The Wind in the Willows

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definitions & notes only words
  1. bank
    financial institution that accepts deposits and lends money
    THE RIVER BANK
  2. fling
    throw with force or recklessness
    It was small wonder, then, that he suddenly flung down his brush on the floor, said, "Bother!" and "O blow!" and also "Hang spring-cleaning!" and bolted out of the house without even waiting to put on his coat.
  3. meadow
    a field where grass or alfalfa are grown to be made into hay
    Up we go!" till at last, pop! his snout came out into the sunlight and he found himself rolling in the warm grass of a great meadow.
  4. chaff
    material consisting of seed coverings and pieces of stem
    He was bowled over in an instant by the impatient and contemptuous Mole, who trotted along the side of the hedge chaffing the other rabbits as they peeped hurriedly from their holes to see what the row was about.
  5. thither
    to or toward that place; away from the speaker
    Hither and thither through the meadows he rambled busily, along the hedgerows, across the copses, finding everywhere birds building, flowers budding, leaves thrusting—everything happy, and progressive, and occupied.
  6. ramble
    move about aimlessly or without any destination
    Hither and thither through the meadows he rambled busily, along the hedgerows, across the copses, finding everywhere birds building, flowers budding, leaves thrusting—everything happy, and progressive, and occupied.
  7. bud
    a partially opened flower
    Hither and thither through the meadows he rambled busily, along the hedgerows, across the copses, finding everywhere birds building, flowers budding, leaves thrusting—everything happy, and progressive, and occupied.
  8. meander
    move or cause to move in a winding or curving course
    He thought his happiness was complete when, as he meandered aimlessly along, suddenly he stood by the edge of a full-fed river.
  9. dwelling
    housing that someone is living in
    As he sat on the grass and looked across the river, a dark hole in the bank opposite, just above the water’s edge, caught his eye, and dreamily he fell to considering what a nice snug dwelling-place it would make for an animal with few wants and fond of a bijou riverside residence, above flood level and remote from noise and dust.
  10. stoop
    bend one's back forward from the waist on down
    The Rat said nothing, but stooped and unfastened a rope and hauled on it; then lightly stepped into a little boat which the Mole had not observed.
  11. haul
    draw slowly or heavily
    The Rat said nothing, but stooped and unfastened a rope and hauled on it; then lightly stepped into a little boat which the Mole had not observed.
  12. gingerly
    in a manner marked by extreme care or delicacy
    Then he held up his forepaw as the Mole stepped gingerly down.
  13. sheer
    so thin as to transmit light
    The Mole waggled his toes from sheer happiness, spread his chest with a sigh of full contentment, and leaned back blissfully into the soft cushions.
  14. luncheon
    a midday meal
    He looped the painter through a ring in his landing-stage, climbed up into his hole above, and after a short interval reappeared staggering under a fat wicker luncheon-basket.
  15. brim
    the top edge of a vessel or other container
    When the floods are on in February, and my cellars and basement are brimming with drink that’s no good to me, and the brown water runs by my best bedroom window; or again when it all drops away and, shows patches of mud that smells like plum-cake, and the rushes and weed clog the channels, and I can potter about dry shod over most of the bed of it and find fresh food to eat, and things careless people have dropped out of boats!"
  16. trifle
    a detail that is considered insignificant
    "Aren’t they—aren’t they very nice people in there?" said the Mole, a trifle nervously.
  17. weasel
    small carnivorous mammal with short legs and elongated body
    " Weasels—and stoats—and foxes—and so on.
  18. dwell
    inhabit or live in
    The Mole knew well that it is quite against animal-etiquette to dwell on possible trouble ahead, or even to allude to it; so he dropped the subject.
  19. dim
    lacking in light; not bright or harsh
    "And beyond the Wild Wood again?" he asked; "where it’s all blue and dim, and one sees what may be hills or perhaps they mayn’t, and something like the smoke of towns, or is it only cloud-drift?"
  20. murmur
    a low continuous indistinct sound
    Green turf sloped down to either edge, brown snaky tree-roots gleamed below the surface of the quiet water, while ahead of them the silvery shoulder and foamy tumble of a weir, arm-in-arm with a restless dripping mill-wheel, that held up in its turn a grey-gabled mill-house, filled the air with a soothing murmur of sound, dull and smothery, yet with little clear voices speaking up cheerfully out of it at intervals.
  21. wander
    move or cause to move in a sinuous or circular course
    "What are you looking at?" said the Rat presently, when the edge of their hunger was somewhat dulled, and the Mole’s eyes were able to wander off the table-cloth a little.
  22. streak
    a narrow marking of a different color from the background
    "I am looking," said the Mole, "at a streak of bubbles that I see travelling along the surface of the water.
  23. glisten
    be shiny, as if wet
    A broad glistening muzzle showed itself above the edge of the bank, and the Otter hauled himself out and shook the water from his coat.
  24. provender
    food for domestic livestock
    "Greedy beggars!" he observed, making for the provender.
  25. stout
    having rugged physical strength
    From where they sat they could get a glimpse of the main stream across the island that separated them; and just then a wager-boat flashed into view, the rower—a short, stout figure—splashing badly and rolling a good deal, but working his hardest.
  26. lump
    a compact mass
    The Rat got hold of a scull and shoved it under the Mole’s arm; then he did the same by the other side of him and, swimming behind, propelled the helpless animal to shore, hauled him out, and set him down on the bank, a squashy, pulpy lump of misery.
  27. bedraggle
    make wet and dirty, as from rain
    But the Rat kindly looked in another direction, and presently the Mole’s spirits revived again, and he was even able to give some straight back-talk to a couple of moorhens who were sniggering to each other about his bedraggled appearance.
  28. composed
    serenely self-possessed and free from agitation
    He had just composed it himself, so he was very taken up with it, and would not pay proper attention to Mole or anything else.
  29. quiver
    shake with fast, tremulous movements
    Yellow feet a- quiver,
  30. larder
    a small storeroom for storing foods or wines
    Here we keep our larder,
  31. paddle
    a short light oar used to propel a canoe or small boat
    "Get the boat out, and we'll paddle up there at once.
  32. conceited
    having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
    Perhaps he's not very clever—we can't all be geniuses; and it may be that he is both boastful and conceited.
  33. fad
    an interest followed with exaggerated zeal
    I wonder what new fad he has taken up now?
  34. nudge
    push against gently
    Here the Rat nudged the Mole.
  35. squander
    spend thoughtlessly; throw away
    I propose to devote the remainder of mine to it, and can only regret the wasted years that lie behind me, squandered in trivialities.
  36. amiable
    diffusing warmth and friendliness
    Come with me, dear Ratty, and your amiable friend also, if he will be so very good, just as far as the stable-yard, and you shall see what you shall see!"
  37. caravan
    a procession traveling together in single file
    He led the way to the stable-yard accordingly, the Rat following with a most mistrustful expression; and there, drawn out of the coach house into the open, they saw a gipsy caravan, shining with newness, painted a canary-yellow picked out with green, and red wheels.
  38. straddle
    sit or stand astride of
    "There you are!" cried the Toad, straddling and expanding himself.
  39. pan
    shallow container made of metal
    Little sleeping bunks—a little table that folded up against the wall—a cooking-stove, lockers, bookshelves, a bird-cage with a bird in it; and pots, pans, jugs and kettles of every size and variety.
  40. jug
    a large bottle with a narrow mouth
    Little sleeping bunks—a little table that folded up against the wall—a cooking-stove, lockers, bookshelves, a bird-cage with a bird in it; and pots, pans, jugs and kettles of every size and variety.
  41. waver
    pause or hold back in uncertainty or unwillingness
    The Rat saw what was passing in his mind, and wavered.
  42. harness
    an arrangement of leather straps fitted to a draft animal
    At last the horse was caught and harnessed, and they set off, all talking at once, each animal either trudging by the side of the cart or sitting on the shaft, as the humour took him.
  43. orchard
    a small cultivated area where fruit trees are planted
    The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying; out of thick orchards on either side the road, birds called and whistled to them cheerily; good-natured wayfarers, passing them, gave them "Good-day," or stopped to say nice things about their beautiful cart; and rabbits, sitting at their front doors in the hedgerows, held up their fore-paws, and said, "O my!
  44. graze
    feed as in a meadow or pasture
    Late in the evening, tired and happy and miles from home, they drew up on a remote common far from habitations, turned the horse loose to graze, and ate their simple supper sitting on the grass by the side of the cart.
  45. rapturous
    feeling great delight
    In consequence, when the time came for starting next morning, Toad was by no means so rapturous about the simplicity of the primitive life, and indeed attempted to resume his place in his bunk, whence he was hauled by force.
  46. whence
    from what place, source, or cause
    In consequence, when the time came for starting next morning, Toad was by no means so rapturous about the simplicity of the primitive life, and indeed attempted to resume his place in his bunk, whence he was hauled by force.
  47. unforeseen
    not anticipated
    Their way lay, as before, across country by narrow lanes, and it was not till the afternoon that they came out on the high-road, their first high-road; and there disaster, fleet and unforeseen, sprang out on them—disaster momentous indeed to their expedition, but simply overwhelming in its effect on the after career of Toad.
  48. momentous
    of very great significance
    Their way lay, as before, across country by narrow lanes, and it was not till the afternoon that they came out on the high-road, their first high-road; and there disaster, fleet and unforeseen, sprang out on them—disaster momentous indeed to their expedition, but simply overwhelming in its effect on the after career of Toad.
  49. overwhelming
    very intense
    Their way lay, as before, across country by narrow lanes, and it was not till the afternoon that they came out on the high-road, their first high-road; and there disaster, fleet and unforeseen, sprang out on them—disaster momentous indeed to their expedition, but simply overwhelming in its effect on the after career of Toad.
  50. drone
    make a monotonous low dull sound
    They were strolling along the high-road easily, the Mole by the horse's head, talking to him, since the horse had complained that he was being frightfully left out of it, and nobody considered him in the least; the Toad and the Water Rat walking behind the cart talking together—at least Toad was talking, and Rat was saying at intervals, "Yes, precisely; and what did you say to him?"—and thinking all the time of something very different, when far behind them they heard a faint warning hum, like t
  51. brazen
    unrestrained by convention or propriety
    The "Poop-poop" rang with a brazen shout in their ears, they had a moment's glimpse of an interior of glittering plate-glass and rich morocco, and the magnificent motor-car, immense, breath-snatching, passionate, with its pilot tense and hugging his wheel, possessed all earth and air for the fraction of a second, flung an enveloping cloud of dust that blinded and enwrapped them utterly, and then dwindled to a speck in the far distance, changed back into a droning bee once more.
  52. dwindle
    become smaller or lose substance
    The "Poop-poop" rang with a brazen shout in their ears, they had a moment's glimpse of an interior of glittering plate-glass and rich morocco, and the magnificent motor-car, immense, breath-snatching, passionate, with its pilot tense and hugging his wheel, possessed all earth and air for the fraction of a second, flung an enveloping cloud of dust that blinded and enwrapped them utterly, and then dwindled to a speck in the far distance, changed back into a droning bee once more.
  53. rend
    tear or be torn violently
    It wavered an instant—then there was a heart- rending crash—and the canary-coloured cart, their pride and their joy, lay on its side in the ditch, an irredeemable wreck.
  54. villain
    someone who does evil deliberately
    "You villains!" he shouted, shaking both fists, "You scoundrels, you highwaymen, you—you—road-hogs!—I'll have the law of you!
  55. scoundrel
    someone who does evil deliberately
    "You villains!" he shouted, shaking both fists, "You scoundrels, you highwaymen, you—you—road-hogs!—I'll have the law of you!
  56. shoal
    a stretch of shallow water
    His home-sickness had quite slipped away from him, and for the moment he was the skipper of the canary-coloured vessel driven on a shoal by the reckless jockeying of rival mariners, and he was trying to recollect all the fine and biting things he used to say to masters of steam-launches when their wash, as they drove too near the bank, used to flood his parlour-carpet at home.
  57. flood
    the rising of a body of water and its overflowing onto land
    His home-sickness had quite slipped away from him, and for the moment he was the skipper of the canary-coloured vessel driven on a shoal by the reckless jockeying of rival mariners, and he was trying to recollect all the fine and biting things he used to say to masters of steam-launches when their wash, as they drove too near the bank, used to flood his parlour-carpet at home.
  58. vouchsafe
    grant in a condescending manner
    'Me complain of that beautiful, that heavenly vision that has been vouchsafed me!
  59. porter
    a person employed to carry luggage and supplies
    On reaching the town they went straight to the station and deposited Toad in the second-class waiting-room, giving a porter twopence to keep a strict eye on him.
Created on March 20, 2013 (updated March 20, 2013)

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