Great Expectations Chapters 1-9

25 vocabulary words from Chapters 1-9 of Great Expectations.
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definitions & notes only words
  1. flighty
    guided by whim and fancy
    "My opinion is, it's a sedan-chair. She's flighty, you know,—very flighty,—quite flighty enough to pass her days in a sedan-chair."
  2. disputatious
    showing an inclination to disagree
    I think it will be conceded by my most disputatious reader, that she could hardly have directed an unfortunate boy to do anything in the wide world more difficult to be done under the circumstances.
  3. vicariously
    indirectly, as, by, or through a substitute
    My sister, having so much to do, was going to church vicariously, that is to say, Joe and I were going.
  4. contumacious
    willfully obstinate; stubbornly disobedient
    "Trouble?" echoed my sister; "trouble?" and then entered on a fearful catalogue of all the illnesses I had been guilty of, and all the acts of sleeplessness I had committed, and all the high places I had tumbled from, and all the low places I had tumbled into, and all the injuries I had done myself, and all the times she had wished me in my grave, and I had contumaciously refused to go there.
  5. rumination
    a calm, lengthy, intent consideration
    "There's one thing you may be sure of, Pip," said Joe, after some rumination, "namely, that lies is lies. Howsever they come, they didn't ought to come, and they come from the father of lies, and work round to the same. Don't you tell no more of 'em, Pip. That ain't the way to get out of being common, old chap. And as to being common, I don't make it out at all clear. You are oncommon in some things. You're oncommon small. Likewise you're a oncommon scholar."
  6. expectorate
    clear out the chest and lungs
    Instantly afterwards, the company were seized with unspeakable consternation, owing to his springing to his feet, turning round several times in an appalling spasmodic whooping-cough dance, and rushing out at the door; he then became visible through the window, violently plunging and expectorating, making the most hideous faces, and apparently out of his mind.
  7. perspicuity
    clarity as a consequence of being easily understandable
    Joe recited this couplet with such manifest pride and careful perspicuity, that I asked him if he had made it himself.
  8. cask
    a cylindrical container that holds liquids
    On the edge of the river I could faintly make out the only two black things in all the prospect that seemed to be standing upright; one of these was the beacon by which the sailors steered,—like an unhooped cask upon a pole,—an ugly thing when you were near it; the other, a gibbet, with some chains hanging to it which had once held a pirate.
  9. exonerated
    freed from any question of guilt
    My state of mind regarding the pilfering from which I had been so unexpectedly exonerated did not impel me to frank disclosure; but I hope it had some dregs of good at the bottom of it.
  10. reproachful
    expressing reproof especially as a corrective
    Joe gave a reproachful cough, as much as to say, "Well, I told you so."
  11. obligated
    caused by law or conscience to follow a certain course
    ...without us. So, he'd come with a most tremenjous crowd and make such a row at the doors of the houses where we was, that they used to be obligated to have no more to do with us and to give us up to him. And then he took us home and hammered us. Which, you see, Pip," said...
  12. conciliatory
    making or willing to make concessions
    Joe, who had ventured into the kitchen after me as the dustpan had retired before us, drew the back of his hand across his nose with a conciliatory air, when Mrs. Joe darted a look at him, and, when her eyes were withdrawn, secretly crossed his two forefingers, and exhibited them to me, as our token that Mrs. Joe was in a cross temper.
  13. divulge
    make known to the public information previously kept secret
    Under the weight of my wicked secret, I pondered whether the Church would be powerful enough to shield me from the vengeance of the terrible young man, if I divulged to that establishment.
  14. gluttony
    habitual eating to excess
    "Swine," pursued Mr. Wopsle, in his deepest voice, and pointing his fork at my blushes, as if he were mentioning my Christian name,—"swine were the companions of the prodigal. The gluttony of Swine is put before us, as an example to the young."
  15. trenchant
    having keenness and forcefulness and penetration in thought
    My sister had a trenchant way of cutting our bread and butter for us, that never varied.
  16. ignominiously
    in a dishonorable manner or to a dishonorable degree
    And I soon found myself getting heavily bumped from behind in the nape of the neck and the small of the back, and having my face ignominiously shoved against the kitchen wall, because I did not answer those questions at sufficient length.
  17. goad
    stab or urge on as if with a pointed stick
    I might have been an unfortunate little bull in a Spanish arena, I got so smartingly touched up by these moral goads.
  18. genteel
    marked by refinement in taste and manners
    I wished Joe had been rather more genteelly brought up, and then I should have been so too.
  19. imp
    one who is playfully mischievous
    Would he believe that I was both imp and hound in treacherous earnest, and had betrayed him?
  20. imperiously
    in a manner showing arrogant superiority
    But, Uncle Pumblechook, who was omnipotent in that kitchen, wouldn't hear the word, wouldn't hear of the subject, imperiously waved it all away with his hand, and asked for hot gin and water.
  21. disdainfully
    without respect
    "Tried to murder him?" said my convict, disdainfully.
  22. obstinacy
    resolute adherence to your own ideas or desires
    Whitewash on the forehead hardens the brain into a state of obstinacy perhaps.
  23. reticence
    the trait of being uncommunicative
    And the mere sight of the torment, with his fishy eyes and mouth open, his sandy hair inquisitively on end, and his waistcoat heaving with windy arithmetic, made me vicious in my reticence.
  24. retort
    a quick reply to a question or remark
    Every Christmas Day, he retorted, as he now retorted, "It's no more than your merits. And now are you all bobbish, and how's Sixpennorth of halfpence?" meaning me.
  25. consternation
    fear resulting from the awareness of danger
    The wonder and consternation with which Joe stopped on the threshold of his bite and stared at me, were too evident to escape my sister's observation.

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