J.D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye" Chapters 1-14

Vocabulary study list for J.D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye" (Chapters 1-14).rnrnList created with VocabGrabber http://www.vocabgrabber.com/.

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definitions & notes only words
  1. ostracize
    expel from a community or group
    The whole team ostracized me the whole way back on the train.
  2. reversible
    capable of being returned to the original condition
    I only had on my reversible and no gloves or anything.
  3. recuperate
    restore to good health or strength
    "I'm still recuperating," I told her.
  4. sadistic
    deriving pleasure from inflicting pain on another
    I was pretty sadistic with him quite often.
  5. nonchalant
    marked by casual unconcern or indifference
    I just got very cool and nonchalant.
  6. rile
    disturb, especially by minor irritations
    You couldn't rile him too easily.
  7. putrid
    of or relating to the process of decay
    The band was putrid.
  8. gory
    covered with blood
    I didn't want a bunch of stupid rubbernecks looking at me when I was all gory.
  9. torso
    the body excluding the head and neck and limbs
    He always walked around in his bare torso because he thought he had a damn good build.
  10. icicle
    ice resembling a pendent spear formed by dripping water
    I don't want you to get the idea she was a goddam icicle or something, just because we never necked or horsed around much.
  11. inhale
    draw deep into the lungs by breathing
    She inhaled and all, but she didn't wolf the smoke down, the way most women around her age do.
  12. incognito
    without revealing one's identity
    I'm traveling incognito," I said.
  13. complicate
    make less simple
    I mean it's pretty complicated."
  14. fascinate
    attract; cause to be enamored
    It partly scared me and it partly fascinated me.
  15. touchy
    difficult to handle; requiring great tact
    They're quite touchy about anything like that, especially my father.
  16. optional
    possible but not necessary; left to personal choice
    "You chose to write about them for the optional essay question.
  17. rostrum
    a platform raised above the surrounding level
    Hardly anybody laughed out loud, and old Ossenburger made out like he didn't even hear it, but old Thurmer, the headmaster, was sitting right next to him on the rostrum and all, and you could tell he heard it.
  18. aggravate
    make worse
    Boy, he could really be aggravating sometimes.
  19. pacifist
    someone opposed to violence as a means of settling disputes
    I'm a pacifist, if you want to know the truth.
  20. giggle
    laugh nervously
    I like to be somewhere at least where you can see a few girls around once in a while, even if they're only scratching their arms or blowing their noses or even just giggling or something.
  21. convertible
    designed to be changed from one use or form to another
    My mother saw them in the village a lot, because Jane used to drive to market with her mother in this LaSalle convertible they had.
  22. qualm
    uneasiness about the fitness of an action
    "Do you have any particular qualms about leaving Pencey?"
  23. liberate
    grant freedom to; free from confinement
    " Liberate yourself from my viselike grip."
  24. suave
    having a sophisticated charm
    I said it suave as hell.
  25. stance
    a rationalized mental attitude
    It was always just a little bit open, especially when she got in her golf stance, or when she was reading a book.
  26. gripe
    He came in griping about how cold it was out.
  27. ironic
    displaying incongruity between what is expected and what is
    Which is really ironic.
  28. fracture
    breaking of hard tissue such as bone
    He probably was scared he'd fractured my skull or something when I hit the floor.
  29. burlesque
    a theatrical entertainment of broad and earthy humor
    She used to be a burlesque stripper or something.
  30. illiterate
    not able to read or write
    I'm quite illiterate, but I read a lot.
  31. analyze
    break down into components or essential features
    It stinks, if you analyze it.
  32. chuckle
    a soft partly suppressed laugh
    He started chuckling like a madman.
  33. chisel
    an edge tool with a flat steel blade with a cutting edge
    "You're trying to chisel me."
  34. lagoon
    a body of water cut off from a larger body by a reef
    I live in New York, and I was thinking about the lagoon in Central Park, down near Central Park South.
  35. foil
    hinder or prevent, as an effort, plan, or desire
    I left all the foils and equipment and stuff on the goddam subway.
  36. annex
    attach to
    "She's waiting in the Annex."
  37. concentrate
    make denser, stronger, or purer
    Anyway, finally I had to come right out and tell him that I had to write a composition for Stradlater, and that he had to clear the hell out, so I could concentrate.
  38. monotonous
    sounded or spoken in a tone unvarying in pitch
    He started talking in this very monotonous voice, and picking at all his pimples.
  39. digest
    convert food into absorbable substances
    I didn't want to go home or anything till they got it and thoroughly digested it and all.
  40. automatic
    operating with minimal human intervention
    I pictured myself coming out of the goddam bathroom, dressed and all, with my automatic in my pocket, and staggering around a little bit.
  41. rotten
    having decayed or disintegrated
    Boy, did I feel rotten.
  42. depressed
    filled with melancholy and despondency
    It makes me so depressed I go crazy.
  43. imitate
    reproduce someone's behavior or looks
    I started imitating one of those guys in the movies.
  44. academic
    associated with an educational institution
    It has a very good academic rating, Pencey.
  45. ignore
    refuse to acknowledge
    I ignored him.
  46. gorgeous
    dazzlingly beautiful
    He always shaved himself twice, to look gorgeous.
  47. crude
    belonging to an early stage of technical development
    It was a very crude thing to do, in chapel and all, but it was also quite amusing.
  48. technique
    a practical method or art applied to some particular task
    The trouble was, I knew that guy Stradlater's technique.
  49. communicate
    transfer to another
    "Have you yourself communicated with them?"
  50. depress
    push down
  51. undertaking
    any piece of work that is attempted
    He made a pot of dough in the undertaking business after he got out of Pencey.
  52. whistle
    the sound made by something moving rapidly
    Stradlater kept whistling 'Song of India" while he shaved.
  53. relieve
    free from a burden, evil, or distress
    The way I met her, this Doberman pinscher she had used to come over and relieve himself on our lawn, and my mother got very irritated about it.
  54. appreciate
    be fully aware of; realize fully
    I told him how I would've done exactly the same thing if I'd been in his place, and how most people didn't appreciate how tough it is being a teacher.
  55. relax
    make less taut
    I pulled the peak around to the back again, and relaxed.
  56. foul
    highly offensive; arousing aversion or disgust
    Boy, I really fouled that up.
  57. phase
    any distinct time period in a sequence of events
    I'm just going through a phase right now.
  58. introduce
    bring something new to an environment
    Then she introduced me to the Navy guy.
  59. lap
    the upper side of the thighs of a seated person
    All he did was lift the Atlantic Monthly off his lap and try to chuck it on the bed, next to me.
  60. sensitive
    responsive to physical stimuli
    He's a very sensitive boy.
  61. modest
    marked by simplicity; having a humble opinion of yourself
    Because he's so darn shy and modest and all.
  62. traffic
    vehicles or pedestrians traveling in a particular locality
    It had these very funny, crazy plays in it, and then it had this one story about a traffic cop that falls in love with this very cute girl that's always speeding.
  63. equipment
    an instrumentality needed for an undertaking
    I left all the foils and equipment and stuff on the goddam subway.
  64. intelligent
    having the capacity for thought and reason to a high degree
    "I don't even think the sonuvabitch is intelligent.
  65. lecture
    a speech that is open to the public
    I could feel a terrific lecture coming on.
  66. realize
    be fully aware or cognizant of
    If he was so goddam stupid not to realize it was Saturday night and everybody was out or asleep or home for the week end, I wasn't going to break my neck telling him.
  67. brush
    an implement that has hairs or bristles set into a handle
    She hung up my coat in the hall closet, and I sort of brushed my hair back with my hand.
  68. nervous
    of or relating to a system of sensory apparatus
    I sat down on the one right next to him and started turning the cold water on and off--this nervous habit I have.
  69. undertake
    enter upon an activity or enterprise
  70. blame
    an accusation that one is responsible for some misdeed
    "Do you blame me for flunking you, boy?" he said.
  71. peculiar
    beyond or deviating from the usual or expected
    He was a very peculiar guy.
  72. chafe
    become or make sore by or as if by rubbing
Created on January 29, 2010

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