Melville's "Moby Dick," Ch's 10-21

"Moby Dick" is about Captain Ahab and a whale, but it is also about the single-minded pursuit of one thing at the expense of everything else, and the consequences of such a pursuit.

Here are all of our word lists for the novel: Ch's 1-9, Ch's 10-21, Ch's 22-31, Ch's 32-40, Ch's 41-47, Ch's 48-54, Ch's 55-65, Ch's 66-73, Ch's 74-81, Ch's 82-92, Ch's 93-101, Ch's 102-114, Ch's 115-125, Ch's 126-132, and Ch's 133-Epilogue

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. sublime
    inspiring awe
    All this struck me as mighty singular; yet, upon second thoughts, there was something almost sublime in it.
  2. magnanimous
    noble and generous in spirit
    But what is worship? thought I. Do you suppose now, Ishmael, that the magnanimous God of heaven and earth -- pagans and all included -- can possibly be jealous of an insignificant bit of black wood?
  3. confabulation
    a discussion or informal conversation
    We had lain thus in bed, chatting and napping at short intervals, and Queequeg now and then affectionately throwing his brown tattooed legs over mine, and then drawing them back; so entirely sociable and free and easy were we; when, at last, by reason of our confabulations, what little nappishness remained in us altogether departed, and we felt like getting up again, though day-break was yet some way down the future.
  4. congenial
    suitable to your needs
    Because no man can ever feel his own identity aright except his eyes be closed; as if darkness were indeed the proper element of our essences, though light be more congenial to our clayey part.
  5. vitiate
    corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality
    There was excellent blood in his veins -- royal stuff; though sadly vitiated, I fear, by the cannibal propensity he nourished in his untutored youth.
  6. ignominy
    a state of dishonor
    But like Czar Peter content to toil in the shipyards of foreign cities, Queequeg disdained no seeming ignominy, if thereby he might happily gain the power of enlightening his untutored countrymen.
  7. punctilious
    marked by precise accordance with details
    Now a certain grand merchant ship once touched at Rokovoko, and its commander -- from all accounts, a very stately punctilious gentleman, at least for a sea captain -- this commander was invited to the wedding feast of Queequeg's sister, a pretty young princess just turned of ten.
  8. repast
    the food served and eaten at one time
    Upon making known our desires for a supper and a bed, Mrs. Hussey, postponing further scolding for the present, ushered us into a little room, and seating us at a table spread with the relics of a recently concluded repast, turned round to us and said -- 'Clam or Cod?'
  9. belie
    be in contradiction with
    However, a warm savory steam from the kitchen served to belie the apparently cheerless prospect before us.
  10. hearken
    listen; used mostly in the imperative
    Oh, sweet friends! hearken to me.
  11. stultify
    cause to appear foolish
    What's that stultifying saying about chowder-headed people?
  12. sagacity
    the ability to understand and discriminate between relations
    I had not a little relied on Queequeg's sagacity to point out the whaler best fitted to carry us and our fortunes securely.
  13. remonstrance
    the act of expressing earnest opposition or protest
    But as all my remonstrances produced no effect upon Queequeg, I was obliged to acquiesce; and accordingly prepared to set about this business with a determined rushing sort of energy and vigor, that should quickly settle that trifling little affair.
  14. heterogeneous
    originating outside the body
    Now, Bildad, like Peleg, and indeed many other Nantucketers, was a Quaker, the island having been originally settled by that sect; and to this day its inhabitants in general retain in an uncommon measure the peculiarities of the Quaker, only variously and anomalously modified by things altogether alien and heterogeneous.
  15. sanguinary
    marked by eagerness to resort to violence and bloodshed
    For some of these same Quakers are the most sanguinary of all sailors and whale-hunters.
  16. illimitable
    without limits in extent or size or quantity
    Though refusing, from conscientious scruples, to bear arms against land invaders, yet himself had illimitably invaded the Atlantic and Pacific; and though a sworn foe to human bloodshed, yet had he in his straight-bodied coat, spilled tuns upon tuns of leviathan gore.
  17. incorrigible
    impervious to correction by punishment
    Now Bildad, I am sorry to say, had the reputation of being an incorrigible old hunks, and in his sea-going days, a bitter, hard task-master.
  18. unmitigated
    not diminished or moderated in intensity or severity
    He never used to swear, though, at his men, they said; but somehow he got an inordinate quantity of cruel, unmitigated hard work out of them.
  19. indolence
    inactivity resulting from a dislike of work
    Indolence and idleness perished from before him.
  20. superfluous
    more than is needed, desired, or required
    On his long, gaunt body, he carried no spare flesh, no superfluous beard, his chin having a soft, economical nap to it, like the worn nap of his broad- brimmed hat.
  21. celerity
    a rate that is rapid
    As he thundered out this he made a rush at Bildad, but with a marvellous oblique, sliding celerity, Bildad for that time eluded him.
  22. egress
    the act or means of going out
    Alarmed at this terrible outburst between the two principal and responsible owners of the ship, and feeling half a mind to give up all idea of sailing in a vessel so questionably owned and temporarily commanded, I stepped aside from the door to give egress to Bildad, who, I made no doubt, was all eagerness to vanish from before the awakened wrath of Peleg.
  23. apoplexy
    a loss of consciousness from the lack of oxygen in the brain
    Mrs. Hussey! apoplexy!' -- and with these cries, she ran towards the kitchen, I following.
  24. ruminate
    reflect deeply on a subject
    Unconsciously clapping the vinegar-cruetto one side of her nose, she ruminated for an instant; then exclaimed -- 'No!'
  25. blandishment
    flattery intended to persuade
    There he sat; and all he could do -- for all my polite arts and blandishments -- he would not move a peg, nor say a single word, nor even look at me, nor notice my presence in any the slightest way.
  26. sagacious
    acutely insightful and wise
    I told him, too, that he being in other things such an extremely sensible and sagacious savage, it pained me, very badly pained me, to see him now so deplorably foolish about this ridiculous Ramadan of his.
  27. philistine
    a person who is uninterested in intellectual pursuits
    'Do tell, now,' cried Bildad, 'is this Philistine a regular member of Deacon Deuteronomy's meeting?
  28. derisive
    expressing contempt or ridicule
    'All right again before long!' laughed the stranger, with a solemnly derisive sort of laugh.
  29. ineffable
    defying expression or description
    Morning to ye, shipmates, morning; the ineffable heavens bless ye; I'm sorry I stopped ye.'
  30. jocular
    with humor
    But I beat the thing down; and again marking the sleeper, jocularly hinted to Queequeg that perhaps we had best sit up with the body; telling him to establish himself accordingly.

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