"Pride and Prejudice," Vocabulary from Chapters 18-26

Jane Austen's classic dissection of early 19th century manners, "Pride and Prejudice," introduces us to Elizabeth Bennett, a heroine even modern readers will sympathize with and root for (etext found here).

Learn these word lists for the novel: Chapters 1-8, Chapters 9-17, Chapters 18-26, Chapters 27-37, Chapters 38-49, Chapters 50-61

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. surmise
    infer from incomplete evidence
    This part of his intelligence, though unheard by Lydia, was caught by Elizabeth, and as it assured her that Darcy was not less answerable for Wickham's absence than if her first surmise had been just, every feeling of displeasure against the former was so sharpened by immediate disappointment, that she could hardly reply with tolerable civility to the polite inquiries which he directly afterwards approached to make.
  2. forbearance
    good-natured tolerance of delay or incompetence
    Attention, forbearance, patience with Darcy, was injury to Wickham.
  3. taciturn
    habitually reserved and uncommunicative
    We are each of an unsocial, taciturn disposition, unwilling to speak, unless we expect to say something that will amaze the whole room, and be handed down to posterity with all the ├ęclat of a proverb."
  4. hauteur
    overbearing pride with a superior manner toward inferiors
    A deeper shade of hauteur overspread his features, but he said not a word, and Elizabeth, though blaming herself for her own weakness, could not go on.
  5. imprudent
    lacking wise self-restraint
    I am afraid he has been very imprudent, and has deserved to lose Mr. Darcy's regard."
  6. laity
    members of a religious community who are not clergy
    Mr. Collins listened to her with the determined air of following his own inclination, and, when she ceased speaking, replied thus:--"My dear Miss Elizabeth, I have the highest opinion in the world of your excellent judgment in all matters within the scope of your understanding; but permit me to say that there must be a wide difference between the established forms of ceremony amongst the laity and those which regulate the clergy;
  7. consign
    give over to another for care or safekeeping
    It was, moreover, such a promising thing for her younger daughters, as Jane's marrying so greatly must throw them in the way of other rich men; and lastly, it was so pleasant at her time of life to be able to consign her single daughters to the care of their sister, that she might not be obliged to go into company more than she liked.
  8. conciliatory
    intended to placate
    And I do not think it of light importance that he should have attentive and conciliatory manners towards everybody, especially towards those to whom he owes his preferment.
  9. purport
    the intended meaning of a communication
    You can hardly doubt the purport of my discourse, however your natural delicacy may lead you to dissemble; my attentions have been too marked to be mistaken.
  10. vivacity
    high spirits and animation
    You will find her manners beyond anything I can describe; and your wit and vivacity, I think, must be acceptable to her, especially when tempered with the silence and respect which her rank will inevitably excite.
  11. reproach
    a mild rebuke or criticism
    On that head, therefore, I shall be uniformly silent; and you may assure youself that no ungenerous reproach shall ever pass my lips when we are married."
  12. assiduous
    marked by care and persistent effort
    He scarcely ever spoke to her, and the assiduous attentions which he had been so sensible of himself were transferred for the rest of the day to Miss Lucas, whose civility in listening to him, was a seasonable relief to them all, and especially to her friend.
  13. abatement
    an interruption in the intensity or amount of something
    The morrow produced no abatement of Mrs. Bennet's ill-humour or ill-health.
  14. commendation
    a message expressing a favorable opinion
    She highly approved his forbearance, and they had leisure for a full discussion of it, and for all the commendation which they civilly bestowed on each other, as Wickham and another officer walked back with them to Longbourn, and during the walk he particularly attended to her.
  15. bewail
    regret strongly
    They agreed that Mrs. Bennet should only hear of the departure of the family, without being alarmed on the score of the gentleman's conduct; but even this partial communication gave her a great deal of concern, and she bewailed it as exceedingly unlucky that the ladies should happen to go away just as they were all getting so intimate together.
  16. concurrence
    agreement of results or opinions
    "My dear sir," replied Mr. Collins, "I am particularly obliged to you for this friendly caution, and you may depend upon my not taking so material a step without her ladyship's concurrence."
  17. rectitude
    righteousness as a consequence of being honorable and honest
    Her disappointment in Charlotte made her turn with fonder regard to her sister, of whose rectitude and delicacy she was sure her opinion could never be shaken, and for whose happiness she grew daily more anxious, as Bingley had now been gone a week, and nothing was heard of his return.
  18. repine
    express discontent
    Mrs. Bennet still continued to wonder and repine at his returning no more, and though a day seldom passed in which Elizabeth did not account for it clearly, there seemed little chance of her ever considering it with less perplexity.
  19. candor
    the quality of being honest and straightforward
    Miss Bennet was the only creature who could suppose there might be any extenuating circumstances in the case, unknown to the society of Hertfordshire; her mild and steady candour always pleaded for allowances, and urged the possibility of mistakes--but by everybody else Mr. Darcy was condemned as the worst of men.
  20. alleviate
    provide physical relief, as from pain
    The pain of separation, however, might be alleviated on his side, by preparations for the reception of his bride; as he had reason to hope that, shortly after his next return into Hertfordshire, the day would be fixed that was to make him the happiest of men.
  21. inconstancy
    unfaithfulness by virtue of being unreliable or treacherous
    A young man, such as you describe Mr. Bingley, so easily falls in love with a pretty girl for a few weeks, and when accident separates them, so easily forgets her, that these sort of inconstancies are very frequent."
  22. hackneyed
    repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse
    "But that expression of 'violently in love' is so hackneyed, so doubtful, so indefinite, that it gives me very little idea.
  23. acquiescence
    agreement with a statement or proposal to do something
    Elizabeth was exceedingly pleased with this proposal, and felt persuaded of her sister's ready acquiescence.
  24. duplicity
    a fraudulent representation
    If I were not afraid of judging harshly, I should be almost tempted to say that there is a strong appearance of duplicity in all this.
  25. relinquish
    turn away from; give up
    Nothing, on the contrary, could be more natural; and while able to suppose that it cost him a few struggles to relinquish her, she was ready to allow it a wise and desirable measure for both, and could very sincerely wish him happy.

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