"Speak," Vocabulary from the "Fourth Marking Period"

A young woman is rendered silent by trauma in Laurie Halse Anderson's "Speak."

Learn these word lists for Anderson's young adult novel: First Marking Period, Second Marking Period, Third Marking Period, and Fourth Marking Period.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. alien
    from another place or part of the world
    He has abandoned the Martha table and hangs around and onto Rachel/Rachelle and Greta-Ingrid and all the other resident aliens.
  2. allegedly
    according to what has been declared but not proved
    The total damage included one stomach pumped, three breakups of long-term relationships, one lost diamond earring, four outrageous hotel-room parties, and five matching tattoos allegedly decorating the behinds of the senior class officers.
  3. callus
    a skin area that is thick or hard from continual pressure
    I have calluses on my hands from yard work.
  4. chenille
    a soft tufted cord used in embroidery
    She kicks a chenille bunny who was sleeping in my robe on the floor.
  5. coax
    influence or urge by gentle urging, caressing, or flattering
    The sun appears butter-yellow and so warm it coaxes tulips out of the crusty mud.
  6. escort
    He gives me a D and escorts me to the authorities.
  7. exemption
    an act freeing someone from obligations
    The cheerleaders have obtained some sort of special exemption to roam the hall in a pack with pens in hand to seek out autographs of staff and students.
  8. genetics
    the study of heredity and variation in organisms
  9. indenture
    formal agreement as to terms of a debt
    Indentured servitude would be better.
  10. indoctrination
    teaching someone to accept beliefs uncritically
    If I ran a high school, I would include stuff like this in the first-day indoctrination.
  11. keen
    intense or sharp
    It’s impossible to listen to Ms. Keen.
    Interesting use of the word for the teacher's name!
  12. loathsome
    highly offensive; arousing aversion or disgust
    He is not as tall as my memories, but is still loathsome.
  13. momentum
    the product of a body's mass and its velocity
    The friendly momentum keeps Rachel/Rachelle and Andy walking all the way to the end of the hall.
  14. muse
    the source of an artist's inspiration
    Instead of leaving me alone to “find my muse” (a real quote, I swear), he lands on the stool next to me and starts criticizing.
  15. obtain
    come into possession of
    The cheerleaders have obtained some sort of special exemption to roam the hall in a pack with pens in hand to seek out autographs of staff and students.
  16. petition
    a formal request that something be submitted to an authority
    The PTA has started a petition to get rid of the Hornet as our school mascot.
  17. profoundly
    to a great depth psychologically
    It is all so profoundly stupid.
  18. pry
    be nosey
    I pry Heather out of Mom’s claws and we retreat to my room.
  19. quantum
    the smallest discrete quantity of some physical property
    His latest career goal is to be a quantum-physics genius.
  20. scowl
    frown with displeasure
    Mr. Neck scowls.
  21. tactic
    a plan for attaining a particular goal
    It’s a delaying tactic, the kind that juries love.
  22. tenacious
    stubbornly unyielding
    We are tenacious, stinging, clever.
  23. tension
    a state of mental or emotional strain or suspense
    Tensions are running high.
  24. toxic
    of or relating to or caused by a poison
    My head is killing me, my throat is killing me, my stomach bubbles with toxic waste.

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