The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Learn the uncommon words used in the poem
Read more...

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. ancient
    belonging to times long past
    The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
  2. argument
    a dispute where there is strong disagreement
    ARGUMENT
  3. tropical
    relating to part of the Earth's surface with hot climate
    How a Ship having passed the Line was driven by storms to the cold Country towards the South Pole ; and how from thence she made her course to the tropical Latitude of the Great Pacific Ocean ; and of the strange things that befell ; and in what manner the Ancyent Marinere came back to his own Country.
  4. latitude
    an imaginary line around the Earth parallel to the equator
    How a Ship having passed the Line was driven by storms to the cold Country towards the South Pole ; and how from thence she made her course to the tropical Latitude of the Great Pacific Ocean ; and of the strange things that befell ; and in what manner the Ancyent Marinere came back to his own Country.
  5. pacific
    disposed to peace or of a peaceful nature
    The fair breeze continues ; the ship enters the Pacific Ocean, and sails northward, even till it reaches the Line.
  6. befall
    become of; happen to
    How a Ship having passed the Line was driven by storms to the cold Country towards the South Pole ; and how from thence she made her course to the tropical Latitude of the Great Pacific Ocean ; and of the strange things that befell ; and in what manner the Ancyent Marinere came back to his own Country.
  7. gallant
    having or displaying great dignity or nobility
    An ancient Mariner meeteth three Gallants bidden to a wedding-feast, and detaineth one.
  8. bid
    propose a payment
    An ancient Mariner meeteth three Gallants bidden to a wedding-feast, and detaineth one.
  9. glitter
    the quality of shining with a bright reflected light
    `By thy long beard and glittering eye,
  10. wherefore
    the cause or intention underlying an action or situation
    Now wherefore stopp'st thou me ?
  11. next of kin
    the person who is most closely related to a given person
    And I am next of kin ;
  12. kin
    a person related to another or others
    And I am next of kin ;
  13. merry
    full of or showing high-spirited joy
    May'st hear the merry din.'
  14. din
    a loud harsh or strident noise
    May'st hear the merry din.'
  15. bound
    confined by bonds
    The Wedding-Guest is spell- bound by the eye of the old seafaring man, and constrained to hear his tale.
  16. constrained
    lacking spontaneity; not natural
    The Wedding-Guest is spell-bound by the eye of the old seafaring man, and constrained to hear his tale.
  17. thus
    from that fact or reason or as a result
    And thus spake on that ancient man,
  18. cheer
    a cry or shout of approval
    `The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared,
  19. pace
    the relative speed of progress or change
    The bride hath paced into the hall,
  20. blast
    a sudden very loud noise
    `And now the STORM- BLAST came, and he
  21. slope
    be at an angle
    With sloping masts and dipping prow,
  22. prow
    the front part of a vessel
    With sloping masts and dipping prow,
  23. pursue
    follow in an effort to capture
    As who pursued with yell and blow
  24. tread
    put down or press the foot, place the foot
    Still treads the shadow of his foe,
  25. foe
    an armed adversary
    Still treads the shadow of his foe,
  26. flee
    run away quickly
    The southward aye we fled.
  27. wondrous
    extraordinarily good or great
    And it grew wondrous cold :
  28. float
    be on or below a liquid surface and not sink to the bottom
    And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
  29. emerald
    a green transparent form of beryl
    As green as emerald.
  30. drift
    be in motion due to some air or water current
    And through the drifts the snowy clifts
  31. dismal
    causing dejection
    Did send a dismal sheen :
  32. sheen
    the visual property of something that shines
    Did send a dismal sheen :
  33. ken
    range of what one can know or understand
    Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken--
  34. albatross
    a large web-footed bird noted for powerful gliding flight
    Till a great sea-bird, called the Albatross, came through the snow-fog, and was received with great joy and hospitality.
  35. hospitality
    kindness in welcoming guests or strangers
    Till a great sea-bird, called the Albatross, came through the snow-fog, and was received with great joy and hospitality.
  36. omen
    a sign of a thing about to happen
    And lo ! the Albatross proveth a bird of good omen, and followeth the ship as it returned northward through fog and floating ice.
  37. shroud
    burial garment in which a corpse is wrapped
    In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
  38. vesper
    a late afternoon or evening worship service
    It perched for vespers nine ;
  39. glimmer
    a flash of light
    Glimmered the white Moon-shine.'
  40. pious
    having or showing or expressing reverence for a deity
    The ancient Mariner inhospitably killeth the pious bird of good omen.
  41. fiend
    an evil supernatural being
    From the fiends, that plague thee thus !--
  42. plague
    any large-scale calamity
    From the fiends, that plague thee thus !--
  43. woe
    misery resulting from affliction
    And it would work 'em woe :
  44. aver
    declare or affirm solemnly and formally as true
    For all averred, I had killed the bird
  45. wretch
    someone you feel sorry for
    Ah wretch ! said they, the bird to slay,
  46. slay
    kill intentionally and with premeditation
    Ah wretch ! said they, the bird to slay,
  47. accomplice
    a person who joins with another in carrying out some plan
    But when the fog cleared off, they justify the same, and thus make themselves accomplices in the crime.
  48. idle
    not in action or at work
    As idle as a painted ship
  49. avenge
    take action in return for a perceived wrong
    And the Albatross begins to be avenged.
  50. rout
    an overwhelming defeat
    About, about, in reel and rout
  51. inhabitant
    a person who lives in a particular place
    A Spirit had followed them ; one of the invisible inhabitants of this planet, neither departed souls nor angels ; concerning whom the learned Jew, Josephus, and the Platonic Constantinopolitan, Michael Psellus, may be consulted.
  52. depart
    go away or leave
    A Spirit had followed them ; one of the invisible inhabitants of this planet, neither departed souls nor angels ; concerning whom the learned Jew, Josephus, and the Platonic Constantinopolitan, Michael Psellus, may be consulted.
  53. learned
    having or showing profound knowledge
    A Spirit had followed them ; one of the invisible inhabitants of this planet, neither departed souls nor angels ; concerning whom the learned Jew, Josephus, and the Platonic Constantinopolitan, Michael Psellus, may be consulted.
  54. platonic
    free from physical desire
    A Spirit had followed them ; one of the invisible inhabitants of this planet, neither departed souls nor angels ; concerning whom the learned Jew, Josephus, and the Platonic Constantinopolitan, Michael Psellus, may be consulted.
  55. consult
    seek information from
    A Spirit had followed them ; one of the invisible inhabitants of this planet, neither departed souls nor angels ; concerning whom the learned Jew, Josephus, and the Platonic Constantinopolitan, Michael Psellus, may be consulted.
  56. numerous
    amounting to a large indefinite number
    They are very numerous, and there is no climate or element without one or more.
  57. element
    a substance that cannot be separated into simpler substances
    They are very numerous, and there is no climate or element without one or more.
  58. assure
    inform positively and with certainty and confidence
    And some in dreams assuréd were
  59. utter
    without qualification
    And every tongue, through utter drought,
  60. drought
    a shortage of rainfall
    And every tongue, through utter drought,
  61. withered
    lean and wrinkled by shrinkage as from age or illness
    Was withered at the root ;
  62. weary
    physically and mentally fatigued
    There passed a weary time.
  63. glaze
    a coating, as for ceramics or metal
    Was parched, and glazed each eye.
  64. veer
    turn sharply; change direction abruptly
    It plunged and tacked and veered.
  65. bond
    a connection that fastens things together
    At its nearer approach, it seemeth him to be a ship ; and at a dear ransom he freeth his speech from the bonds of thirst.
  66. wail
    a cry of sorrow and grief
    We could nor laugh nor wail ;
  67. agape
    with the mouth wide open as in wonder or awe
    Agape they heard me call :
  68. fleck
    a small contrasting part of something
    And straight the Sun was flecked with bars,
  69. bar
    a rigid piece of metal or wood
    And straight the Sun was flecked with bars,
  70. grace
    elegance and beauty of movement or expression
    (Heaven's Mother send us grace !)
  71. dungeon
    the main tower within the walls of a medieval castle
    As if through a dungeon-grate he peered
  72. grate
    reduce to shreds by rubbing against a perforated surface
    As if through a dungeon- grate he peered
  73. restless
    lacking physical or mental ease
    Like restless gossameres ?
  74. spectre
    a ghostly appearing figure
    The Spectre-Woman and her Death-mate, and no other on board the skeleton ship.
  75. stanza
    a fixed number of lines of verse forming a unit of a poem
    Is DEATH that woman's mate ?
    [first version of this stanza through the end of Part III]
  76. leprosy
    communicable disease characterized by wasting of body parts
    Her skin was as white as leprosy,
  77. latter
    the second of two or the second mentioned of two
    Death and Life-in-Death have diced for the ship's crew, and she (the latter) winneth the ancient Mariner.
  78. twain
    two items of the same kind
    And the twain were casting dice ;
  79. thrice
    three times
    Quoth she, and whistles thrice.
  80. twilight
    the time of day immediately following sunset
    No twilight within the courts of the Sun.
  81. nether
    lower
    Within the nether tip.
  82. dogged
    stubbornly unyielding
    One after one, by the star- dogged Moon,
  83. ghastly
    shockingly repellent; inspiring horror
    Each turned his face with a ghastly pang,
  84. pang
    a sudden sharp feeling
    Each turned his face with a ghastly pang,
  85. lank
    long and thin and often limp
    And thou art long, and lank, and brown,
  86. relate
    give an account of
    But the ancient Mariner assureth him of his bodily life, and proceedeth to relate his horrible penance.
  87. penance
    voluntary self-punishment in order to atone for something
    But the ancient Mariner assureth him of his bodily life, and proceedeth to relate his horrible penance.
  88. sojourn
    a temporary stay
    In his loneliness and fixedness he yearneth towards the journeying Moon, and the stars that still sojourn, yet still move onward ; and every where the blue sky belongs to them, and is their appointed rest, and their native country and their own natural homes, which they enter unannounced, as lords that are certainly expected and yet there is a silent joy at their arrival.
  89. abide
    dwell
    And no where did abide :
  90. charm
    attractiveness that interests or pleases or stimulates
    The charméd water burnt alway
  91. hoary
    having gray or white hair as with age
    Fell off in hoary flakes.
  92. attire
    clothing of a distinctive style or for a particular occasion
    I watched their rich attire :
  93. declare
    state emphatically and authoritatively
    Their beauty might declare :
  94. garment
    an article of clothing
    My garments all were dank ;
  95. commotion
    a disorderly outburst or tumult
    He heareth sounds and seeth strange sights and commotions in the sky and the element.
  96. sere
    having lost all moisture
    That were so thin and sere.
  97. cleft
    a long narrow opening
    The thick black cloud was cleft, and still
  98. inspired
    of surpassing excellence
    The bodies of the ship's crew are inspired, and the ship moves on ;
  99. wont
    an established custom
    Where they were wont to do ;
  100. invocation
    the act of appealing for help
    But not by the souls of the men, nor by dæmons of earth or middle air, but by a blessed troop of angelic spirits, sent down by the invocation of the guardian saint.
  101. guardian
    a person who cares for persons or property
    But not by the souls of the men, nor by dæmons of earth or middle air, but by a blessed troop of angelic spirits, sent down by the invocation of the guardian saint.
  102. mute
    expressed without speech
    That makes the heavens be mute.
  103. cease
    put an end to a state or an activity
    It ceased ; yet still the sails made on
  104. brook
    a natural stream of water smaller than a river
    A noise like of a hidden brook
  105. edition
    the form in which a text is published
    [Additional stanzas, dropped after the first edition.]
  106. obedience
    the trait of being willing to obey
    The lonesome Spirit from the south-pole carries on the ship as far as the Line, in obedience to the angelic troop, but still requireth vengeance.
  107. vengeance
    harming someone in retaliation for something they have done
    The lonesome Spirit from the south-pole carries on the ship as far as the Line, in obedience to the angelic troop, but still requireth vengeance.
  108. fling
    throw with force or recklessness
    It flung the blood into my head,
  109. accord
    concurrence of opinion
    The Polar Spirit's fellow-dæmons, the invisible inhabitants of the element, take part in his wrong ; and two of them relate, one to the other, that penance long and heavy for the ancient Mariner hath been accorded to the Polar Spirit, who returneth southward.
  110. discern
    detect with the senses
    I heard and in my soul discerned
  111. renew
    reestablish on an improved basis
    Thy soft response renewing--
  112. grim
    harshly uninviting or formidable in manner or appearance
    For she guides him smooth or grim.
  113. trance
    a psychological state induced by a magical incantation
    The Mariner hath been cast into a trance ; for the angelic power causeth the vessel to drive northward faster than human life could endure.
  114. endure
    undergo or be subjected to
    The Mariner hath been cast into a trance ; for the angelic power causeth the vessel to drive northward faster than human life could endure.
  115. belated
    after the expected or usual time
    Or we shall be belated :
  116. abate
    become less in amount or intensity
    When the Mariner's trance is abated.'
  117. supernatural
    not able to be explained by physical laws
    The supernatural motion is retarded ; the Mariner awakes, and his penance begins anew.
  118. anew
    again but in a new or different way
    The supernatural motion is retarded ; the Mariner awakes, and his penance begins anew.
  119. expiate
    make amends for
    The curse is finally expiated.
  120. bay
    an indentation of a shoreline smaller than a gulf
    The harbour- bay was clear as glass,
  121. strew
    spread by scattering
    So smoothly it was strewn !
  122. crimson
    a deep and vivid red color
    In crimson colours came.
  123. seraph
    an angel of the first order
    A man all light, a seraph-man,
  124. impart
    bestow a quality on
    No voice did they impart--
  125. wholly
    to the full or entire extent
    It is the moss that wholly hides
  126. skiff
    a small boat propelled by oars or by sails or by a motor
    The skiff-boat neared : I heard them talk,
  127. faith
    complete confidence in a person or plan, etc.
    `Strange, by my faith !' the Hermit said--
  128. lag
    hang or fall in movement, progress, development, etc.
    Brown skeletons of leaves that lag
  129. smite
    inflict a heavy blow on, with the hand, a tool, or a weapon
    Which sky and ocean smote,
  130. swift
    moving very fast
    But swift as dreams, myself I found
  131. whirl
    the shape of something rotating rapidly
    Upon the whirl, where sank the ship,
  132. shriek
    sharp piercing cry
    I moved my lips--the Pilot shrieked
  133. scarcely
    only a very short time before
    And scarcely he could stand.
  134. earnestly
    in a serious manner
    The ancient Mariner earnestly entreateth the Hermit to shrieve him ; and the penance of life falls on him.
  135. wrench
    a sharp strain on muscles or ligaments
    Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched
  136. hark
    listen; used mostly in the imperative
    And hark the little vesper bell,
  137. scarce
    deficient in quantity or number compared with the demand
    Scarce seeméd there to be.
  138. reverence
    a feeling of profound respect for someone or something
    And to teach, by his own example, love and reverence to all things that God made and loveth.
  139. forlorn
    marked by or showing hopelessness
    And is of sense forlorn :
  140. marginal
    at or constituting a border or edge
    He rose the morrow morn.

    ________________________________________
    1797-1798, first version published 1798, 1800, 1802, 1805; revised version, including addition of his marginal glosses, published in 1817, 1828, 1829, 1834.

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a life-long learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.