Things Fall Apart Vocabulary List (CHS)

Words from this great book

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. callow
    young and inexperienced
    Nwoye's callow mind was greatly puzzled.
  2. malevolence
    wishing evil to others
    Her husband's wife took this for malevolence, as husbands' wives were wont to.
  3. enthralled
    filled with wonder and delight
    The interpreter explained each verse to the audience, some of whom now stood enthralled.
  4. improvident
    not supplying something useful for the future
    In his day he was lazy and improvident and was quite incapable of thinking about tomorrow.
  5. foolhardy
    marked by defiant disregard for danger or consequences
    And if anybody was so foolhardy as to pass by the shrine after dusk he was sure to see the old woman hopping about.
  6. entrails
    internal organs collectively
    He warmed himself in the fire and ate the entrails.
  7. delectable
    extremely pleasing to the sense of taste
    "After kola nuts had been presented and eaten, the people of the sky set before their guests the most delectable dishes Tortoise had even seen or dreamed of.
  8. guttural
    relating to or articulated in the throat
    Then came the voices of the egwugwu, guttural and awesome.
  9. miscreant
    a person without moral scruples
    A sudden fury rose within him and he felt a strong desire to take up his machete, go to the church and wipe out the entire vile and miscreant gang.
  10. incipient
    only partly in existence; imperfectly formed
    But now she found the half-light of the incipient moon more terrifying than darkness.
  11. specious
    plausible but false
    And although she believed that the iyi-uwa which had been dug up was genuine, she could not ignore the fact that some really evil children sometimes misled people into digging up a specious one.
  12. derisive
    expressing contempt or ridicule
    When this was interpreted to the men of Mbanta they broke into derisive laughter.
  13. taut
    pulled or drawn tight
    The air, which had been stretched taut with excitement, relaxed again.
  14. malevolent
    wishing or appearing to wish evil to others
    It was deeper and more intimate than the fear of evil and capricious gods and of magic, the fear of the forest, and of the forces of nature, malevolent, red in tooth and claw.
  15. tether
    restraint consisting of a rope or chain
    He could not understand it until he looked back and saw that what he led at the end of the tether was not a goat but a heavy log of wood."
  16. inadvertent
    happening by chance or unexpectedly or unintentionally
    Okonkwo had committed the female, because it had been inadvertent.
  17. deftly
    in an agile manner
    Sometimes he decided that a yam was too big to be sown as one seed and he split it deftly along its length with his sharp knife.
  18. voluble
    marked by a ready flow of speech
    Tortoise was very happy and voluble as he flew among the birds, and he was soon chosen as the man to speak for the party because he was a great orator.
  19. brandish
    move or swing back and forth
    As the evening drew near, the shouting and the firing of guns, the beating of drums and the brandishing and clanging of machetes increased.
  20. haggard
    showing the wearing effects of overwork or care or suffering
    He wore a haggard and mournful look except when he was drinking or playing on his flute.
  21. dispensation
    the act of giving out in portions
    There were many men and women in Umuofia who did not feel as strongly as Okonkwo about the new dispensation.
  22. rend
    tear or be torn violently
    The cannon seemed to rend the sky.
  23. tentative
    hesitant or lacking confidence; unsettled in mind or opinion
    Neither of the other wives dared to interfere beyond an occasional and tentative, "It is enough, Okonkwo," pleaded from a reasonable distance.
  24. interim
    the time between one event, process, or period and another
    Okonkwo was, therefore, asked on behalf of the clan to look after him in the interim.
  25. contemptible
    deserving of scorn or disrespect
    And indeed he was possessed by the fear of his father's contemptible life and shameful death.
  26. prowess
    a superior skill learned by study and practice
    To crown it all he had taken two titles and had shown incredible prowess in two inter-tribal wars.
  27. clamber
    climb awkwardly, as if by scrambling
    Unfortunately for her Okonkwo heard it and ran madly into his room for the loaded gun, ran out again and aimed at her as she clambered over the dwarf wall of the barn.
  28. plaintive
    expressing sorrow
    He could hear in his mind's ear the blood-stirring and intricate rhythms of the ekwe and the udu and the ogene, and he could hear his own flute weaving in and out of them, decorating them with a colourful and plaintive tune.
  29. deft
    skillful in physical movements; especially of the hands
    The water began to boil, and in one deft movement she lifted the pot from the fire and poured the boiling water over the fowl.
  30. impending
    close in time; about to occur
    When they had eaten they talked about many things: about the heavy rains which were drowning the yams, about the next ancestral feast and about the impending war with the village of Mbaino.
  31. tremulous
    quivering as from weakness or fear
    Now and again an ancestral spirit or egwugwu appeared from the underworld, speaking in a tremulous, unearthly voice and completely covered in raffia.
  32. garb
    clothing of a distinctive style or for a particular occasion
    As soon as the day broke, a large crowd of men from Ezeudu's quarter stormed Okonkwo's compound, dressed in garbs of war.
  33. dogged
    stubbornly unyielding
    They came when misfortune dogged their steps or when they had a dispute with their neighbours.
  34. stark
    severely simple
    Now that he had time to think of it, his son's crime stood out in its stark enormity.
  35. rave
    talk in a noisy, excited, or declamatory manner
    'It cried and raved and cursed me,' said the young kite.
  36. feign
    make believe with the intent to deceive
    On receiving such a message through a younger brother or sister, Nwoye would feign annoyance and grumble aloud about women and their troubles.
  37. atone
    turn away from sin or do penitence
    That was why Okonkwo had been Chosen by the nine villages to carry a message of war to their enemies unless they agreed to give up a young man and a virgin to atone for the murder of Udo's wife.
  38. elude
    escape, either physically or mentally
    In that way she will elude her wicked tormentor and break its evil cycle of birth and death."
  39. adherent
    someone who believes and helps to spread a doctrine
    The two outcasts shaved off their hair, and soon they were the strongest adherents of the new faith.
  40. ominous
    threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
    'There is something ominous behind the silence.'
  41. audacity
    aggressive boldness or unmitigated effrontery
    Of his three wives Ekwefi was the only one who would have the audacity to bang on his door.
  42. rebuke
    an act or expression of criticism and censure
    After her father's rebuke she developed an even keener appetite for eggs.
  43. mirth
    great merriment
    At the end, Unoka was able to give an answer between fresh outbursts of mirth.
  44. calamity
    an event resulting in great loss and misfortune
    When the will of the goddess had been done, he sat down in his obi and mourned his friend's calamity.
  45. expedient
    appropriate to a purpose
    Everything was possible, he told his energetic flock, but everything was not expedient.
  46. sullen
    showing a brooding ill humor
    The six men remained sullen and silent and the Commissioner left them for a while.
  47. crest
    the top or extreme point of something
    She wore a coiffure which was done up into a crest in the middle of the head.
  48. tumult
    a state of commotion and noise and confusion
    They had broken into tumult instead of action.
  49. dispatch
    the act of sending off something
    An ultimatum was immediately dispatched to Mbaino asking them to choose between war - on the one hand, and on the other the offer of a young man and a virgin as compensation.
  50. perpetual
    continuing forever or indefinitely
    His wives, especially the youngest, lived in perpetual fear of his fiery temper, and so did his little children.

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