having little elasticity
Her father’s words sounded
brittle in her ears, as though they were being chipped out of ice.
Although Meg hears her father's words as brittle, she is actually the brittle one, since she is slowly waking into a very cold consciousness after a painful whirlwind tear through a wrinkle in time. The physical coldness suggests the other definition of "brittle" ("lacking warmth and generosity of spirit"), which describes the way Meg talks to her father after she discovers that he'd tessered without Charles.
undergo weakening or degeneration as through lack of use
No mind has tried to hold out against IT for so many thousands of centuries that certain centers have become soft and
atrophied through lack of use.
impossible or difficult to sense
In contrast to the drabness of color, to the cold that numbed her, the air was filled with a delicate, springlike fragrance, almost
imperceptible as it blew softly against her face.
capable of destroying or eating away by chemical action
Disappointment was as dark and
corrosive in her as the Black Thing.
having unlimited power
She was frozen, and Charles Wallace was being devoured by IT, and her
omnipotent father was doing nothing.
wanting in moral strength, courage, or will
I am a human being, and a very
The chosen definition fits because Meg's father says he can't compare to divine beings such as Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, and Mrs Which, and in the same paragraph, he also refers to God. But the simpler definition of "fallible" ("likely to fail or make errors") also fits because he admits to not knowing where they are since he doesn't tesser very well.
provide physical relief, as from pain
But with the tentacle came the same delicate fragrance that moved across her with the breeze, and she felt a soft, tingling warmth go all through her that momentarily
assuaged her pain.
a feeling of alarm or dread
The middle beast, a tremor of
trepidation in his words, said, “You aren’t from a dark planet, are you?”
release, as from one's grip
The Black Thing does not
relinquish its victims willingly.”
weighing heavily on the senses or spirit
Nevertheless there was a sense of openness, a feel of a gentle breeze moving lightly about, that kept the darkness from being
feeling downcast and disheartened and hopeless
Such a wave of
despondency came over Meg that she was no longer able to eat.
deeply agitated especially from emotion
“The child is
distraught. Don’t judge her harshly. She was almost taken by the Black Thing. Sometimes we can’t know what spiritual damage it leaves even when physical recovery is complete.”
proceed or issue forth, as from a source
Every once in a while she thought she felt a flicker of understanding from Aunt Beast or one of the others, but most of the time all that
emanated from them was gentle puzzlement.
ring or echo with sound
Suddenly a thundering voice
reverberated throughout the great hall:
“WWEEE ARRE HHERRE!”
extremely impressive in strength or excellence
Mrs Which’s voice rolled
formidably across the hall. “Ssilencce, cchilldd!”
"Formidable" also means "inspiring fear"--this definition would be supported by another description of Mrs Which's voice as "grim" ("harshly uninviting or formidable in manner" or "not to be placated or appeased or moved by entreaty"). Aside from Mrs Which's voice making her "skin prickle into gooseflesh," Meg is faced with the formidable mission of saving her brother from IT and the Black Thing (which nearly killed her).
be confusing or perplexing to
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called, but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to
confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to
confound the things which are mighty.
She paused, and then she said, “May the right
spread or diffuse through
She gasped for breath, for breath in her own rhythm, not the
permeating pulsing of IT.
to say, state, or perform again
Charles Wallace was crouched beside IT, his eyes still slowly twirling, his jaw still slack, as she had seen him before, with a tic in his forehead
reiterating the revolting rhythm of IT.
causing shock, dismay, or horror
appalling moment Meg believed, and in that moment she felt her brain being gathered up into IT.
"Consternation" means "fear resulting from the awareness of danger" or "sudden confusion, amazement or dismay"--for a moment, Meg feels all this as she believes the lie that Mrs Whatsit had sent her to IT to be captured rather than to save Charles. But Meg quickly shakes herself loose and she is again appalled ("struck with disgust or revulsion") by IT.
not mixed with impurities
No, it was not anger, it was loathing; it was hatred, sheer and
unadulterated, and as she became lost in hatred she also began to be lost in IT.
an indication that something has been present
With the last
vestige of consciousness she jerked her mind and body.
resist or confront with resistance
If she could give love to IT perhaps it would shrivel up and die, for she was sure that IT could not
capable of being wounded or hurt
Her own Charles Wallace, the real Charles Wallace, the child for whom she had come back to Camazotz, to IT, the baby who was so much more than she was, and who was yet so utterly
"Vulnerable" also means "susceptible to criticism or persuasion or temptation"--this definition is more specific than the chosen definition, because it lists the ways that a person can be wounded (humans and IT have both failed and succeeded in throwing those 3 at Charles). The general definition is a better fit because Meg wants to protect her baby brother from all the possible dangers of the world.
He dashed across the lawn to join in the joy, and almost knocked them all over with the
exuberance of his greeting.