"A Christmas Carol," Vocabulary from Chapter 3 45 words

Here is some vocabulary from the tale of the thawing of a heart at Christmas: Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol." (etext found here)

Learn these word lists for the novel: Chapters 1-2, Chapter 3, Chapters 4-5
  1. intervention
    care provided to improve a situation (especially medical procedures or applications that are intended to relieve illness or injury)
    He felt that he was restored to consciousness in the right nick of time, for the especial purpose of holding a conference with the second messenger dispatched to him through Jacob Marley's intervention.
  2. comprehensive
    including all or everything
    Gentlemen of the free-and-easy sort, who plume themselves on being acquainted with a move or two, and being usually equal to the time-of-day, express the wide range of their capacity for adventure by observing that they are good for anything from pitch-and-toss to manslaughter; between which opposite extremes, no doubt, there lies a tolerably wide and comprehensive range of subjects.
  3. apprehensive
    in fear or dread of possible evil or harm
    All this time, he lay upon his bed, the very core and centre of a blaze of ruddy light, which streamed upon it when the clock proclaimed the hour; and which, being only light, was more alarming than a dozen ghosts, as he was powerless to make out what it meant, or would be at; and was sometimes apprehensive that he might be at that very moment an interesting case of spontaneous combustion, without having the consolation of knowing it.
  4. seething
    in constant agitation
    Heaped up on the floor, to form a kind of throne, were turkeys, geese, game, poultry, brawn, great joints of meat, sucking-pigs, long wreaths of sausages, mince-pies, plum-puddings, barrels of oysters, red-hot chestnuts, cherry-cheeked apples, juicy oranges, luscious pears, immense twelfth-cakes, and seething bowls of punch, that made the chamber dim with their delicious steam.
  5. dogged
    stubbornly unyielding
    He was not the dogged Scrooge he had been; and though the Spirit's eyes were clear and kind, he did not like to meet them.
  6. disdain
    reject with contempt
    This garment hung so loosely on the figure, that its capacious breast was bare, as if disdaining to be warded or concealed by any artifice.
  7. genial
    diffusing warmth and friendliness
    Its dark brown curls were long and free; free as its genial face, its sparkling eye, its open hand, its cheery voice, its unconstrained demeanour, and its joyful air.
  8. opulence
    wealth as evidenced by sumptuous living
    There were great, round, pot-bellied baskets of chestnuts, shaped like the waistcoats of jolly old gentlemen, lolling at the doors, and tumbling out into the street in their apoplectic opulence.
  9. deprive
    take away
    'You would deprive them of their means of dining every seventh day, often the only day on which they can be said to dine at all,' said Scrooge.
  10. bigotry
    the intolerance and prejudice of a bigot
    'There are some upon this earth of yours,' returned the Spirit, 'who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name, who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived.
  11. exalt
    praise, glorify, or honor
    And now two smaller Cratchits, boy and girl, came tearing in, screaming that outside the baker's they had smelt the goose, and known it for their own; and basking in luxurious thoughts of sage and onion, these young Cratchits danced about the table, and exalted Master Peter Cratchit to the skies, while he (not proud, although his collars nearly choked him) blew the fire, until the slow potatoes bubbling up, knocked loudly at the saucepan-lid to be let out and peeled.
  12. officious
    intrusive in a meddling or offensive manner
    'Why, bless your heart alive, my dear, how late you are,' said Mrs Cratchit, kissing her a dozen times, and taking off her shawl and bonnet for her with officious zeal.
  13. threadbare
    having the nap worn away so that the threads show through
    So Martha hid herself, and in came little Bob, the father, with at least three feet of comforter exclusive of the fringe, hanging down before him; and his threadbare clothes darned up and brushed, to look seasonable; and Tiny Tim upon his shoulder.
  14. declension
    a downward slope or bend
    “Not coming!” said Bob, with a sudden declension in his high spirits; for he had been Tim’s blood horse all the way from church, and had come home rampant. “Not coming upon Christmas Day!”
  15. tremulous
    (of the voice) quivering as from weakness or fear
    Bob's voice was tremulous when he told them this, and trembled more when he said that Tiny Tim was growing strong and hearty.
  16. vigor
    forceful exertion
    Mrs Cratchit made the gravy (ready beforehand in a little saucepan) hissing hot; Master Peter mashed the potatoes with incredible vigor; Miss Belinda sweetened up the apple-sauce; Martha dusted the hot plates; Bob took Tiny Tim beside him in a tiny corner at the table; the two young Cratchits set chairs for everybody, not forgetting themselves, and mounting guard upon their posts, crammed spoons into their mouths, lest they should shriek for goose before their turn came to be helped.
  17. livid
    furiously angry
    Suppose somebody should have got over the wall of the back-yard, and stolen it, while they were merry with the goose -- a supposition at which the two young Cratchits became livid!
  18. penitence
    remorse for your past conduct
    Scrooge hung his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spirit, and was overcome with penitence and grief.
  19. rebuke
    an act or expression of criticism and censure
    Scrooge bent before the Ghost's rebuke, and trembling cast his eyes upon the ground.
  20. odious
    unequivocally detestable
    'It should be Christmas Day, I am sure,' said she, 'on which one drinks the health of such an odious, stingy, hard, unfeeling man as Mr Scrooge.
  21. dispel
    force to go away; used both with concrete and metaphoric meanings
    The mention of his name cast a dark shadow on the party, which was not dispelled for full five minutes.
  22. baleful
    threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
    After it had passed away, they were ten times merrier than before, from the mere relief of Scrooge the Baleful being done with.
  23. deliberate
    think about carefully; weigh
    The two young Cratchits laughed tremendously at the idea of Peter's being a man of business; and Peter himself looked thoughtfully at the fire from between his collars, as if he were deliberating what particular investments he should favour when he came into the receipt of that bewildering income.
  24. plaintive
    expressing sorrow
    All this time the chestnuts and the jug went round and round; and by-and-bye they had a song, about a lost child travelling in the snow, from Tiny Tim, who had a plaintive little voice, and sang it very well indeed.
  25. mirth
    great merriment
    How it bared its breadth of breast, and opened its capacious palm, and floated on, outpouring, with a generous hand, its bright and harmless mirth on everything within its reach!
  26. bleak
    providing no shelter or sustenance
    And now, without a word of warning from the Ghost, they stood upon a bleak and desert moor, where monstrous masses of rude stone were cast about, as though it were the burial-place of giants; and water spread itself wheresoever it listed, or would have done so, but for the frost that held it prisoner; and nothing grew but moss and furze, and coarse rank grass.
  27. blithe
    carefree and happy and lighthearted
    So surely as they raised their voices, the old man got quite blithe and loud; and so surely as they stopped, his vigor sank again.
  28. undermine
    hollow out as if making a cave or opening
    To Scrooge's horror, looking back, he saw the last of the land, a frightful range of rocks, behind them; and his ears were deafened by the thundering of water, as it rolled and roared, and raged among the dreadful caverns it had worn, and fiercely tried to undermine the earth.
  29. chafe
    tear or wear off the skin or make sore by abrading
    Built upon a dismal reef of sunken rocks, some league or so from shore, on which the waters chafed and dashed, the wild year through, there stood a solitary lighthouse.
  30. abyss
    a bottomless gulf or pit; any unfathomable (or apparently unfathomable) cavity or chasm or void extending below (often used figuratively)
    It was a great surprise to Scrooge, while listening to the moaning of the wind, and thinking what a solemn thing it was to move on through the lonely darkness over an unknown abyss, whose depths were secrets as profound as Death: it was a great surprise to Scrooge, while thus engaged, to hear a hearty laugh.
  31. affability
    a disposition to be friendly and approachable (easy to talk to)
    It was a much greater surprise to Scrooge to recognize it as his own nephew's and to find himself in a bright, dry, gleaming room, with the Spirit standing smiling by his side, and looking at that same nephew with approving affability.
  32. contortion
    a tortuous and twisted shape or position
    When Scrooge's nephew laughed in this way: holding his sides, rolling his head, and twisting his face into the most extravagant contortions: Scrooge's niece, by marriage, laughed as heartily as he.
  33. consequence
    the outcome of an event especially as relative to an individual
    “I am sorry for him; I couldn’t be angry with him if I tried. Who suffers by his ill whims! Himself, always. Here, he takes it into his head to dislike us, and he won’t come and dine with us. What’s the consequence? He don’t lose much of a dinner.”
  34. competent
    properly or sufficiently qualified or capable or efficient
    Everybody else said the same, and they must be allowed to have been competent judges, because they had just had dinner; and, with the dessert upon the table, were clustered round the fire, by lamplight.
  35. revel
    take delight in
    Scrooge's nephew reveled in another laugh, and as it was impossible to keep the infection off; though the plump sister tried hard to do it with aromatic vinegar; his example was unanimously followed.
  36. cultivate
    foster the growth of
    When this strain of music sounded, all the things that Ghost had shown him, came upon his mind; he softened more and more; and thought that if he could have listened to it often, years ago, he might have cultivated the kindnesses of life for his own happiness with his own hands, without resorting to the sexton’s spade that buried Jacob Marley.
  37. affront
    a deliberately offensive act or something producing the effect of deliberate disrespect
    If you had fallen up against him (as some of them did), on purpose, he would have made a feint of endeavoring to seize you, which would have been an affront to your understanding, and would instantly have sidled off in the direction of the plump sister.
  38. execrable
    unequivocally detestable
    But when at last, he caught her; when, in spite of all her silken rustlings, and her rapid flutterings past him, he got her into a corner whence there was no escape; then his conduct was the most execrable.
  39. vile
    morally reprehensible
    For his pretending not to know her; his pretending that it was necessary to touch her head-dress, and further to assure himself of her identity by pressing a certain ring upon her finger, and a certain chain about her neck; was vile, monstrous!
  40. precept
    rule of personal conduct
    In almshouse, hospital, and jail, in misery's every refuge, where vain man in his little brief authority had not made fast the door, and barred the Spirit out, he left his blessing, and taught Scrooge his precepts.
  41. abject
    of the most contemptible kind
    From the foldings of its robe, it brought two children; wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable.
  42. prostrate
    stretched out and lying at full length along the ground
    Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility.
  43. menacing
    threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
    Where angels might have sat enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out menacing.
  44. perversion
    the action of perverting something (turning it to a wrong use)
    No change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity, in any grade, through all the mysteries of wonderful creation, has monsters half so horrible and dread.
  45. factious
    dissenting (especially dissenting with the majority opinion)
    “Slander those who tell it ye! Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse. And bide the end!”