"To Kill a Mockingbird," Vocabulary from Ch's 12-15

As you read Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1960), learn these word lists: Ch's 1-6, Ch's 7-11, Ch's 12-15, Ch's 16-19, Ch's 20-25, and Ch's 26-31.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. reckon
    expect, believe, or suppose
    His appetite was appalling, and he told me so many times to stop pestering him I consulted Atticus: " Reckon he's got a tapeworm?"
  2. acquired
    gotten through environmental forces
    Overnight, it seemed, Jem, had acquired an alien set of values and was trying to impose them on me: several times he went so far as to tell me what to do.
  3. unbearable
    incapable of being put up with
    With him, life was routine; without him, life was unbearable.
  4. invade
    intrude upon, infringe, encroach on, or violate
    She had trusted Jem for years, but that night she invaded his privacy and provoked an outburst: "Can't anybody take a bath in this house without the whole family lookin'?"
  5. dispel
    to cause to separate and go in different directions
    It was dim inside, with a damp coolness slowly dispelled by the gathering congregation.
  6. garish
    tastelessly showy
    At each seat was a cheap cardboard fan bearing a garish Garden of Gethsemane, courtesy Tyndal's Hardware Co.
  7. qualm
    uneasiness about the fitness of an action
    I did likewise with no qualms.
  8. linger
    remain present although waning or gradually dying
    Music again swelled around us; the last note lingered and Zeebo met it with the next line: "And we only reach that shore by faith's decree."
  9. propel
    cause to move forward with force
    I wanted to stay and explore, but Calpurnia propelled me up the aisle ahead of her.
  10. modest
    marked by simplicity; having a humble opinion of yourself
    That Calpurnia led a modest double life never dawned on me.
  11. tactful
    having a sense of what is considerate in dealing with others
    I realized that this was not a tactful question.
  12. extract
    remove, usually with some force or effort
    There was a story behind all this, but I had no desire to extract it from her then: today was Sunday, and Aunt Alexandra was positively irritable on the Lord's Day.
  13. ponder
    reflect deeply on a subject
    I understood, pondered a while, and concluded that the only way I could retire with a shred of dignity was to go to the bathroom, where I stayed long enough to make them think I had to go.
  14. indulge
    treat with excessive pampering
    If anything, she's been harder on them in some ways than a mother would have been . . . she's never let them get away with any- thing, she's never indulged them the way most colored nurses do.
  15. edification
    uplifting enlightenment
    Still, everything he read he passed along to me, but with this difference: formerly, because he thought I'd like it; now, for my edification and instruction.
  16. fetch
    go or come after and bring or take back
    He went to the kitchen and fetched the broom.
  17. ominous
    threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
    There was a murmur among the group of men, made more ominous when Atticus moved back to the bottom front step and the men drew nearer to him.
  18. tranquil
    not agitated
    I sometimes think Atticus subjected every crisis of his life to tranquil evaluation behind The Mobile Register, The Birmingham News and The Montgomery Advertiser.
  19. prevail
    be larger in number, quantity, power, status or importance
    The fake peace that prevailed on Sundays was made more irritating by Aunt Alexandra's presence.
  20. prohibited
    forbidden by law
    Shooting on Sundays was prohibited, so Dill and I kicked Jem's football around the pasture for a while, which was no fun.
  21. incapable
    lacking ability
    In Maycomb, if one went for a walk with no definite purpose in mind, it was correct to believe one's mind incapable of definite purpose.
  22. oblivious
    lacking conscious awareness of
    He was sitting in one of his office chairs, and he was reading, oblivious of the nightbugs dancing over his head.
  23. acquiescence
    agreement with a statement or proposal to do something
    We were accustomed to prompt, if not always cheerful acquiescence to Atticus's instructions, but from the way he stood Jem was not thinking of budging.
  24. uncomfortable
    providing or experiencing physical unease
    He seemed uncomfortable; he cleared his throat and looked away.
  25. affection
    a positive feeling of liking
    As they passed under a streetlight, Atticus reached out and massaged Jem's hair, his one gesture of affection.

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