"The Magic of Oz," Vocabulary from the Novel

In the thirteenth book in the Oz series, "The Magic of Oz" by L. Frank Baum, the Wizard and Dorothy must save the day again with the help of a magical word, and The Cowardly Lion makes an appearance (etext found here).

Here are links to our lists for Oz books: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, The Emerald City of Oz, The Magic of Oz, Glinda of Oz.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. decree
    a legally binding command or decision
    But Ozma of Oz, who rules everyone in the Land of Oz, had made a decree that no one should practice magic in her dominions except Glinda the Good and the Wizard of Oz, and when Glinda sent this royal command to the Hyups by means of a strong-winged Eagle, old Bini Aru at once stopped performing magical arts.
  2. sullen
    showing a brooding ill humor
    Kiki Aru usually went to these festivals with his parents, and then sat sullenly outside the circle and would not dance or sing or even talk to the other young people.
  3. hospitality
    kindness in welcoming guests or strangers
    This surprised Kiki, for in the Land of Oz they do not use money at all, everyone being allowed to take what he wishes without price. He had no money, therefore, and so he turned away to seek hospitality elsewhere.
    Here, the lack of hospitality motivates Kiki to commit his first act of wickedness. This contrasts with the previous night, when Kiki had knocked on the door of a house and was given free food and lodging by simply identifying himself as "a stranger from the Land of Oz." The presence of hospitality usually helps the author to move his characters through different adventures in the many books about Oz.
  4. shrewd
    marked by practical hardheaded intelligence
    The Nome King gave him a shrewd look.
    The chosen definition makes the Nome King seem smart in a mostly good way, but another definition of "shrewd" has a more negative tone: "good at tricking people to get something." Both definitions apply to the Nome King, but at his first meeting with Kiki, he is not trying to trick him. Not until he finds out about a magic word does he try, but Kiki is too shrewd for him.
  5. brood
    think moodily or anxiously about something
    All during my wanderings I have brooded on how I can be revenged on them.
  6. proposition
    an offer for a private bargain
    So here's my proposition: Help me conquer Oz and get revenge, and help me get the magic away from Glinda and the Wizard, and I'll let you be King of Oz forever afterward."
  7. wily
    marked by skill in deception
    However, if Ruggedo could get him to transport the wily old Nome to Oz, which he could reach in no other way, he might then induce the boy to follow his advice and enter into the plot for revenge, which he had already planned in his wicked heart.
  8. treacherously
    in a disloyal and faithless manner
    Once in a while something happens in Oz to disturb the people's happiness for a brief time, for so rich and attractive a fairyland is sure to make a few selfish and greedy outsiders envious, and therefore certain evil-doers have treacherously plotted to conquer Oz and enslave its people and destroy its girl Ruler, and so gain the wealth of Oz for themselves.
  9. peevish
    easily irritated or annoyed
    "How dare you disturb me?" it asked in a peevish voice.
    The "it" in the example sentence is a cat. But it is a cat made out of glass, with a ruby heart and emerald eyes. Like the magical Scarecrow, the Glass Cat should not need sleep, which makes it seem even more peevish for yelling at Cap'n Bill for waking it.
  10. haughty
    having or showing arrogant superiority
    He was a little man with a bald head and sharp eyes and a round, jolly face, and because he was neither haughty nor proud he had become a great favorite with the Oz people.
  11. steadfast
    marked by firm determination or resolution; not shakable
    With one consent they remained silent, eyeing with steadfast looks the intruders, who were making their way into their forest domain.
  12. wrath
    belligerence aroused by a real or supposed wrong
    "Silence!" growled Gugu the King, and Loo obeyed, although still trembling with wrath.
  13. abashed
    feeling or caused to feel uneasy and self-conscious
    "Silence!" again growled Gugu the King; and somehow, even Ruggedo was abashed and obeyed the edict.
  14. spry
    moving quickly and lightly
    The monkeys are spry enough to keep out of the way of the fierce Kalidahs, which attack all other animals and often fight among themselves."
  15. jeer
    laugh at with contempt and derision
    They sprang upon me in an instant; but I lay flat on the ground, so I wouldn't get my legs broken by the great weight of the beasts, and when they tried to bite me I laughed at them and jeered them until they were frantic with rage, for they nearly broke their teeth on my hard glass.
  16. derisive
    expressing contempt or ridicule
    The laugh was a good deal like a roar, and it had a cruel and derisive sound, but it was a laugh nevertheless.
  17. breadth
    the extent of something from side to side
    The girl attempted to lift her own feet, to go nearer to her friend, but the ground held them as fast as it held Cap'n Bill's foot. She tried to slide them, or to twist them around, but it was no use; she could not move either foot a hair's breadth.
  18. clamor
    loud and persistent outcry from many people
    The wicked old Nome could say no more, just then, for such a fierce roar of anger rose from the multitude of beasts that his voice was drowned by the clamor.
  19. cease
    put an end to a state or an activity
    When the stranger ceased speaking, a great silence fell on the assemblage, for the beasts were thinking of what he had said.
  20. hubbub
    loud confused noise from many sources
    Such a hubbub had never been known in the forest before, and each beast argued with his neighbor until it seemed the noise would never cease.
  21. conscience
    conformity to one's own sense of right conduct
    "There are plenty of them, of course," said the Tiger, "but unfortunately I have such a tender conscience that it won't allow me to eat babies.
  22. effectual
    producing or capable of producing an intended result
    He was frightened, too, for he recognized them as his most powerful enemies; but he also realized that they could not know he was the former King of the Nomes, because of the beast's form he wore, which disguised him so effectually.
  23. plight
    a situation from which extrication is difficult
    Everyone was startled at this cry, and Dorothy, seeing her old friend's plight, screamed and exclaimed: "Mercy me!"
  24. conquest
    the act of defeating and taking control of
    The Goose searched as earnestly as the others, for if he could discover it, he meant to hide it where the Wizard could never find it, because if the Wizard changed him back to his proper form, along with the others, he would then be recognized as Ruggedo the Nome, and they would send him out of the Land of Oz and so ruin all his hopes of conquest.
  25. coax
    influence or urge by gentle urging, caressing, or flattering
    It was his own transformation that annoyed him and made him indignant, so he ran about the forest hunting for Kiki, so that he might get a better shape and coax the boy to follow his plans to conquer the Land of Oz.
    Ruggedo is not used to coaxing others to do things for him. This is shown when he finally catches up to Kiki and the first words out of his mouth are not gentle or flattering (see the next example sentence). But the former King of the Nomes is now a goose who needs Kiki to transform him, especially before he lays a terrifying egg. So he hisses and mutters to himself, before trying again to coax Kiki.
  26. bungle
    make a mess of, destroy, or ruin
    "You've bungled things in a dreadful way!" exclaimed the Goose.
  27. muse
    reflect deeply on a subject
    "I wonder why it changed back," mused Trot, who was not worried because she had enough fruit to satisfy her hunger.
  28. plumage
    the covering of feathers on a bird
    The bird swam swiftly and gracefully toward the Magic Isle, and as it drew nearer its gorgeously colored plumage astonished them. The feathers were of many hues of glistening greens and blues and purples, and it had a yellow head with a red plume, and pink, white and violet in its tail.
  29. incantation
    a ritual reciting of words believed to have a magical effect
    This is an incantation," replied the Lonesome Duck, but now it began making a succession of soft noises that sounded like quacks and seemed to mean nothing at all.
  30. gaudy
    tastelessly showy
    Without even looking in their direction again, the gaudy fowl entered the water and swam gracefully away.
    The Magic Flower has as many colors as the Lonesome Duck, but it would not be seen as "gaudy" because 1) a flower is supposed to be colorful while a duck is not; 2) the Magic Flower doesn't show all its colors at once and constantly changes colors as it blooms into different flowers.
  31. discern
    detect with the senses
    Suddenly she discerned the Wizard's black bag hanging from a limb of the tree.
  32. succession
    a following of one thing after another in time
    "I have never seen it myself, but friendly beasts have told me that they have stood on the shore of the river and looked across at the plant in the gold flower-pot and seen hundreds of flowers, of all sorts and sizes, blossom upon it in quick succession.
  33. hew
    make or shape as with an axe
    "Chop, Little Axe, chop clean and true;
    A path for our feet you must quickly hew.
    Chop till this tangle of jungle is passed;
    Chop to the east, Little Axe—chop fast!"
  34. rapture
    a state of being carried away by overwhelming emotion
    "What a lovely flower!" cried Dorothy in rapture, as her gaze fell on the Magic Plant.
  35. gradual
    proceeding in small stages
    They were all silent for a time, Dorothy and the Wizard sitting thoughtfully on the raft, and Trot and Cap'n Bill sitting thoughtfully on the toadstools and growing gradually smaller and smaller in size.
  36. daub
    cover by smearing
    But the pink brains were all daubed with blue mud, just now, and if the Pink Kitten should see the Glass Cat in such a condition, it would be dreadfully humiliating.
  37. opportune
    suitable or advantageous especially for a particular purpose
    Dorothy and her friends arrived at the Royal Palace at an opportune time, for Ozma was holding high court in her Throne Room, where Professor H. M. Wogglebug, T.E., was appealing to her to punish some of the students of the Royal Athletic College, of which he was the Principal.
  38. condense
    become more compact or concentrated
    But it so happened that Professor Wogglebug (who had invented so much that he had acquired the habit) carelessly invented a Square-Meal Tablet, which was no bigger than your little finger-nail but contained, in condensed form, the equal of a bowl of soup, a portion of fried fish, a roast, a salad and a dessert, all of which gave the same nourishment as a square meal.
  39. strive
    attempt by employing effort
    And then Ozma would sit in her jeweled throne, with her chosen courtiers all about her, and listen patiently to any complaint brought to her by her subjects, striving to accord equal justice to all.
  40. abound
    exist in large quantities
    Ozma's palace stood in the center of a delightful and extensive garden, where splendid trees and flowering shrubs and statuary and fountains abounded.
    "Abound" also means "be in a state of movement of action"--although this was not shown in the descriptions of the garden, this is a garden of Oz, so one should not be surprised if the trees, shrubs, and statues started moving on their own.
  41. quaint
    strange in an interesting or pleasing way
    It was a queerly assorted company, indeed, for there are more quaint and unusual characters in Oz than in all the rest of the world, and Ozma was more interested in unusual people than in ordinary ones—just as you and I are.
  42. tumult
    a state of commotion and noise and confusion
    She was greeted by a cheer from all the assembled company, the animals adding their roars and growls and barks and mewing and cackling to swell the glad tumult, and then all seated themselves at their tables.
    Note the onomatopoeic words used to describe the animals' greeting of Ozma, which increased the tumult created by the cheering of the people and the music from the orchestra.
  43. procure
    get by special effort
    New heads were not unusual with Jack, for the pumpkins did not keep long, and when the seeds—which served him as brains—began to get soft and mushy, he realized his head would soon spoil, and so he procured a new one from his great field of pumpkins—grown by him so that he need never lack a head.
  44. glorious
    having great beauty and splendor
    No sooner had Ozma seated herself, with her back to the birthday table, than she noticed that all present were eyeing with curiosity and pleasure something behind her, for the gorgeous Magic Flower was blooming gloriously and the mammoth blossoms that quickly succeeded one another on the plant were beautiful to view and filled the entire room with their delicate fragrance.
    "Glorious" also means "having high honor"--while the Magic Flower is physically glorious in its own right, being transported to the palace as a gift for the Ruler makes it even more glorious, because now more people could appreciate its beauty and splendor.
  45. droll
    comical in an odd or whimsical manner
    "Congratulations to our gracious Ruler!" they exclaimed in a chorus, and then they began a dance, so droll and amusing that all the company roared with laughter and even Ozma joined in the merriment.
  46. fete
    an elaborate party, often outdoors
    The morning after the birthday fete, as the Wizard and Dorothy were walking in the grounds of the palace, Ozma came out and joined them, saying: "I want to hear more of your adventures in the Forest of Gugu, and how you were able to get those dear little monkeys to use in Dorothy's Surprise Cake."
  47. liberate
    grant freedom to; free from confinement
    So if the two strange magicians have other magic of the same sort, they might prove very dangerous to us, if we liberated them."
  48. vengeance
    harming someone in retaliation for something they have done
    His long white hair and beard waved in the breeze; his eyes flashed hate and vengeance, and so astonished and shocked were they by the sudden appearance of this old enemy of the Oz people that they could only stare at him in silence and shrink away from his wild glare.
  49. oblivion
    total forgetfulness
    "Once before the wicked old Nome came here to conquer us, and then, as now, he drank of the Water of Oblivion and became harmless. But we sent him back to the Nome Kingdom, where he soon learned the old evil ways again.
  50. guile
    shrewdness as demonstrated by being skilled in deception
    "For that reason," said Ozma, "we must find a place for him in the Land of Oz, and keep him here. For here he can learn no evil and will always be as innocent of guile as our own people."

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