Rick Riordan's "The Lightning Thief," Chapters 1-10

Vocabulary study list for Rick Riordan's "The Lightning Thief" (Chapters 1-10).

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. incinerate
    become reduced to ashes
    "Before one of them incinerates you."
  2. beeline
    the most direct route
    Whenever he got upset, Grover's bladder acted up, so I wasn't surprised when, as soon as we got off the bus, he made me promise to wait for him, then made a beeline for the restroom.
  3. kleptomaniac
    someone with an irrational urge to steal
    All the way into the city, I put up with Nancy Bobofit, the freckly, redheaded kleptomaniac
    girl, hitting my best friend Grover in the back of the head with chunks of peanut butter-andketchup
  4. vaporize
    turn into gas
    Look, I didn't want to be a half-blood.
  5. pulverize
    make into a powder by breaking up or cause to become dust
    Something about the way she looked at the frieze, as if she wanted to
    pulverize it...
  6. faze
    disturb the composure of
    I wasn't even fazed by the fact that she'd just been invisible.
  7. douse
    wet thoroughly
    I couldn't tell whether she was just grossed out or angry at me for
    dousing her.
  8. eon
    the longest unit of geological time
    You see, eons ago the gods granted my wish.
  9. crumple
    gather something into small wrinkles or folds
    I hit him so hard I could see his eyes vibrating as he crumpled into the water.
  10. contaminate
    make impure
    My lunch must've been contaminated with magic mushrooms
    or something.
  11. wispy
    thin and weak
    He must've
    been held back several grades, because he was the only sixth grader with acne and the start of a
    wispy beard on his chin.
  12. gawk
    look with amazement
    Outside, Clarisse and her friends were sprawled in the mud, and a
    bunch of other campers had gathered around to gawk.
  13. elate
    fill with high spirits
    Then I heard yelling, elated screams, and I saw Luke racing toward the boundary line with
    the red team's banner lifted high.
  14. splatter
    dash a liquid upon or against
    Inside was a black-and-white bull's horn, the base jagged from being broken off, the tip
    splattered with dried blood.
  15. ambrosia
    the food and drink of the gods
    If you weren't like us, you couldn't have survived the Minotaur,
    much less the ambrosia and nectar."
  16. chassis
    the skeleton of a motor vehicle
    He picked up Gabe's Camaro by the torn roof,
    the chassis creaking and groaning.
  17. disgorge
    eject the contents of the stomach through the mouth
    Zeus did indeed
    feed Kronos a mixture of mustard and wine, which made him disgorge his other five children,
    who, of course, being immortal gods, had been living and growing up completely undigested in
    the Titan's stomach.
  18. appraise
    consider in a comprehensive way
    He appraised at me with an entirely new interest.
  19. misnomer
    an incorrect or unsuitable name
    The Time of the Titans was the Fourth Age, sometimes
    called the Golden Age, which is definitely a misnomer.
  20. shard
    a broken piece of a brittle artifact
    Grover bit a huge shard out of the empty aluminum can and chewed it mournfully.
  21. amphitheater
    an oval large stadium with tiers of seats
    The landscape was dotted with
    buildings that looked like ancient Greek architecture—an open-air pavilion, an amphitheater, a
    circular arena—except that they all looked brand new, their white marble columns sparkling in
    the sun.
  22. kaleidoscope
    an optical toy in a tube
    Emotions rolled around inside me like bits of glass in a kaleidoscope.
  23. removable
    capable of being taken away or dismissed
    It was an ordinary disposable
    ballpoint, black ink, removable cap.
  24. cringe
    draw back, as with fear, pain, or embarrassment
    The way Grover cringed, as if Mr. D were his master.
  25. slither
    pass or move unobtrusively or smoothly
    I was in preschool, and a teacher accidentally put me
    down for a nap in a cot that a snake had slithered into.
  26. materialize
    come into being; become reality
    Mrs. Dodds materialized next to us.
  27. centaur
    a mythical being that is half man and half horse
    "What a relief," the centaur said.
  28. cranky
    easily irritated or annoyed
    I started feeling cranky and irritable most of the time.
  29. archetype
    something that serves as a model
    Chiron calls them archetypes.
  30. rectangle
    a parallelogram with four right angles
    Dionysus picked up a playing card, twisted it, and it became a plastic rectangle.
  31. solstice
    when the sun is at its greatest distance from the equator
    The summer solstice deadline— "
    "Will have to be resolved without him, Grover.
  32. pummel
    strike, usually with the fist
    He lifted her as she struggled, kicking and pummeling the air.
  33. trident
    a spear with three prongs
    A three-tipped spear: a trident.
  34. disposable
    an item that can be thrown away after it has been used
    It was an ordinary disposable
    ballpoint, black ink, removable cap.
  35. rotate
    turn on or around an axis or a center
    The rest of the day, I'd rotate through outdoor activities, looking for something I was good at.
  36. orientation
    the act of determining one's position
    "I'm afraid our usual orientation film won't
    be sufficient."
  37. snicker
    laugh quietly
    Finally, Nancy Bobofit snickered something about the naked guy on the stele, and I turned
    around and said, "Will you shut up?"
  38. amazon
    a large, strong, and aggressive woman
    The attic was filled with Greek hero junk: armor stands covered in cobwebs; once-bright
    shields pitted with rust; old leather steamer trunks plastered with stickers saying ITHAKA,
  39. converge
    be adjacent or come together
    Everybody converged on the creek as Luke ran
    across into friendly territory.
  40. paralyze
    cause to be immobile
    He was paralyzed from the waist down.
  41. humiliate
    cause to feel shame
    But still,
    it was a little humiliating to be slower than a tree.
  42. toga
    a one-piece cloak worn by men in ancient Rome
    Wouldn't that put a twist in your toga?"
  43. pseudonym
    a fictitious name used when performing a particular role
    "I'm afraid that was a pseudonym.
  44. camouflage
    an outward semblance misrepresenting the nature of something
    She wore a size XXXL CAMP HALF-BLOOD Tshirt
    under a camouflage jacket.
  45. nestle
    move or arrange oneself in a comfortable and cozy position
    Kids in bright orange T-shirts like Grover's were chasing each other
    around a cluster of cabins nestled in the woods.
  46. swerve
    turn sharply; change direction abruptly
    We swerved onto a narrower road, racing past darkened
    farmhouses and wooded hills and PICK YOUR OWN STRAWBERRIES signs on white picket
  47. sibling
    a person's brother or sister
    Campers yelled and cheered as Annabeth and two of her siblings ran into the pavilion
    carrying a silk banner.
  48. touchy
    difficult to handle; requiring great tact
    We were getting close to a touchy subject.
  49. misinterpret
    construe wrongly
    The school counselor told me this was part of the ADHD, my brain
    misinterpreting things.
  50. wince
    draw back, as with fear or pain
    He winced.
  51. topple
    fall down, as if collapsing
    Zeus believes Poseidon has taken the master bolt, and is now secretly having
    the Cyclopes build an arsenal of illegal copies, which might be used to topple Zeus from his
  52. fluffy
    like down or as soft as down
    There was this TV
    starlet with a big fluffy eighties hairdo—he just couldn't help himself.
  53. intimidate
    compel or deter by or as if by threats
    They were
    startling gray, like storm clouds; pretty, but intimidating, too, as if she were analyzing the best
    way to take me down in a fight.
  54. detector
    a device that receives a signal and responds to it
    was sure the knife would get us busted the first time we went through a metal detector.
  55. obliterate
    remove completely from recognition or memory
    You might even say they are the source of it, or at least, they are
    tied so tightly to it that they couldn't possibly fade, not unless all of Western civilization were
  56. traceable
    capable of being tracked or detected
    (Chiron said cell phones
    were traceable by monsters; if we used one, it would be worse than sending up a flare.)
  57. mausoleum
    a large burial chamber, usually above ground
    The pair of cabins at the head of the field, numbers one and two, looked like his-and-hers
    mausoleums, big white marble boxes with heavy columns in front.
  58. smirk
    smile affectedly or derisively
    Nancy Bobofit smirked.
  59. minion
    a servile or fawning dependant
    "Just the
    Lord of the Dead and a few of his blood-thirstiest minions."
  60. talon
    a sharp hooked claw especially on a bird of prey
    Her fingers
    stretched, turning into talons.
  61. snout
    a long projecting or anterior elongation of an animal's head
    His neck was a mass of muscle and fur leading up to his enormous head, which had a snout as
    long as my arm, snotty nostrils with a gleaming brass ring, cruel black eyes, and horns—
    enormous black-and-white horns with points you just couldn't get fr
  62. flail
    an implement with a handle and a free swinging stick
    He flailed, clawing at his chest, then began to disintegrate—
    not like my mother, in a flash of golden light, but like crumbling sand, blown away in chunks by
    the wind, the same way Mrs. Dodds had burst apart.
  63. frieze
    an ornament consisting of a horizontal sculptured band
    Mrs. Dodds stood with her arms crossed in front of a big marble frieze of the Greek gods.
  64. smolder
    burn slowly and without a flame
    Even though it was a warm afternoon,
    the hearth smoldered.
  65. frustrate
    hinder or prevent, as an effort, plan, or desire
    He cried when he got frustrated.
  66. canine
    a dog or related mammal
    Then I heard a sound that sent a chill up my spine, a low canine growl, somewhere close by.
  67. nectar
    a sweet liquid secretion that is attractive to pollinators
    If you weren't like us, you couldn't have survived the Minotaur,
    much less the ambrosia and nectar."
  68. paraphrase
    express the same message in different words
    "And why, Mr. Jackson," Brunner said, "to paraphrase Miss Bobofit's excellent question,
    does this matter in real life?"
  69. memento
    a reminder of past events
    By the window, sitting on a wooden tripod stool, was the most gruesome memento of all: a
  70. gingerly
    in a manner marked by extreme care or delicacy
    He took the empty glass from me gingerly, as if it were dynamite, and set it back on the table.
  71. finality
    the quality of being definitely settled
    "No," he said with finality.
  72. hubbub
    loud confused noise from many sources
    He looked like those paintings of baby angels— what do you call
    them, hubbubs?
  73. gruesome
    shockingly repellent; inspiring horror
    By the window, sitting on a wooden tripod stool, was the most gruesome memento of all: a
  74. deflect
    turn from a straight course or fixed direction
    Luke deflected it easily, but I saw a change in his face.
  75. satyr
    one of a class of woodland deities
    There are satyrs who would trample you underhoof for such an insult!"
  76. scoff
    laugh at with contempt and derision
    Mr. D scoffed.
  77. mallet
    a tool resembling a hammer but with a large head
    Then a much closer noise, like mallets in the sand.
  78. viper
    a venomous Old World snake
    "Now let's try that viper-beheading strike again.
  79. retrieve
    get or find back; recover the use of
    "Now in real time," he said, after I'd retrieved my weapon.
  80. aura
    distinctive but intangible quality around a person or thing
    They have a strong aura, a scent that attracts monsters.
  81. skid
    a plank used to make a track for rolling or sliding objects
    slammed into the wet asphalt and skidded in a shower of sparks for about half a mile before
    coming to a stop.
  82. lethal
    of an instrument of certain death
    "Not lethal.
  83. cube
    a three-dimensional figure with six equal squares as faces
    I stared into it, sure I'd just had a warm drink, but the
    ice cubes hadn't even melted.
  84. stressed
    suffering severe physical strain
    "This is difficult," he stressed.
  85. grapple
    work hard to come to terms with or deal with something
    They grappled with each other, wrestled, kicked and head-butted, and every time
    they connected, lightning flashed, the sky grew darker, and the wind rose.
  86. whiff
    a short light gust of air
    When I caught a whiff of the smoke, I didn't gag.
  87. gripe
    He kept griping and groaning about losing her cooking—and more important, his '78
    Camaro—for the whole weekend.
  88. sniff
    perceive by inhaling through the nose
    Gabe could sniff out money like a bloodhound, which was surprising, since his own smell
    should've covered up everything else.
  89. blurt
    utter impulsively
    That's nothing to be—"
    "Thanks," I blurted.
  90. blare
    make a loud noise
    The television blared ESPN.
  91. yelp
    a sharp high-pitched cry
    Grover yelped.
  92. ramp
    an inclined surface connecting two levels
    Mr. Brunner parked his wheelchair at the base of the handicapped ramp.
  93. zigzag
    a shape with sharp turns in alternating directions
    "I'm not talking about some tinfoil-covered zigzag
    you'd see in a second-grade play.
  94. confuse
    mistake one thing for another
    Totally confused, I looked at the director.
  95. erupt
    start suddenly
    "If I had my way," Dionysus said, "I would cause your molecules to erupt in flames.
  96. relent
    give in, as to influence or pressure
    "Oh, all right," Dionysus relented.
  97. chore
    a specific piece of work required to be done
    Apparently, privileges had been traded—shower times, chore schedules, the best
    slots for activities—in order to win support.
  98. grill
    a framework of metal bars used as a partition or a grate
    It smelled of hot chocolate and fresh-baked brownies,
    hamburgers on the grill and wildflowers, and a hundred other good things that shouldn't have
    gone well together, but did.
  99. carnage
    the savage and excessive killing of many people
    were affecting the course of human events too much, causing too much carnage.
  100. millennium
    a span of 1000 years
    Do you think they've changed their habits in the
    last few millennia?"
  101. cower
    crouch or curl up
    Grover cowered by the railing, his hooves
    clopping back and forth.
  102. hallucination
    illusory perception
    This twentyfour/
    seven hallucination was more than I could handle.
  103. scamper
    run or move about quickly or lightly
    Grover had scampered to the top like a mountain goat, but the lava had almost
    gotten me.
  104. fang
    canine tooth of a carnivorous animal
    was a shriveled hag with bat wings and claws and a mouth full of yellow fangs, and she was
    about to slice me to ribbons.
  105. grimace
    contort the face to indicate a certain mental state
    Chiron grimaced.
  106. flinch
    draw back, as with fear or pain
    Grover flinched every time one landed in his pile.
  107. reassure
    cause to feel confident
    I tried to reassure him that he had lots of talents, but that just made him look more miserable.
  108. canter
    a smooth three-beat gait
    Chiron cantered out from the woods and blew the conch horn.
  109. marred
    blemished by injury or rough wear
    It was marred
    by that scar on his right cheek, but his smile was intact.
  110. spawn
    the mass of eggs deposited by fish or amphibians or mollusks
    From her first day, Mrs. Dodds loved Nancy Bobofit and figured I was devil spawn.
  111. bulky
    of large size for its weight
    His top half was bulky and fuzzy.
  112. elated
    exultantly proud and joyful; in high spirits
    Then I heard yelling, elated screams, and I saw Luke racing toward the boundary line with
    the red team's banner lifted high.
  113. jagged
    having a sharply uneven surface or outline
    Inside was a black-and-white bull's horn, the base jagged from being broken off, the tip
    splattered with dried blood.
  114. parry
    impede the movement of
    Luke showed me thrusts and parries and shield blocks the hard way.
  115. maim
    injure or wound seriously and leave permanent disfiguration
    killing or maiming is allowed.
  116. hazy
    filled or abounding with fog or mist
    A hazy curtain of rain
    was coming in our direction.
  117. shaky
    vibrating slightly and irregularly
    I stood up, my legs shaky.
  118. obnoxious
    causing disapproval or protest
    I wanted to be with my mom in our little apartment on the Upper East Side, even if I had to
    go to public school and put up with my obnoxious stepfather and his stupid poker parties.
  119. initiation
    the act of starting something for the first time
    "We got an initiation ceremony for newbies, Prissy."
  120. facade
    the front of a building
    Look at the statue of Prometheus in Rockefeller Center, the
    Greek facades of your government buildings in Washington.
  121. shimmer
    shine with a weak or fitful light
    On the other
    side, across four lanes of asphalt shimmering with afternoon heat, was an old-fashioned fruit
  122. stumble
    miss a step and fall or nearly fall
    Together, we draped Grover's arms over our shoulders and started stumbling uphill through
    wet waist-high grass.
  123. analyze
    break down into components or essential features
    They were
    startling gray, like storm clouds; pretty, but intimidating, too, as if she were analyzing the best
    way to take me down in a fight.
  124. brandish
    move or swing back and forth
    She brandished a five-foot-long
    spear, its barbed metal tip flickering with red light.
  125. labyrinth
    complex system of paths in which it is easy to get lost
    Theseus killed him in the labyrinth.
  126. reek
    give off smoke, fumes, warm vapour, steam, etc.
    The guy reeked like moldy garlic pizza wrapped in gym shorts.
  127. cascade
    a small waterfall or series of small waterfalls
    It leaped over her—an enormous
    shadow with teeth—and just as it hit me, as I stumbled backward and felt its razor-sharp claws
    ripping through my armor, there was a cascade of thwacking sounds, like forty pieces of paper
    being ripped one after the o
  128. depressing
    causing sad feelings of gloom and inadequacy
    "Horribly depressing, at times, but never boring."
  129. metaphysical
    pertaining to the philosophical study of being and knowing
    shan't deal with the metaphysical."
  130. plumb
    exactly vertical
    I heard the plumbing rumble,
    the pipes shudder.
  131. sprout
    produce buds or branches; germinate
    From the hounds neck sprouted a cluster of arrows.
  132. barb
    a point facing the main point making an arrowhead or spear
    The roof was lined with barbed wire.
  133. terminal
    occurring at or forming an end
    He looked at me mournfully, like he was already picking the kind of flowers I'd like best on
    my coffin.
    Confession time: I ditched Grover as soon as we got to the bus terminal.
  134. sparkle
    emit or produce sparks
    Her eyes sparkle and
    change color in the light.
  135. boar
    an uncastrated male hog
    A stuffed wild boar's head hung over the
    doorway, and its eyes seemed to follow me.
  136. dissolve
    pass into a solution
    She caught my eyes, managed to choke out one last word: "Go!"
    Then, with an angry roar, the monster closed his fists around my mother's neck, and she
    dissolved before my eyes, melting into light, a shimmering golden form, as if she were a
  137. suspension
    the act of hanging something from above so it moves freely
    headmaster had threatened me with death by in-school suspension if anything bad, embarrassing,
    or even mildly entertaining happened on this trip.
  138. assignment
    an undertaking that you have been told to perform
    But first,
    Grover, we need to talk, again, about your less-than-perfect performance on this assignment."
  139. feign
    make believe with the intent to deceive
    Mr. D looked at the wine and feigned surprise.
  140. accidentally
    without intention; in an unintentional manner
    Percy Jackson and the Olympians – Book 1
    Rick Riordan
    Look, I didn't want to be a half-blood.
  141. tournament
    a competition in which contestants play a series of games
    I mean, sure, it was kind of cool on tournament days, when he dressed up in a suit of Roman
    armor and shouted: "What ho!'" and challenged us, sword-point against chalk, to run to the board
    and name every Greek and Roman person who had ever lived, a
  142. instructor
    a person whose occupation is teaching
    The wood-nymph instructors left me in the dust.
  143. mentally
    in your mind
    "You mean, mentally disturbed kids?"
  144. poke
    thrust abruptly
    A girl about nine years old was tending the flames, poking the coals with a
  145. rotten
    having decayed or disintegrated
    Black smoke poured from the dashboard and
    the whole bus filled with a smell like rotten eggs.
  146. mature
    having reached full natural growth or development
    "We need the boy
    to mature more."
  147. cleave
    separate or cut with a tool, such as a sharp instrument
    There were cloven hooves.
    We tore through the night along dark country roads.

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