"Animal Farm" by George Orwell, Chapters 9-10

What would happen if the Russian Revolution of 1917 took place on a small English farm? This provocative novella blends fable, satire, and allegory while grappling with some of the twentieth-century's most consequential political ideas.

Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1-2, Chapters 3-4, Chapters 5-6, Chapters 7-8, Chapters 9-10

Here are links to our lists for other works by George Orwell: 1984, Politics and the English Language, Shooting an Elephant

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. poultice
    a medical dressing spread on a cloth and applied to the skin
    Clover treated the hoof with poultices of herbs which she prepared by chewing them, and both she and Benjamin urged Boxer to work less
  2. pension
    regular payment to allow a person to subsist without working
    Liberal old-age pensions had been agreed upon.
  3. superannuated
    too old to be useful
    Now that the small field beyond the orchard had been set aside for barley, it was rumoured that a corner of the large pasture was to be fenced off and turned into a grazing-ground for superannuated animals.
  4. piebald
    having sections or patches colored differently and brightly
    The young pigs were piebald, and as Napoleon was the only boar on the farm, it was possible to guess at their parentage.
  5. tureen
    large deep serving dish with a cover
    And the news soon leaked out that every pig was now receiving a ration of a pint of beer daily, with half a gallon for Napoleon himself, which was always served to him in the Crown Derby soup tureen.
  6. offset
    make up for
    But if there were hardships to be borne, they were partly offset by the fact that life nowadays had a greater dignity than it had had before.
  7. spontaneous
    said or done without having been planned in advance
    Napoleon had commanded that once a week there should be held something called a Spontaneous Demonstration, the object of which was to celebrate the struggles and triumphs of Animal Farm.
  8. complicity
    guilt as a confederate in a crime or offense
    On the same day it was given out that fresh documents had been discovered which revealed further details about Snowball’s complicity with Jones.
  9. canter
    a smooth three-beat gait
    Clover tried to stir her stout limbs to a gallop, and achieved a canter.
  10. uproarious
    marked by boisterous merriment or convulsive laughter
    That night there was the sound of uproarious singing, which was followed by what sounded like a violent quarrel and ended at about eleven o’clock with a tremendous crash of glass.
  11. inebriate
    a chronic drinker
    Jones too was dead—he had died in an inebriates’ home in another part of the country.
  12. morose
    showing a brooding ill humor
    Only old Benjamin was much the same as ever, except for being a little greyer about the muzzle, and, since Boxer’s death, more morose and taciturn than ever.
  13. taciturn
    habitually reserved and uncommunicative
    Only old Benjamin was much the same as ever, except for being a little greyer about the muzzle, and, since Boxer’s death, more morose and taciturn than ever.
  14. filial
    relating to or characteristic of or befitting an offspring
    They accepted everything that they were told about the Rebellion and the principles of Animalism, especially from Clover, for whom they had an almost filial respect; but it was doubtful whether they understood very much of it.
  15. dynamo
    a coil that rotates between the poles of an electromagnet
    The animals were hard at work building yet another windmill; when that one was finished, so it was said, the dynamos would be installed.
  16. frugal
    avoiding waste
    The truest happiness, he said, lay in working hard and living frugally.
  17. insoluble
    without hope of solution
    There was nothing with which they could compare their present lives: they had nothing to go upon except Squealer’s lists of figures, which invariably demonstrated that everything was getting better and better. The animals found the problem insoluble; in any case, they had little time for speculating on such things now.
  18. subsist
    support oneself
    He would end his remarks, he said, by emphasising once again the friendly feelings that subsisted, and ought to subsist, between Animal Farm and its neighbours.
  19. witticism
    a message whose ingenuity has the power to evoke laughter
    Here it became apparent that Mr. Pilkington was about to spring some carefully prepared witticism on the company, but for a moment he was too overcome by amusement to be able to utter it.
  20. subversive
    in opposition to an established system or government
    For a long time there had been rumours—circulated, he had reason to think, by some malignant enemy—that there was something subversive and even revolutionary in the outlook of himself and his colleagues.
  21. suppress
    put down by force or authority
    Hitherto the animals on the farm had had a rather foolish custom of addressing one another as “Comrade.” This was to be suppressed.
  22. dregs
    sediment that has settled at the bottom of a liquid
    There was the same hearty cheering as before, and the mugs were emptied to the dregs.
  23. eminent
    having an illustrious reputation; respected
    There, round the long table, sat half a dozen farmers and half a dozen of the more eminent pigs, Napoleon himself occupying the seat of honour at the head of the table.
  24. incumbent
    necessary as a duty or responsibility; morally binding
    But before doing so, there were a few words that he felt it incumbent upon him to say.
  25. misgiving
    uneasiness about the fitness of an action
    There had been a time—not that he, or any of the present company, had shared such sentiments—but there had been a time when the respected proprietors of Animal Farm had been regarded, he would not say with hostility, but perhaps with a certain measure of misgiving, by their human neighbours.

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.