"Ender's Game," Vocabulary from Chapters 14-15

Ender is a young boy who also happens to be a tactical genius. "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card is the story of his gradual realization of his real role in the military's plans.

Learn these word lists for the novel: Chapters 1-6, Chapters 7-8, Chapters 9-10, Chapters 11-13, Chapters 14-15

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. impromptu
    with little or no preparation or forethought
    “We’ve planned out an impromptu course of study for him.
  2. gluttonous
    given to excess in consumption of especially food or drink
    A gluttonous ascetic?
  3. ascetic
    someone who practices self denial as a spiritual discipline
    A gluttonous ascetic?
  4. vertigo
    a reeling sensation; a feeling that you are about to fall
    From the start, Ender was plagued by vertigo as he walked through the tunnels, especially the ones that girdled Eros’s narrow circumference.
  5. adept
    having or showing knowledge and skill and aptitude
    Gradually, as he became more adept at controlling the fighter’s speed, direction of movement, orientation, and weapons, the game was made more complex.
  6. wince
    draw back, as with fear or pain
    He was able to turn enough to see the old man standing in the doorway, wincing and holding his back.
  7. relativity
    the theory that space and time are not absolute concepts
    “There are miracles even relativity can’t pull off, Ender.”
  8. inscrutable
    of an obscure nature
    Mazer’s face went inscrutable.
  9. armada
    a large fleet
    You, with your tiny reserve force, and their armada, those great big heavy-bellied starships launching their swarms of fighters.
  10. sentient
    endowed with feeling and unstructured consciousness
    Not murdering living, sentient beings with an independent genetic future.
  11. feint
    deceive by a mock action
    Ender watched as all his squadrons moved at once, each responding to its own situation, all guided by Ender’s overall command, but daring, improvising, feinting, attacking with an independence no bugger fleet had ever shown.
  12. catacomb
    an underground tunnel with recesses where bodies were buried
    I was cut off from all the people that I loved, everything I knew, living in this alien catacomb and forced to do nothing of importance but teach student after student, each one so hopeful, each one, ultimately, a weakling, a failure.
  13. interstice
    small opening between things
    Take what pleasure you can in the interstices of your work, but your work is first, learning is first, winning is everything because without it there is nothing.
  14. coddle
    treat with excessive indulgence
    If you keep coddling us like this we’ll think you like us.”
  15. irony
    incongruity between what might be expected and what occurs
    Ender recognized the irony, of course, and answered with a long silence.
  16. reprisal
    a retaliatory action against an enemy in wartime
    You decide whether it would be wise to adopt a strategy that would invite reprisals.”
  17. prostrate
    stretched out and lying at full length along the ground
    Men in uniform were hugging each other, laughing, shouting; others were weeping; some knelt or lay prostrate, and Ender knew they were caught up in prayer.
  18. provocateur
    a secret agent who incites persons to commit illegal acts
    It was plain that Ender was not the provocateur.
  19. intelligentsia
    an educated elite
    It was the moment he had been waiting for, to use Demosthenes’ influence with the mob and Locke’s influence with the intelligentsia to accomplish something noteworthy.
  20. demagogue
    a leader who seeks support by appealing to popular passions
    Let them spend the next fifty years poring over the passenger list, trying to figure out which one of them is the great demagogue of the Age of Locke.”
  21. maraud
    raid and rove in search of booty
    From fences with sharpened stakes that pointed outward he learned that there were marauding animals that were a danger to the crops or the herds.
  22. littoral
    the region of the shore of a lake or sea or ocean
    The only name they knew was that of Peter Wiggin, the Hegemon of Earth; the only news that came was news of peace, of prosperity, of great ships leaving the littoral of Earth’s solar system, passing the comet shield and filling up the bugger worlds.
  23. concave
    curving inward
    A deep depression in the middle, partially filled with water, was ringed by concave slopes that cantilevered dangerously over the water.
  24. itinerant
    traveling from place to place to work
    Wherever they stopped, he was always Andrew Wiggin, itinerant speaker for the dead, and she was always Valentine, historian errant, writing down the stories of the living while Ender spoke the stories of the dead.
  25. errant
    straying from the right course or from accepted standards
    Wherever they stopped, he was always Andrew Wiggin, itinerant speaker for the dead, and she was always Valentine, historian errant, writing down the stories of the living while Ender spoke the stories of the dead.

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