pocketed the tiny mechanisms he wanted.
attract; cause to be enamored
As he watched the old man play, he saw things that captivated him.
an impressive display
Inside, clear black-and-white diagrams revealed what seemed like an endless array of card tricks, many of which Hugo had seen the old man do.
something that provides direction or advice as to a decision or course of action
For the first time, Hugo had fixed something on the mechanical man without guidance from the notebook!
conduct an inquiry or investigation of
Had the Station Inspector begun investigating and found out that Hugo’s uncle was gone?
the writing point of a pen
The mechanical man was finally holding a brand-new handmade pen with a specially cut metal nib.
change from one form or medium into another
With the proper instruction, his talent for machines translated perfectly to magic tricks.
adroitness in using the hands
It wasn’t just the understanding of machinery, it was the dexterity, the talent within his fingers themselves, as if they automatically knew what to do.
make fine adjustments or divide into marked intervals for optimal measuring
A cascade of perfect movements, with hundreds of brilliantly calibrated actions, coursed through the mechanical man.
a device or control that is very useful for a particular job
Two little hammerlike contraptions came down and trailed along the edges of the notched disks, rising and falling as the disks steadily turned.
act physically on; have an effect upon
The shoulder affected the elbow, and as the elbow engaged, it sent other movements in a chain reaction down into the wrist and, finally, the hand.
lacking any definite plan or order or purpose; governed by or depending on chance
The children tried desperately to read it, but there were no letters, no words, no sentences, just random, disconnected markings.
collect or gather
Isabelle stayed where she was, watching as these markings accumulated on the page, one after the other.