"Wuthering Heights," Vocabulary from Chapters 15-20

A strong current of revenge flows through the pages of Emily Bronte's gothic romance, "Wuthering Heights" (etext found here).

Learn these word lists for the novel: Chapters 1-5, Chapters 6-9, Chapters 10-14, Chapters 15-20, Chapters 21-26, Chapters 27-30, Chapters 31-34

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. convalescence
    gradual healing through rest after sickness or injury
    Then the paleness of her face--its haggard aspect having vanished as she recovered flesh--and the peculiar expression arising from her mental state, though painfully suggestive of their causes, added to the touching interest which she awakened, and--invariably to me, I know, and to any person who saw her, I should think--refuted more tangible proofs of convalescence, and stamped her as one doomed to decay.
  2. peruse
    examine or consider with attention and in detail
    She lifted the letter, and seemed to peruse it, and when she came to the signature she sighed; yet still I found she had not gathered its import, for, upon my desiring to hear her reply, she merely pointed to the name and gazed at me with mournful and questioning eagerness.
  3. shirk
    avoid dealing with
    Most likely he supposed that I was inclined to shirk my promise, and so resolved to trust to his own audacity.
  4. scintillating
    having brief brilliant points or flashes of light
    Her present countenance had a wild vindictiveness in its white cheek, and a bloodless lip and a scintillating eye; and she retained in her closed fingers a portion of the locks she had been grasping.
  5. upbraid
    express criticism towards
    You left me too; but I won't upbraid you.
  6. extricate
    release from entanglement or difficulty
    "I must go, Cathy," said Heathcliff, seeking to extricate himself from his companion's arms.
  7. wayward
    resistant to guidance or discipline
    To be sure, one might have doubted, after the wayward and impatient existence she had led, whether she merited a haven of peace at last.
  8. heterodox
    characterized by departure from accepted standards
    I declined answering Mrs. Dean's question, which struck me as something heterodox.
  9. snivel
    cry or whine with snuffling
    Put your handkerchief away; don't snivel before me.
  10. incarnate
    possessing or existing in bodily form
    Necessity compelled me to seek shelter here, though, if I had not learned he was out of the way, I'd have halted at the kitchen, washed my face, warmed myself, got you to bring what I wanted, and departed again to anywhere out of the reach of my accursed--off that incarnate goblin!
  11. odious
    unequivocally detestable
    I'd rather sit with Hindley, and hear his awful talk, than with 't' little maister' and his stanch supporter, that odious old man!
  12. stanchion
    any vertical post or rod used as a support
    The stanchions stood too close to suffer his shoulders to follow, and I smiled, exulting in my fancied security.
  13. abet
    assist or encourage, usually in some wrongdoing
    I wouldn't have aided or abetted an attempt on even his life for anything.
  14. malefactor
    someone who has been legally convicted of a crime
    I was in the condition of mind to be shocked at nothing; in fact, I was as reckless as some malefactors show themselves at the foot of the gallows.
  15. precipitate
    hurl or throw violently
    I knocked over Hareton, who was hanging a litter of puppies from a chair-back in the doorway; and, blest as a soul escaped from purgatory, I bounded, leaped, and flew down the steep road; then, quitting its windings, shot direct across the moor, rolling over banks, and wading through marshes, precipitating myself, in fact, towards the beacon light of the Grange.
  16. despot
    a cruel and oppressive dictator
    For a few days, I said, he seemed regardless of the puny successor to the departed; that coldness melted as fast as snow in April, and ere the tiny thing could stammer a word or totter a step, it wielded a despot's sceptre in his heart.
  17. succinct
    briefly giving the gist of something
    We at the Grange never got a very succinct account of his state preceding it; all that I did learn was on occasion of going to aid in the preparations for the funeral.
  18. pertinacious
    stubbornly unyielding
    It was so tiresomely pertinacious that I resolved on requesting leave to go to Wuthering Heights and assist in the last duties to the dead.
  19. flay
    strip the skin off
    We broke in this morning, for we heard him snorting like a horse; and there he was, laid over the settle; flaying and scalping would not have wakened him.
  20. innuendo
    an indirect and usually malicious implication
    He would, had he dared, have fostered hate between him and the present owner of the Heights; but his dread of that owner amounted to superstition, and he confined his feelings regarding him to muttered innuendoes and private comminations.
  21. beguiling
    misleading by means of pleasant or alluring methods
    Catherine told Hareton who she was, and where she was going, and asked him to show her the way, finally beguiling him to accompany her.
  22. sanguine
    confidently optimistic and cheerful
    Catherine ran wild with joy at the idea of welcoming her father back: and indulged most sanguine anticipations of the innumerable excellencies of her "real" cousin.
  23. effeminate
    having unsuitable feminine qualities
    He was asleep in a corner, wrapped in a warm, fur-lined cloak, as if it had been winter--a pale, delicate, effeminate boy, who might have been taken for my master's younger brother, so strong was the resemblance; but there was a sickly peevishness in his aspect that Edgar Linton never had.
  24. incipient
    only partly in existence; imperfectly formed
    "Let me go to bed, then," answered the boy, shrinking from Catherine's salute; and he put up his fingers to remove incipient tears.
  25. trepidation
    a feeling of alarm or dread
    "I shall ask him what he wants first," I said, in considerable trepidation.
  26. sanctimonious
    excessively or hypocritically pious
    He was donned in his Sunday garments, with his most sanctimonious and sourest face; and, holding his hat in one hand and his stick in the other, he proceeded to clean his shoes on the mat.

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