"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," Vocabulary from Part 2

Learn the words Jonathan Safran Foer's narrator loves in this post-9/11 coming of age novel, "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close."

Make sure to check out all our related lists: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. censor
    a person authorized to suppress unacceptable material
    Many words had been removed from the text by a censor.
  2. penitentiary
    a correctional institution for those convicted of crimes
    Next I went to the penitentiary.
  3. idiom
    expression whose meaning cannot be inferred from its words
    I wanted to learn idioms.
  4. inanimate
    not endowed with life
    “He’s inanimate.”
  5. amateur
    lacking professional skill or expertise
    “I’m an amateur epidemiologist.”
  6. dehydrate
    preserve by removing all water and liquids from
    She knew how much I liked dehydrated ice cream, which was one of my very few exceptions to veganism, because it’s what astronauts have for dessert, and she went to the Hayden Planetarium and bought it for me.
  7. assumption
    a statement that is held to be true
    The longer your mother and I lived together, the more we took each other’s assumptions for granted, the less was said, the more misunderstood, I’d often remember having designated a space as Nothing when she was sure we had agreed that it was Something, our unspoken agreements led to disagreements, to suffering, I started to undress right in front of her, this was just a few months ago, and she said, “Thomas!"
  8. inevitable
    incapable of being avoided or prevented
    Everything was forever fixed, there would be only peace and happiness, it wasn’t until last night, our last night together, that the inevitable question finally arose, I told her, “Something,” by covering her face with my hands and then lifting them like a marriage veil.
  9. context
    the set of facts or circumstances that surround a situation
    I put her hand on the side of my face, I tilted my head toward my shoulder, in the context in which she thought our conversation was taking place that meant, “I can’t read it here like this.
  10. intellectual
    a person who uses the mind creatively
    He was an intellectual, although he wasn’t important, maybe he would have been important if he had lived longer, maybe great books were coiled within him like springs, books that could have separated inside from outside.
  11. disheveled
    in disarray; extremely disorderly
    The day Anna and I made love for the first time, he met me in the yard, he was standing with a disheveled man whose curly hair sprang up in every direction, whose glasses were bent, whose white shirt was stained with the fingerprints of his print-stained hands, “Thomas, please meet my friend Simon Goldberg.”
  12. convey
    serve as a means for expressing something
    I touched my fingers to her eyelids and opened her eyes wide enough to convey every possible meaning, I was about to leave her behind without saying goodbye, to turn my back on a marriage of millimeters and rules
  13. gibe
    an aggressive remark directed at a person like a missile
    Where be your gibes now, your gambols, your songs?
  14. gambol
    light-hearted recreational activity for amusement
    Where be your gibes now, your gambols, your songs?
  15. condescending
    characteristic of those who treat others with arrogance
    “You were being condescending.”
  16. genocide
    systematic killing of a racial or cultural group
    He had reported almost every war of the twentieth century, like the Spanish Civil War, and the genocide in East Timor, and bad stuff that happened in Africa.
  17. perpetual
    continuing forever or indefinitely
    As I walked up, I held the railing tight and started inventing things in my head: air bags for skyscrapers, solar-powered limousines that never had to stop moving, a frictionless, perpetual yo-yo.
  18. perceptive
    having the ability to understand
    I try to be a perceptive person who follows the scientific method and is observant, but I hadn’t noticed before that the whole bed was completely covered in nails.
  19. mediocre
    moderate to inferior in quality
    I pulled my feelings book from under my pillow, flipped to the current page, and downgraded from desperate to mediocre.

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