So when she was a sickly,
fretful, ugly little baby she was kept out of the way, and when she became a sickly,
fretful, toddling thing she was kept out of the way also.
characteristic of an absolute ruler or absolute rule
She never remembered seeing familiarly anything but the dark faces of her Ayah and the other native servants, and as they always obeyed her and gave her her own way in everything, because the Mem Sahib would be angry if she was disturbed by her crying, by the time she was six years old she was as
tyrannical and selfish a little pig as ever lived.
The woman looked frightened, but she only
stammered that the Ayah could not come and when Mary threw herself into a passion and beat and kicked her, she looked only more frightened and repeated that it was not possible for the Ayah to come to Missie Sahib.
confusion resulting from failure to understand
During the confusion and
bewilderment of the second day Mary hid herself in the nursery and was forgotten by everyone.
in a dishonorable manner or to a dishonorable degree
She looked an ugly, cross little thing and was frowning because she was beginning to be hungry and feel
"Disgraceful" means "deserving or bringing disgrace or shame" and "giving offense to moral sensibilities and injurious to reputation"--both definitions fit the situation: being neglected shames Mary; neglecting a child is offensive to the moral sensibilities of the larger society and would've hurt the reputations of her parents, if they had lived.
very opposed in nature or character or purpose
He sang it until the other children heard and laughed, too; and the crosser Mary got, the more they sang "Mistress Mary, quite
contrary"; and after that as long as she stayed with them they called her "Mistress Mary Quite
Contrary" when they spoke of her to each other, and often when they spoke to her.
marked by casual disrespect
Basil was a little boy with
impudent blue eyes and a turned-up nose, and Mary hated him.
open disrespect for a person or thing
"She doesn't know where home is!" said Basil, with seven-year-old
"Scornful" and "impudent" are semi-synonymous adjectives ("scorn" has more hateful rudeness than "impudence"). While these words are referring to Basil here, they could also describe Mary. Used to being treated like a queen, Mary does not recognize or appreciate her own attitudes in others. This contrasts with her relationship to Ben, with whom she also shares the same temper, but because he's older, has gardening knowledge, and doesn't mind sharing, Mary seeks him out.
showing unfeeling resistance to tender feelings
But she thought over it a great deal afterward; and when Mrs. Crawford told her that night that she was going to sail away to England in a few days and go to her uncle, Mr. Archibald Craven, who lived at Misselthwaite Manor, she looked so
stony and stubbornly uninterested that they did not know what to think about her.
If she were not so
sallow and had a nicer expression, her features are rather good.
go, come, or spread in a rambling or irregular way
Her black dress made her look yellower than ever, and her limp light hair
straggled from under her black crepe hat.
aloof or indifferent
"Humph," muttered Mrs. Medlock, staring at her queer,
unresponsive little face.
"Unresponsive" also means "not reacting to some influence or stimulus"--Mrs. Medlock was trying to talk to Mary, but the only response she got was "No" (twice). Even when Mary starts to become interested in Mrs. Medlock's descriptions of Misselthwaite Manor, her disagreeable nature makes her continue to pretend to be aloofly unresponsive.
cause to lose one's composure
Mary said nothing at all, and Mrs. Medlock looked rather
discomfited by her apparent indifference, but, after taking a breath, she went on.
attentive in an ingratiating or servile manner
The native servants she had been used to in India were not in the least like this. They were
obsequious and servile and did not presume to talk to their masters as if they were their equals.
having or showing arrogant superiority to
"You are a strange servant," she said from her pillows, rather haughtily.
having or showing arrogant superiority to
"Are you going to be my servant?" Mary asked, still in her
imperious little Indian way.
"Haughty" and "imperious" are synonymous adjectives, but they have different roots: "haughty" comes from the Latin "altus" meaning "high"; "imperious" comes from the Latin "imperare" which means "to command" and is also the root of "empire"--this gives the example sentence more meaning, because Mary's "imperious little Indian way" is due to the British Empire's control of India from 1858-1947 (the novel was published in 1911).
angered at something unjust or wrong
"No," answered Mary, quite indignantly."I never did in my life. My Ayah dressed me, of course."
in a proud and domineering manner
"It is different in India," said Mistress Mary
strong feelings of embarrassment
Mary did not even try to control her rage and
"Humiliation" also means "state of disgrace or loss of self-respect"--combining both definitions would give a more accurate picture of Mary's feelings: she is embarrassed that Martha described her as "yellow"; she is feeling disgraced and disrespected that Martha should think that she would be black, which she connects to Indian natives, who "are not people--they're servants who must salaam to you."
marked by uncontrolled excitement or emotion
She sobbed so unrestrainedly that good-natured Yorkshire Martha was a little frightened and quite sorry for her.
tender, romantic, or nostalgic feeling or emotion
So she began to feel a slight interest in Dickon, and as she had never before been interested in any one but herself, it was the dawning of a healthy
crushed by grief
If she had been an affectionate child, who had been used to being loved, she would have broken her heart, but even though she was "Mistress Mary Quite Contrary" she was
desolate, and the bright-breasted little bird brought a look into her sour little face which was almost a smile.
inclined to anger or bad feelings with overtones of menace
He had a
surly old face, and did not seem at all pleased to see her-- but then she was displeased with his garden and wore her "quite contrary" expression, and certainly did not seem at all pleased to see him.
stand behind the quality, accuracy, or condition of
We've got the same nasty tempers, both of us, I'll
intrusive in an offensive manner
Don't you be a
meddlesome wench an' poke your nose where it's no cause to go.
lacking spirit or liveliness
In India she had always felt hot and too
languid to care much about anything.
refuse to stop
"Why did he hate it?" Mary
mark as different
But as she was listening to the wind she began to listen to something else. She did not know what it was, because at first she could scarcely
distinguish it from the wind itself.
feel bitter or indignant about
The time had come when Mary had forgotten to
resent Martha's familiar talk.
spreading out in different directions
It seemed as if there was no one in all the huge
rambling house but her own small self, wandering about upstairs and down, through narrow passages and wide ones, where it seemed to her that no one but herself had ever walked.