"Tuck Everlasting," Vocabulary from Chapters 18-22

They say nothing lasts forever...well, except for the Tuck family. In "Tuck Everlasting,"a fantasy novel by Natalie Babbit, 11 year-old Winnie Foster is faced with many dilemmas, including whether eternal life is a blessing or a curse.

Learn these word lists for the novel: Prologue-Chapter 5, Chapters 6-9, Chapters 10-13, Chapters 14-17, Chapters 18-22, Chapters 23-Epilogue

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. grateful
    feeling or showing thankfulness
    And though Winnie blushed as he said it, she was grateful that he didn’t explain.
  2. poised
    marked by balance or equilibrium and readiness for action
    ...her fork poised above her plate.
  3. spoil
    make a mess of, destroy or ruin
    “Don’t spoil a good meal with a lot of talk.
  4. fleeting
    lasting for a markedly brief time
    ... wished, for a fleeting moment, that she could stay with them forever...
  5. brief
    concise and succinct
    “I’ll be as brief as possible.”
  6. mantel
    shelf that projects from wall above fireplace
    He took off his hat and laid it on the mantel...
  7. devote
    give entirely to a specific person, activity, or cause
    I decided to devote my life to finding out if it could be true, and if so, how and why.
  8. philosophy
    the rational investigation of existence and knowledge
    I went to school, I went to a university, I studied philosophy, metaphysics, even a little medicine.
  9. legend
    a story about mythical or supernatural beings or events
    Oh, there were ancient legends, but nothing more.
  10. pitch
    the high or low quality of a sound
    A faint flush crept up his neck, and the pitch of his voice lifted, became a fraction higher.
  11. magnificent
    characterized by grandeur
    “Like all magnificent things, it’s very simple.
  12. deserve
    be worthy
    “Only to certain people, people who deserve it.
  13. expensive
    high in price or charging high prices
    And it will be very, very expensive.
  14. fortune
    a large amount of wealth or prosperity
    But who wouldn’t give a fortune to live forever?”
  15. ignorant
    uneducated in general; lacking knowledge or sophistication
    Ignorant people like you should never have the opportunity.
  16. advertise
    make publicity for; try to sell
    You can show me where the spring is and help me to advertise.
  17. fatal
    bringing death
    You know—things that would be fatal to anybody else, but won’t affect you in the least.
  18. petulance
    an irritable feeling
    The man in the yellow suit raised his eyebrows and a nervous petulance came into his voice.
  19. appeal
    be attractive to
    “Of course, if the idea doesn’t appeal to you,” he said, blinking rapidly, “you needn’t be in on it.
  20. ghastly
    shockingly repellent; inspiring horror
    The man in the yellow suit smiled a ghastly smile.
  21. extraordinary
    far more than usual or expected
    Your selfishness is really quite extraordinary, and worse than that, you’re stupid.
  22. demonstration
    a visual presentation showing how something works
    Once Winifred drinks some of the water, she’ll do just as well for my demonstrations.
  23. tremble
    move quickly and involuntarily up and down or sideways
    She trembled, and kept her eyes squeezed shut.
  24. envious
    painfully desirous of another's advantages
    It was as if he were entranced and—yes, envious—like a starving man looking through a window at a banquet.
  25. necessity
    anything indispensable
    For the only thing she could think of was the clear and terrible necessity: Mae Tuck must never go to the gallows.
  26. free will
    power of making choices unconstrained by external agencies
    There was a painful pause when the constable told them she had gone away of her own free will, but it only lasted for a moment.
  27. gentle
    having or showing a kindly or tender nature
    The Tucks were good and gentle people.
  28. mingle
    be all mixed up or jumbled together
    They received this news with mingled hope and horror...
  29. precious
    of high worth or cost
    ...with strong threads too ancient and precious to be broken.
  30. claim
    assert or affirm strongly
    We can’t press no kidnapping charges, since your little girl claims there wasn’t no kidnapping.
  31. gingerly
    with extreme care or delicacy
    ...they were careful with her, a little gingerly, as if she were an egg.
  32. anxious
    causing or fraught with or showing anxiety
    “Winifred!” an anxious voice called from the cottage.

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