"The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," Ch's 1-5

"The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," by Mark Twain, is a rollicking adventure featuring Tom and Huckleberry Finn (who would later get his own, very different, novel).

As you read Mark Twain's 1876 novel "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," learn these word lists: Ch's 1-5, Ch's 6-12, Ch's 13-21, Ch's 22-30, and Ch's 31-36.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. constitute
    form or compose
    She went to the open door and stood in it and looked out among the tomato vines and "jimpson" weeds that constituted the garden.
  2. conscience
    motivation deriving from ethical or moral principles
    Every time I let him off, my conscience does hurt me so, and every time I hit him my old heart most breaks.
  3. guile
    shrewdness as demonstrated by being skilled in deception
    While Tom was eating his supper, and stealing sugar as opportunity offered, Aunt Polly asked him questions that were full of guile, and very deep -- for she wanted to trap him into damaging revealments.
  4. circumstantial
    suggesting that something is true without proving it
    Aunt Polly was vexed to think she had overlooked that bit of circumstantial evidence, and missed a trick.
  5. sagacity
    the ability to understand and discriminate between relations
    She was half sorry her sagacity had miscarried, and half glad that Tom had stumbled into obedient conduct for once.
  6. natty
    marked by up-to-dateness in dress and manners
    His cap was a dainty thing, his close-buttoned blue cloth roundabout was new and natty, and so were his pantaloons.
  7. glower
    look angry or sullen as if to signal disapproval
    So they stood, each with a foot placed at an angle as a brace, and both shoving with might and main, and glowering at each other with hate.
  8. melancholy
    a constitutional tendency to be gloomy and depressed
    He surveyed the fence, and all gladness left him and a deep melancholy settled down upon his spirit.
  9. worldly
    characteristic of secularity rather than spirituality
    He got out his worldly wealth and examined it -- bits of toys, marbles, and trash; enough to buy an exchange of work, maybe, but not half enough to buy so much as half an hour of pure freedom.
  10. execute
    put in effect
    He was boat and captain and engine-bells combined, so he had to imagine himself standing on his own hurricane-deck giving the orders and executing them:
  11. alacrity
    liveliness and eagerness
    Tom gave up the brush with reluctance in his face, but alacrity in his heart.
  12. idle
    not in action or at work
    He had had a nice, good, idle time all the while -- plenty of company -- and the fence had three coats of whitewash on it!
  13. privilege
    a special advantage or benefit not enjoyed by all
    The boys were all eaten up with envy -- but those that suffered the bitterest pangs were those who perceived too late that they themselves had contributed to this hated splendor by trading tickets to Tom for the wealth he had amassed in selling whitewashing privileges.
  14. wend
    direct one's course or way
    The boy mused awhile over the substantial change which had taken place in his worldly circumstances, and then wended toward headquarters to report.
  15. condescend
    behave in a patronizing manner
    These two great commanders did not condescend to fight in person -- that being better suited to the still smaller fry -- but sat together on an eminence and conducted the field operations by orders delivered through aides-de-camp.
  16. evanescent
    tending to vanish like vapor
    He had thought he loved her to distraction; he had regarded his passion as adoration; and behold it was only a poor little evanescent partiality.
  17. furtive
    secret and sly or sordid
    He worshipped this new angel with furtive eye, till he saw that she had discovered him; then he pretended he did not know she was present, and began to "show off" in all sorts of absurd boyish ways, in order to win her admiration.
  18. reproach
    express criticism towards
    Then her conscience reproached her, and she yearned to say something kind and loving; but she judged that this would be construed into a confession that she had been in the wrong, and discipline forbade that.
  19. beseech
    ask for or request earnestly
    He pictured himself lying sick unto death and his aunt bending over him beseeching one little forgiving word, but he would turn his face to the wall, and die with that word unsaid.
  20. discordant
    not in agreement or harmony
    The window went up, a maid-servant's discordant voice profaned the holy calm, and a deluge of water drenched the prone martyr's remains!
  21. omission
    leaving out or passing over something
    Tom turned in without the added vexation of prayers, and Sid made mental note of the omission.
  22. inconceivable
    totally unlikely
    True, the knife would not cut anything, but it was a "sure-enough" Barlow, and there was inconceivable grandeur in that -- though where the Western boys ever got the idea that such a weapon could possibly be counterfeited to its injury is an imposing mystery and will always remain so, perhaps.
  23. emerge
    come out into view, as from concealment
    But when he emerged from the towel, he was not yet satisfactory, for the clean territory stopped short at his chin and his jaws, like a mask; below and beyond this line there was a dark expanse of unirrigated soil that spread downward in front and backward around his neck.
  24. effeminate
    having unsuitable feminine qualities
    [He privately smoothed out the curls, with labor and difficulty, and plastered his hair close down to his head; for he held curls to be effeminate, and his own filled his life with bitterness.]
  25. gall
    irritate or vex
    He was fully as uncomfortable as he looked; for there was a restraint about whole clothes and cleanliness that galled him.

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