Chapters 1-3

Madeleine L'Engle's classic novel details the adventures of the precocious Murry children as they travel across space and time to track down their missing father.
Copy this list to... Buy the Book

Start learning with an activity...

  • Practice

    Answer a few questions on each word. Get one wrong? We'll ask some follow-up questions. Use it to prep for your next quiz!
  • Spelling Bee

    Test your spelling acumen. See the definition, listen to the word, then try to spell it correctly. Beat your last streak, or best your overall time. Spellers of the world, untie!
  • Vocabulary Jam

    Compete head-to-head in real-time to see which team can answer the most questions correctly. Start a Jam and invite your friends and classmates to join!

Explore the Words

definitions & notes only words
  1. frenzied
    affected with or marked by mania uncontrolled by reason
    In her attic bedroom Margaret Murry, wrapped in an old patchwork quilt, sat on the foot of her bed and watched the trees tossing in the frenzied lashing of the wind.
  2. frantically
    in an uncontrolled manner
    Behind the trees clouds scudded frantically across the sky.
  3. scornful
    expressing extreme contempt
    During lunch she’d rough-housed a little to try to make herself feel better, and one of the girls said scornfully, “After all, Meg, we aren’t grammar-school kids anymore.
  4. savagely
    in a vicious manner
    —You asked to have the attic bedroom, she told herself savagely.—Mother let you have it because you’re the oldest.
  5. crevice
    a long narrow opening
    Wind blew in the crevices about the window frame, in spite of the protection the storm sash was supposed to offer.
  6. fury
    a feeling of intense anger
    Meg would turn white with fury when people looked at him and clucked, shaking their heads sadly.
  7. batter
    strike violently and repeatedly
    The furnace purred like a great, sleepy animal; the lights glowed with steady radiance; outside, alone in the dark, the wind still battered against the house, but the angry power that had frightened Meg while she was alone in the attic was subdued by the familiar comfort of the kitchen.
  8. sullen
    showing a brooding ill humor
    Meg looked up at her mother, half in loving admiration, half in sullen resentment.
  9. moderation
    the quality of avoiding extremes
    “You don’t know the meaning of moderation, do you, my darling?”
  10. shrill
    being sharply insistent on being heard
    “I’ll go with you.” Meg’s voice was shrill.
  11. indignant
    angered at something unjust or wrong
    “You peeked!” Charles cried indignantly. “We’re saving that for Mother’s birthday and you can’t have any!”
  12. severe
    unsparing and uncompromising in discipline or judgment
    “Mrs Whatsit,” Charles Wallace demanded severely, “why did you take Mrs. Buncombe’s sheets?”
  13. sulky
    sullen or moody
    Meg looked sulkily down at the floor. “Nothing, Mr. Jenkins.”
  14. ferocious
    marked by extreme and violent energy
    Meg bared her teeth to reveal the two ferocious lines of braces.
    Ferocious is not an adjective often used to describe braces, especially since braces are meant to straighten teeth instead of sharpening them to make them dangerous. The ferocity of the braces comes less from the barbed lines of wires and more from the way Meg is deliberately using them to reveal her anger at the principal's questioning of her father's occupation and whereabouts.
  15. bellow
    shout loudly and without restraint
    “Stop bellowing,” Mr. Jenkins said sharply.
  16. belligerent
    characteristic of an enemy or one eager to fight
    “Do you enjoy being the most belligerent, uncooperative child in school?”
  17. antagonistic
    incapable of harmonious association
    Try to be a little less antagonistic.
  18. tractable
    easily managed
    Maybe your work would improve if your general attitude were more tractable.
  19. stifled
    held in check with difficulty
    Meg let out a stifled shriek.
  20. peremptory
    putting an end to all debate or action
    But Charles Wallace held up his hand in a peremptory gesture.
  21. assimilate
    take up mentally
    I need fuel so I can sort things out and assimilate them properly.”
  22. clench
    squeeze together tightly
    He clenched his fists. “But I love her. That’s the funny part of it. I love them all, and they don’t give a hoot about me.
  23. morass
    a soft wet area of low-lying land that sinks underfoot
    “I guess so,” Meg said, but her happiness had fled and she was back in a morass of anger and resentment.
  24. plaintive
    expressing sorrow
    “My, but I wish there were no wind,” Mrs Whatsit said plaintively.
  25. grievous
    causing or marked by grief or anguish
    What grievous pain a little fault doth give thee!”
Created on August 19, 2013 (updated May 9, 2018)

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.