"Pride and Prejudice," Vocabulary from Chapters 50-61

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. accede
    agree or express agreement
    This was one point, with regard to Lydia, at least, which was now to be settled, and Mr. Bennet could have no hesitation in acceding to the proposal before him.
  2. deficient
    inadequate in amount or degree
    She was busily searching through the neighbourhood for a proper situation for her daughter, and, without knowing or considering what their income might be, rejected many as deficient in size and importance.
  3. impudence
    the trait of being rude and impertinent
    Into one house in this neighbourhood they shall never have admittance. I will not encourage the impudence of either, by receiving them at Longbourn."
  4. inconceivable
    totally unlikely
    That his anger could be carried to such a point of inconceivable resentment as to refuse his daughter a privilege without which her marriage would scarcely seem valid, exceeded all that she could believe possible.
  5. connubial
    relating to marriage or the relationship between spouses
    But no such happy marriage could now teach the admiring multitude what connubial felicity really was.
  6. austerity
    self-denial, especially refraining from worldly pleasures
    His countenance rather gained in austerity, and he scarcely opened his lips.
  7. cogent
    powerfully persuasive
    Pray write instantly, and let me understand it; unless it is, for very cogent reasons, to remain in the secrecy which Lydia seems to think necessary; and then I must endeavour to be satisfied with ignorance."
  8. stratagem
    an elaborate or deceitful scheme to deceive or evade
    "Not that I shall, though," she added to herself, and she finished the letter: "and, my dear aunt, if you do not tell me in an honourable manner, I shall certainly be reduced to tricks and stratagems to find it out."
  9. supplication
    a humble request for help from someone in authority
    He had followed them purposely to town, he had taken on himself all the trouble and mortification attendant on such a research; in which supplication had been necessary to a woman whom he must abominate and despise, and where he was reduced to meet--frequently meet, reason with, persuade, and finally bribe--the man whom he always most wished to avoid, and whose very name it was punishment to him to pronounce.
  10. simper
    smile affectedly or derisively
    He simpers, and smirks, and makes love to us all.
  11. canvass
    consider in detail in order to discover essential features
    The subject which had been so warmly canvassed between their parents about a twelvemonth ago was now brought forward again.
  12. irremediable
    impossible to correct or redress
    Elizabeth particularly, who knew that her mother owed to the latter the preservation of her favourite daughter from irremediable infamy, was hurt and distressed to a most painful degree by a distinction so ill-applied.
  13. rapacity
    reprehensible acquisitiveness; insatiable desire for wealth
    When the tea-things were removed, and the card tables placed, the ladies all rose, and Elizabeth was then hoping to be soon joined by him, when all her views were overthrown by seeing him fall a victim to her mother's rapacity for whist-players, and in a few moments after seated with the rest of the party.
  14. circumspection
    knowing how to avoid embarrassment or distress
    "And this," said she, "is the end of all his friend's anxious circumspection! of all his sister's falsehood and contrivance!--the happiest, wisest, most reasonable end!"
  15. insolent
    marked by casual disrespect
    They proceeded in silence along the gravel walk that led to the copse; Elizabeth was determined to make no effort for conversation with a woman who was now more than usually insolent and disagreeable.
  16. industrious
    working hard to promote an enterprise
    "If! do you then pretend to be ignorant of it? Has it not been industriously circulated by yourselves? Do you not know that such a report is spread abroad?"
  17. tacit
    implied by or inferred from actions or statements
    Do you pay no regard to the wishes of his friends--to his tacit engagement with Miss De Bourgh? Are you lost to every feeling of propriety and delicacy? Have you not heard me say, that from his earliest hours he was destined for his cousin?"
  18. sagacity
    forming opinions by distinguishing and evaluating
    Young ladies have great penetration in such matters as these; but I think I may defy even your sagacity to discover the name of your admirer.
  19. reproof
    an act or expression of criticism and censure
    "My object then," replied Darcy, "was to shew you, by every civility in my power, that I was not so mean as to resent the past; and I hoped to obtain your forgiveness, to lessen your ill opinion, by letting you see that your reproofs had been attended to.
  20. diffidence
    lack of self-assurance
    His diffidence had prevented his depending on his own judgment in so anxious a case, but his reliance on mine made everything easy.
  21. vehemence
    intensity or forcefulness of expression
    But whether she were violently set against the match, or violently delighted with it, it was certain that her manner would be equally ill adapted to do credit to her sense; and she could no more bear that Mr. Darcy should hear the first raptures of her joy than the first vehemence of her disapprobation.
  22. obsequious
    attempting to win favor from influential people by flattery
    At such a moment the arrival of her friend was a sincere pleasure to Elizabeth, though in the course of their meetings she must sometimes think the pleasure dearly bought, when she saw Mr. Darcy exposed to all the parading and obsequious civility of her husband.
  23. insipid
    lacking interest or significance or impact
    She was not of so ungovernable a temper as Lydia: and, removed from the influence of Lydia's example, she became, by proper attention and management, less irritable, less ignorant, and less insipid.
  24. sportive
    given to merry frolicking
    Georgiana had the highest opinion in the world of Elizabeth; though at first she often listened with an astonishment bordering on alarm at her lively, sportive manner of talking to her brother.
  25. prevail
    use persuasion successfully
    But at length, by Elizabeth's persuasion, he was prevailed on to overlook the offence, and seek a reconciliation; and, after a little farther resistance on the part of his aunt, her resentment gave way, either to her affection for him, or her curiosity to see how his wife conducted herself

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