"Looking For Alaska," Vocabulary from After 30 words

As you read John Green's "Looking for Alaska,"
learn these word lists for the novel: Before: 136-87 Days, Before: 84-0 Days, After
  1. guttural
    relating to or articulated in the throat
    I just heaved, my stomach muscles tightening and my throat opening and a gasping, guttural belch, going through the motions of vomiting over and over again.
  2. ineluctable
    impossible to avoid or evade:"inescapable conclusion"
    “Somebody was setting off firecrackers in the woods,” he said, and I closed my eyes tight, the ineluctable fact of the matter at hand: I had killed her.
  3. instantaneous
    occurring with no delay
    I doubt that an instant of blinding pain feels particularly instantaneous.
  4. obscure
    make less visible or unclear
    Her hair falls over her face just enough to obscure her cheeks.
  5. insurmountable
    not capable of being surmounted or overcome
    I fell asleep listening to his slow, even breaths, his stubbornness finally melting away in the face of insurmountable fatigue.
  6. encompass
    include in scope; include as part of something broader; have as one's sphere or territory
    Anger just distracts from the all-encompassing sadness, the frank knowledge that you killed her and robbed her of a future and a life.
  7. dissipation
    breaking up and scattering by dispersion
    And I almost said, She buried it in the woods out by the soccer field, but I realized that the Colonel didn’t know, that she never took him to the edge of the woods and told him to dig for buried treasure, that she and I had shared that alone, and I kept it for myself like a keepsake, as if sharing the memory might lead to its dissipation.
  8. withdraw
    pull back or move away or backward
    But more than the noiselessness of everyone else was the silence where she should have been, the bubbling bursting storytelling Alaska, but instead it felt like those times when she had withdrawn into herself, like she was refusing to answer how or why questions, only this time for good.
  9. recall
    recall knowledge from memory; have a recollection
    You’ll recall that you were asked what the most important question facing people is, and how the three traditions we’re studying this year address that question.
  10. extol
    praise, glorify, or honor
    The Colonel and I said nothing, while a bunch of people who didn’t know Alaska extolled her virtues and professed to be devastated, and at first, it bothered me.
  11. bemoan
    regret strongly
    “I guess, but I wouldn’t bemoan the fact I never told her I loved her."
  12. audacious
    unrestrained by convention or propriety
    “Do you think it was an accident?” the Colonel asked as I stood beside him, my shoulders slouching, wanting a cigarette but nervous to be as audacious as him.
  13. condescending
    (used of behavior or attitude) characteristic of those who treat others with condescension
    I screamed because the Colonel was a self-satisfied, condescending bastard, and I screamed because he was right, for I did want to believe that I’d had a secret love affair with Alaska.
  14. embody
    represent in bodily form
    For she had embodied the Great Perhaps—she had proved to me that it was worth it to leave behind my minor life for grander maybes, and now she was gone and with her my faith in perhaps.
  15. karma
    (Hinduism and Buddhism) the effects of a person's actions that determine his destiny in his next incarnation
    Buddhism, particularly as it is popularly practiced, promises improvement through karma.
  16. matriculate
    enroll as a student
    But you will respect the rules of this school, or you will matriculate someplace else.
  17. sobriety
    the state of being sober and not intoxicated by alcohol
    I decided to give him a field sobriety test, like the cops do.
  18. desolate
    crushed by grief
    I’d never entered Coosa Liquors, but it was every bit as desolate as Alaska described.
  19. cryptic
    of an obscure nature
    She was cryptic, sure, but if you’re going to plan your suicide down to the flowers, you probably have a plan as to how you’re actually going to die, and Alaska had no way of knowing a police car was going to present itself on 1-65 for the occasion.
  20. entropy
    (thermodynamics) a thermodynamic quantity representing the amount of energy in a system that is no longer available for doing mechanical work
    The Buddha knew one thing science didn’t prove for millennia after his death: Entropy increases.
  21. commence
    set in motion, cause to start
    And then something invisible snapped inside her, and that which had come together commenced to fall apart.
  22. aplomb
    great coolness and composure under strain
    The Eagle came in at noon on the nose, greeted the senior-class speaker—a former Alabama state attorney general—and then came over to Dr. Morse, who stood with great aplomb and half bowed as he shook the Eagle’s hand—maybe too formal—and the Eagle said, “We’re certainly very glad to have you here,” and Maxx replied, “Thank you."
  23. snooty
    (used colloquially) overly conceited or arrogant
    He read directly from the speech without looking up, but he read with the confident, airy tone of a slightly snooty academic.
  24. disdainfully
    without respect; in a disdainful manner
    The four of us returned to Room 43, aglow in the success of it, convinced that the Creek would never again see such a prank, and it didn’t even occur to me that I might get in trouble until the Eagle opened the door to our room and stood above us, and shook his head disdainfully.
  25. onslaught
    a sudden and severe onset of trouble
    A cool breeze had beaten back the onslaught of summer, and on the morning the Old Man gave us our final exams, he suggested we have class outside.
  26. incontestable
    not open to question; obviously true
    I am interested in how you are able to fit the uncontestable fact of suffering into your understanding of the world, and how you hope to navigate through life in spite of it.
  27. radical
    (used of opinions and actions) far beyond the norm
    And in thinking about these founder figures, I believe we must finally conclude that each brought a message of radical hope.
  28. transcend
    be superior or better than some standard
    The Buddha held out hope that suffering could be transcended.
  29. bearable
    capable of being borne though unpleasant
    I still think that, sometimes, maybe “the afterlife” is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable.
  30. invincible
    incapable of being overcome or subdued
    When adults say, “Teenagers think they are invincible” with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are.