the state of being known for some unfavorable act or quality
notoriety, spread about by the hundreds who had accepted his hospitality and so become authorities on his past, had increased all summer until he fell just short of being news.
He was a son of God—a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that—and he must be about His Father's Business, the service of a vast, vulgar and
an artistic device or effect
The most grotesque and fantastic
conceits haunted him in his bed at night.
defying expression or description
A universe of
ineffable gaudiness spun itself out in his brain while the clock ticked on the wash-stand and the moon soaked with wet light his tangled clothes upon the floor.
ostentatiously lofty in style
The none too savory ramifications by which Ella Kaye, the newspaper woman, played Madame de Maintenon to his weakness and sent him to sea in a yacht, were common knowledge to the
turgid journalism of 1902.
gain favor with somebody by deliberate efforts
For several weeks I didn't see him or hear his voice on the phone—mostly I was in New York, trotting around with Jordan and trying to
ingratiate myself with her senile aunt—but finally I went over to his house one Sunday afternoon.
thrown into a state of agitated confusion
Tom was evidently
perturbed at Daisy's running around alone, for on the following Saturday night he came with her to Gatsby's party.
spread or diffuse through
There were the same people, or at least the same sort of people, the same profusion of champagne, the same many-colored, many-keyed commotion, but I felt an unpleasantness in the air, a
pervading harshness that hadn't been there before.
containing or resulting from disease-causing organisms
But what had amused me then turned
septic on the air now.
the region close around a person or thing
It occurred to me that he had been very slowly bending toward her all evening to attain this
proximity, and even while I watched I saw him stoop one ultimate degree and kiss at her cheek.
become or make sore by or as if by rubbing
She was appalled by West Egg, this unprecedented "place" that Broadway had begotten upon a Long Island fishing village—appalled by its raw vigor that
chafed under the old euphemisms and by the too obtrusive fate that herded its inhabitants along a short cut from nothing to nothing.
an inoffensive expression substituted for an offensive one
She was appalled by West Egg, this unprecedented "place" that Broadway had begotten upon a Long Island fishing village—appalled by its raw vigor that chafed under the old
euphemisms and by the too obtrusive fate that herded its inhabitants along a short cut from nothing to nothing.
a collection of live animals for study or display
"Well, he certainly must have strained himself to get this
dilatory limousine came rolling up the drive.
crushed by grief
The straw seats of the car hovered on the edge of combustion; the woman next to me perspired delicately for a while into her white shirtwaist, and then, as her newspaper dampened under her fingers, lapsed despairingly into deep heat with a
causing extreme distress
And yet I couldn't believe that they would choose this occasion for a scene—especially for the rather
harrowing scene that Gatsby had outlined in the garden.
a deliberately offensive act
In this heat every extra gesture was an
affront to the common store of life.
diffusing warmth and friendliness
"I read somewhere that the sun's getting hotter every year," said Tom
not circulating or flowing
On the green Sound,
stagnant in the heat, one small sail crawled slowly toward the fresher sea.
full of rough and exuberant animal spirits
"Plenty of gas," said Tom
weighing heavily on the senses or spirit
Jordan and Tom and I got into the front seat of Gatsby's car, Tom pushed the unfamiliar gears tentatively and we shot off into the
oppressive heat leaving them out of sight behind.
incapable of being explained or accounted for
Her expression was curiously familiar—it was an expression I had often seen on women's faces but on Myrtle Wilson's face it seemed purposeless and
inexplicable until I realized that her eyes, wide with jealous terror, were fixed not on Tom, but on Jordan Baker, whom she took to be his wife.
must be kept sacred
His wife and his mistress, until an hour ago secure and
inviolate, were slipping precipitately from his control.
done with very great haste and without due deliberation
His wife and his mistress, until an hour ago secure and inviolate, were slipping
precipitately from his control.
stopping and starting at irregular intervals
The prolonged and tumultuous argument that ended by herding us into that room eludes me, though I have a sharp physical memory that, in the course of it, my underwear kept climbing like a damp snake around my legs and
intermittent beads of sweat raced cool across my back.
characterized by oppressive heat and humidity
The room was large and
stifling, and, though it was already four o'clock, opening the windows admitted only a gust of hot shrubbery from the Park.
of momentous or ominous significance
As Tom took up the receiver the compressed heat exploded into sound and we were listening to the
portentous chords of Mendelssohn's Wedding March from the ballroom below.
a dissolute person
The transition from
libertine to prig was so complete.
prig is someone who is snobby or obnoxiously proper.
indirectly, as, by, or through a substitute
At this point Jordan and I tried to go but Tom and Gatsby insisted with competitive firmness that we remain—as though neither of them had anything to conceal and it would be a privilege to partake
vicariously of their emotions.
a feeling of deep and bitter anger and ill-will
"Please don't." Her voice was cold, but the
rancour was gone from it.
generous and understanding and tolerant
She looked at Tom, alarmed now, but he insisted with
the act of expressing earnest opposition or protest
The circle closed up again with a running murmur of
was a minute before I could see anything at all.
conspicuously and offensively loud
At first I couldn't find the source of the high, groaning words that echoed
clamorously through the bare garage—then I saw Wilson standing on the raised threshold of his office, swaying back and forth and holding to the doorposts with both hands.
Only the Negro and I were near enough to hear what he said but the policeman caught something in the tone and looked over with
characterized by a firm, humorless belief in one's opinions
He was talking intently across the table at her and in his
earnestness his hand had fallen upon and covered her own.