Arthur Miller's "The Crucible"

Vocabulary study list for Arthur Miller's "The Crucible."

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. enrapture
    hold spellbound
    She is enraptured, and though in a pearly light.
  2. lechery
    unrestrained indulgence in sexual activity
    Danforth: She spoke nothing of lechery, and this man had lied!
  3. agape
    with the mouth wide open as in wonder or awe
    She is transfixed with all the girls, she is whispering open-mouthed, agape at the ceiling.
  4. inferno
    a very intense and uncontrolled fire
    Now, holding out his hands towards her, he intones: In nominee Domini Sabaoth sui filiique ite ad infernos.
  5. exude
    release in drops or small quantities
    Gentleness exudes from her.
  6. snivel
    cry or whine with snuffling
    She is a cold, sniveling woman, and you bend to her!
  7. dwindle
    become smaller or lose substance
    Parris, with dwindling conviction now: A precaution only.
  8. beguile
    attract; cause to be enamored
    Danforth: Now hear me, and beguile yourselves no more.
  9. budge
    move very slightly
    The law binds me, John, I cannot budge.
  10. amaze
    affect with wonder
    I am amazed you do not see the weighty work we do.
  11. baffle
    be a mystery or bewildering to
    Mrs. Putnam: Rebecca, the doctor's baffled!
  12. stench
    a distinctive odor that is offensively unpleasant
    Danforth: There is a prodigious stench in this place.
  13. guile
    shrewdness as demonstrated by being skilled in deception
    If she speak true, I bid you now drop your guile and confess your pretense, for a quick confession will go easier with you.
  14. grapple
    work hard to come to terms with or deal with something
    Now Hell and Heaven grapple on our backs, and all our old pretense is ripped away-- make your peace!
  15. inert
    unable to move or resist motion
    Betty collapses in her ands and lies inert on the bed.
  16. perjury
    criminal offense of making false statements under oath
    Danforth: I will tell you this-- you are either lying now, or you were lying in the court, and in either case you have committed perjury and will go to jail for it.
  17. conjure
    summon into action or bring into existence
    Abigail: But we never conjured spirits.
  18. blanch
    turn pale, as if in fear
    Tituba, Tituba â€Ã‚¦

    Parris, blanched: She called the Devil?
  19. evade
    avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing
    Hale: You cannot evade me, Abigail.
  20. deposition
    the act of putting something somewhere
    This is Mary Warren's deposition.
  21. compensate
    make amends for
    When will you proceed to keep this house as you are paid nine pound a year to do -- and my wife not wholly well?
    as though to compensate, Mary Warren goes to Elizabeth with a small rag doll.
  22. purge
    rid of impurities
    Why, you should rejoice to say it if your soul is truly purged of any love for Hell!
  23. calumny
    a false accusation of an offense
    In Proctor's presence a fool felt his foolishness instantly -- and a Proctor is always marked for calumny therefore.
  24. recite
    repeat aloud from memory
    Tituba, joining with him, Hale recites line as well: Oh, God, protect Tituba!
  25. calculate
    make a mathematical computation
    Hale, with a tasty love of intellectual pursuit: Here is the invisible world, caught, defined, and calculated.
  26. sarcasm
    witty language used to convey insults or scorn
    Mrs. Putnam, with a growing edge of sarcasm: But I must!
  27. hypocrisy
    pretending to have qualities or beliefs that you do not have
    It is another trait we inherited from them, and it has helped to discipline us as well as to breed hypocrisy among us.
  28. filthy
    disgustingly dirty
    I hear the boot of Lucifer, I see his filthy face!
  29. deference
    courteous regard for people's feelings
    A certain deference springs into him., although his worry remains.]
  30. gaunt
    very thin especially from disease or hunger or cold
    He is gaunt, frightened, and sweating in his greatcoat.
  31. apparition
    a ghostly appearing figure
    In which she swears that she never saw familiar spirits, apparitions, or any manifest of the Devil.
  32. concentrate
    make denser, stronger, or purer
    Her concentrated desire destroys his smile.
  33. ail
    be unwell
    Why, how does Ruth ail?
  34. contention
    the act of competing as for profit or a prize
    Do you know, Mr. Proctor, that the entire contention of the state in these trials is that the voice of Heaven is speaking through the children?
  35. defer
    yield to another's wish or opinion
    He defers to her.
  36. prodigious
    great in size, force, extent, or degree
    Rebecca: There is prodigious danger in the seeking of loose spirits.
  37. frantic
    marked by uncontrolled excitement or emotion
    Parris turns to Betty, a frantic terror rising in him.
  38. limp
    walk impeded by some physical injury
    Hale sits Betty up, but she hangs limp in his hands.
  39. define
    show the form or outline of
    Hale, with a tasty love of intellectual pursuit: Here is the invisible world, caught, defined, and calculated.
  40. clue
    evidence that helps to solve a problem
    It is a clue.
  41. collapse
    break down, literally or metaphorically
    Betty collapses on bed, beigns to sob.
  42. stormy
    affected or characterized by commotion
    And then he come one stormy night to me and he say, “Look!
  43. allegiance
    the act of binding yourself to a course of action
    Will you confess yourself befouled with Hell, or do you keep that black allegiance yet?
  44. sway
    move back and forth
    Parris, swayed: I'll lead them in a psalm, but let you say nothing of witchcraft yet.
  45. claw
    sharp curved horny process on the toe of some animals
    Her claws, she's stretching her claws!
  46. partisan
    a fervent and even militant proponent of something
    He need not have been a partisan of any faction in the town, but there is evidence to suggest that he had a sharp and biting way with hypocrites.
  47. hoof
    the hard foot of some mammals
    It's death, y'know, it's death drivin' into them, forked and hoofed.
  48. stall
    a small area set off for special use
    Elizabeth, not knowing what to say, sensing a situation, wetting her lips to stall for time: She dissatisfied me.
  49. withhold
    hold back; refuse to hand over or share
    Danforth: Mr. Hale, as God have not empowered me like Joshua to stop this sun from rising, so I cannot withhold from them the perfection of their punishment.
  50. inspire
    serve as the inciting cause of
    Abigail rises, staring as though inspired, and cries out.
  51. falter
    move hesitatingly, as if about to give way
    Elizabeth: John, if it were not Abigail that you must go to hurt, would you falter now?
  52. deceive
    cause someone to believe an untruth
    I have until this moment not the slightest reason to suspect that the children may be deceiving me.
  53. monstrous
    distorted and unnatural in shape or size
    No man may longer doubt the powers of the dark are gathered in monstrous attack upon this village.
  54. tension
    the action of stretching something tight
    He lowers his eyes from the ceiling and now he is frightened; there is real tension in his voice.
  55. amazed
    filled with the emotional impact of overwhelming surprise
    I am amazed you do not see the weighty work we do.
  56. concentrated
    gathered together or made less diffuse
    Her concentrated desire destroys his smile.
  57. weave
    pattern or structure of a fabric
    Not enough to weave a banner with, but white enough to keep it from such dogs.
  58. precise
    sharply exact or accurate or delimited
    The Devil is precise; the marks of his presence are definite as stone, and I must tell you all that I shall not proceed unless you are prepared to believe me if I should find no bruise of Hell upon her.
  59. rejoice
    feel happiness or joy
    Why, you should rejoice to say it if your soul is truly purged of any love for Hell!
  60. compact
    closely and firmly united or packed together
    When did you compact with the Devil?
  61. wail
    a cry of sorrow and grief
    Stop that wailing!
  62. fathom
    a linear unit of measurement for water depth
    Rebecca: I cannot fathom that.
  63. gigantic
    so exceedingly large or extensive as to suggest a giant
    They let out a gigantic scream, and Mary, too screams.
  64. faction
    a dissenting clique
    Parris: There is a faction that is sworn to drive me from my pulpit?
  65. afflict
    cause physical pain or suffering in
    Then, to Proctor and Giles Corey: Do you men have afflicted children?
  66. marvel
    be amazed at
    Mrs Putnam [full of breath, shiny eyed]: It is a marvel.
  67. relieve
    free from a burden, evil, or distress
    Parris, wondrous and relieved: What do you make of it, Rebecca?
  68. overthrow
    rule against
    Parris: They've come to overthrow the court, sir!
  69. clutch
    take hold of; grab
    Abigail: I know how you clutched my back behind your house and sweated like a stallion whenever I come near!
  70. invisible
    impossible or nearly impossible to see
    Hale, with a tasty love of intellectual pursuit: Here is the invisible world, caught, defined, and calculated.
  71. rely
    have confidence or faith in
    I think we ought rely on the doctor now, and good prayer.
  72. warrant
    formal and explicit approval
    I have a warrant for your wife.
  73. mischief
    reckless or malicious behavior causing annoyance in others
    Proctor, looking at Abigail now, the faintest suggestion of a knowing smile on his face: What's this mischief here?
  74. traffic
    things coming and going in a particular locality
    But if you trafficked with spirits in the forest, I must know it now, for surely my enemies will, and they will ruin me with it.
  75. relieved
    made easier to bear
    Parris, wondrous and relieved: What do you make of it, Rebecca?
  76. instruct
    impart skills or knowledge to
    Now let me instruct you.
  77. marshal
    a military officer of highest rank
    Putnam: I'll call the marshal, the marshal!!
  78. examine
    observe, check out, and look over carefully or inspect
    Mary Warren: They had Doctor Griggs examine er, and she's full to the brim.
  79. sob
    weep convulsively
    Betty collapses on bed, beigns to sob.
  80. dismiss
    stop associating with
    But I said I never seen no sign you ever sent your spirit out to hurt no one, and seeing I do live so closely with you, they dismissed it.
  81. prepare
    make ready or suitable or equip in advance
    Parris, a little scared: Well, you do come prepared!
  82. remove
    take something away as by lifting, pushing, or taking off
    Danforth: Remove her, Marshal.
  83. plead
    appeal or request earnestly
    Proctor: I'll plead my honesty no more, Elizabeth.
  84. arrive
    reach a destination
    Enter the Reverend Hale, just arrived from Beverly.
  85. manifest
    clearly revealed to the mind or the senses or judgment
    In which she swears that she never saw familiar spirits, apparitions, or any manifest of the Devil.
  86. declare
    state emphatically and authoritatively
    Wait for no one to charge you -- declare it yourself.
  87. conviction
    an unshakable belief in something without need for proof
    Parris, with dwindling conviction now: A precaution only.
  88. pardon
    accept an excuse for
    Parris, to Danforth, instantly: Oh, good morning, sir, thank you for coming, I beg your pardon wakin' you so early.
  89. forbid
    command against
    I forbid you to leave the house, did I not?
  90. proceeding
    a sequence of steps by which legal judgments are invoked
    My insides are all shuddery; I am in the proceedings all day, sir.

Sign up, it's free!

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