Rick Riordan's "The Lightning Thief," Chapters 11-20

Vocabulary study list for Rick Riordan's "The Lightning Thief" (Chapters 11-20).
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Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. levitate
    cause to rise in the air and float
    They levitated off the ground and
    started dragging him away from us.
  2. modulate
    fix or adjust the time, amount, degree, or rate of
    Then her voice modulated back to a comforting purr.
  3. impale
    pierce with a sharp stake or point
    I tried not to imagine they'd
    fall on us at any moment, but dotted around the fields were several that had fallen and impaled
    themselves in the black grass.
  4. cursive
    handwriting in which letters are connected within words
    The neon sign above
    the gate was impossible for me to read, because if there's anything worse for my dyslexia than
    regular English, it's red cursive neon English.
  5. obsidian
    glass formed by the cooling of lava without crystallization
    Looming on
    the horizon was a palace of glittering black obsidian.
  6. douse
    wet thoroughly
    I pulled
    Annabeth into the seat next to me and fastened her seat belt just as the tidal wave slammed into
    our boat, over the top, whisking the spiders away and dousing us completely, but not capsizing
    us.
  7. eon
    the longest unit of geological time
    The black grass had been trampled by eons of dead feet.
  8. splatter
    dash a liquid upon or against
    I tried to keep a low profile because my name and picture were splattered over the front pages
    of several East Coast newspapers.
  9. submerge
    put under water
    Two boats that had been washed out of the tunnel before us were now piled
    against the barricade—one submerged, the other cracked in half.
  10. invisibility
    the quality of not being perceivable by the eye
    But his helm is a lot more powerful than my invisibility hat, if what I've heard is true...."
  11. ghoul
    an evil spirit or ghost
    Beyond this were tollbooths manned by black-robed ghouls like
    Charon.
  12. rummage
    search haphazardly
    I rummaged
    around the rest of the office until I found the right-size box.
  13. trivia
    something of small importance
    I saw Annabeth playing trivia games and other brainiac stuff.
  14. hurtle
    move with or as if with a rushing sound
    The problem was: we were hurtling toward the Underworld at ninety-five miles an hour,
    betting that Hades had the master bolt.
  15. billowing
    characterized by great swelling waves or surges
    She had long billowing hair, and her eyes, barely visible, were
    green like mine.
  16. commemorative
    intended to honor the memory of someone or something
    A
    few minutes later she came out in Waterland flower-print shorts, a big red Waterland T-shirt, and
    commemorative Waterland surf shoes.
  17. charisma
    personal attractiveness that enables you to influence others
    Hades
    had the same intense eyes, the same kind of mesmerizing, evil charisma.
  18. trajectory
    the path followed by an object moving through space
    "Force times the trajectory angle—"
    "Fine.'"
  19. warble
    sing or play with trills
    He warbled something that
    sounded like a Barry Manilow song as he ferried the empty barge back across the river.
  20. centaur
    a mythical being that is half man and half horse
    Once, I spotted a family of centaurs galloping across a wheat field, bows at the ready, as they
    hunted lunch.
  21. welt
    a raised mark on the skin
    He had a big welt on his
    forehead.
  22. nozzle
    a projecting spout from which a fluid is discharged
    Grover pointed the nozzle in the air and water hissed out in a thick white mist.
  23. solstice
    when the sun is at its greatest distance from the equator
    At this
    rate, we'd never make it to L.A. alive, much less before the summer solstice.
  24. pollute
    make impure
    They've polluted the sky.
  25. browse
    feed as in a meadow or pasture
    "We were just, um, browsing."
  26. dorsal
    on or near the back of an animal or organ
    Tentatively, I touched
    its dorsal fin.
  27. perimeter
    a line enclosing a plane area
    I had to go a long way around the police
    perimeter.
  28. trident
    a spear with three prongs
    I remembered the swirling green trident that had appeared above my head the night of capture
    the flag, when Poseidon had claimed me as his son.
  29. disposable
    an item that can be thrown away after it has been used
    He nodded, held
    up a little disposable camera and snapped a picture of us.
  30. rodent
    relatively small placental mammals
    He wasn't kidding about turning you into a rodent."
  31. headlight
    a powerful light with reflector
    The motorcycle's headlight glared red.
  32. compendium
    a publication containing a variety of works
    There was an advertisement for
    Hermes Delivery Service, and another for the All-New Compendium of L.A. Area Monsters—
    "The only Monstrous Yellow Pages you'll ever need!"
  33. paralyze
    cause to be immobile
    His parents pulled him back toward the exit, straight into the park
    ranger, who stood, paralyzed, gaping at the monster.
  34. gnome
    a legendary creature resembling a tiny old man
    Grover translated: "Aunty Em's Garden Gnome Emporium."
  35. dilate
    become wider
    Six nostrils dilated.
  36. silt
    mud or clay or small rocks deposited by a river or lake
    Clouds of silt and disgusting garbage—beer bottles, old shoes,
    plastic bags—swirled up all around me.
  37. readjust
    correct anew
    "So," Annabeth asked me, once we'd gotten Grover's sneaker readjusted.
  38. camouflage
    an outward semblance misrepresenting the nature of something
    Some wore Greek armor,
    some British redcoat uniforms, some camouflage with tattered American flags on the shoulders.
  39. rabid
    marked by excessive enthusiasm for a cause or idea
    The rhinestone dog collar still hung around
    its neck, and the plate-sized dog tag was now easy to read: CHIMERA— RABID, FIREBREATHING,
    POISONOUS—IF FOUND, PLEASE CALL TARTARUS—EXT. 954.
  40. inhale
    draw deep into the lungs by breathing
    It's difficult to intentionally inhale water.
  41. complicate
    make less simple
    Leave it to a girl to make
    everything complicated.
  42. writhe
    move in a twisting or contorted motion
    Her hair was moving,
    writhing like serpents.
  43. fascinate
    attract; cause to be enamored
    I hesitated, fascinated by the face I saw reflected in the glass—the eyes that seemed to burn
    straight through the green tint, making my arms go weak.
  44. evaporate
    change into gas or steam
    "Why didn't ...
    why didn't the head evaporate?"
  45. replica
    copy that is not the original
    We passed the Monte Carlo and the MGM. We passed pyramids, a pirate ship, and the Statue
    of Liberty, which was a pretty small replica, but still made me homesick.
  46. wince
    draw back, as with fear or pain
    Annabeth and Grover got to their feet, groaning and wincing
    and cursing me a lot.
  47. fluffy
    like down or as soft as down
    Fluffy
    towels and water beds with feather pillows.
  48. huddle
    a disorganized and densely packed crowd
    We huddled in the corner on some mildewed feed sacks, trying to ignore the smell and the
    heat and the flies.
  49. overpower
    defeat by superior force
    A strange breeze rustled through the clearing, temporarily overpowering the stink of trash and
    muck.
  50. detector
    a device that receives a signal and responds to it
    Each entrance had a pass-through metal detector with security
    cameras mounted on top.
  51. smirk
    smile affectedly or derisively
    He smirked at the zebra.
  52. baleful
    threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
    His eyes were baleful and cold.
  53. ooze
    pass gradually or leak or as if through small openings
    I could
    feel warm ooze soaking into my sock, little dying snake heads tugging at my shoelaces.
  54. talon
    a sharp hooked claw especially on a bird of prey
    My eyes rose to Aunty Em's hands, which
    had turned gnarled and warty, with sharp bronze talons for fingernails.
  55. agitate
    move or cause to move back and forth
    Immediately, all the people in the waiting room got up and started pacing, agitated, lighting
    cigarettes, running hands through their hair, or checking their wristwatches.
  56. swivel
    turn on a pivot
    The statues had
    swiveled so that their cameras were trained straight on us, the spotlights in our faces.
  57. chastise
    censure severely
    "Grover," Aunty Em chastised, "look this way, dear."
  58. holster
    a sheath for carrying a handgun
    Its gas tank had
    flames painted on it, and a shotgun holster riveted to either side, complete with shotguns.
  59. dissipate
    cause to separate and go in different directions
    The spirits made muffled hisses as they dissipated, like the air let out of tires.
  60. aroma
    any property detected by the sense of smell
    The
    aroma was like laughing gas in the dentist's chair—it made everything else go away.
  61. unpredictable
    unknown in advance
    Blast his father's blood—he is too changeable, too unpredictable.
  62. queue
    a line of people or vehicles waiting for something
    The dead queued up in the three lines, two marked ATTENDANT ON DUTY, and one
    marked EZ DEATH.
  63. gnarled
    old and twisted and covered in lines
    My eyes rose to Aunty Em's hands, which
    had turned gnarled and warty, with sharp bronze talons for fingernails.
  64. focusing
    the concentration of attention or energy on something
    My eyes had trouble focusing.
  65. defunct
    no longer in force or use; inactive
    Soon, all three of us were decked out like walking
    advertisements for the defunct theme park.
  66. scuttle
    an entrance equipped with a hatch
    It was an army of wind-up creepy-crawlies: bronze-gear bodies, spindly legs, little pincer
    mouths, all scuttling toward us in a wave of clacking, whirring metal.
  67. budge
    move very slightly
    Grover hovered above the pool in his flying sneakers, trying to pull the net loose, but it
    wouldn't budge.
  68. environmentalist
    someone who works to protect nature from destruction
    I guess you'd be an environmentalist."
  69. navigate
    direct carefully and safely
    He was navigating by ears and nose alone.
  70. dais
    a platform raised above the surrounding level
    Standing at the foot of the dais was my
    mother, frozen in shimmering golden light, her arms outstretched.
  71. amaze
    affect with wonder
    "But you still want to go," I said, amazed.
  72. satyr
    one of a class of woodland deities
    The front lot was a forest of statues: cement animals, cement children, even a cement satyr
    playing the pipes, which gave Grover the creeps.
  73. plummet
    drop sharply
    My clothes on fire, poison coursing through my veins, I plummeted
    toward the river.
    14 I BECOME A
    KNOWN FUGITIVE
    I'd love to tell you I had some deep revelation on my way down, that I came to terms with my
    own mortality, laughed in the face of deat
  74. metamorphosis
    striking change in appearance or character or circumstances
    That's metamorphosis.
  75. qualm
    uneasiness about the fitness of an action
    I had no qualms about what I was about to do.
  76. impede
    be a hindrance or obstacle to
    The point is, kid, you're impeding the war
    effort.
  77. stench
    a distinctive odor that is offensively unpleasant
    Before I could swing my sword, it opened its mouth, emitting a stench like the world's largest
    barbecue pit, and shot a column of flame straight at me.
  78. silky
    having a smooth, gleaming surface reflecting light
    Silky cables trailed from the arrows, arcing over the pool and anchoring where they landed to
    form a huge golden asterisk.
  79. distortion
    a shape resulting from being deformed
    "The convexity will cause some distortion.
  80. disembark
    exit from a ship, vehicle, or aircraft
    The dead began to disembark.
  81. decorate
    make more attractive, as by adding ornament or color
    Her account book showed
    her six most recent sales, all shipments to the Underworld to decorate Hades and Persephone's
    garden.
  82. toxic
    of or relating to or caused by a poison
    There're all kinds of toxic—"
    That's when my head went under.
  83. retrieve
    get or find back; recover the use of
    Jump and retrieve your sword.
  84. aura
    distinctive but intangible quality around a person or thing
    Hades's aura was affecting me, just as Ares's had.
  85. bashful
    self-consciously timid
    He managed a bashful grin.
  86. skid
    a plank used to make a track for rolling or sliding objects
    He was picking up
    speed, skidding downhill like a bobsled.
  87. mystify
    be puzzling or bewildering to
    Grover shook his head, clearly mystified.
  88. subside
    wear off or die down
    The water was subsiding.
  89. bounce
    spring back; spring away from an impact
    Now imagine a field a million times that big, packed with people, and imagine the electricity
    has gone out, and there is no noise, no light, no beach ball bouncing around over the crowd.
  90. embed
    fix or set securely or deeply
    I sank through the murk, sure that I was about to end up embedded in
    a hundred feet of mud and lost forever.
  91. petrify
    change into stone
    It can still petrify you."
  92. podium
    a platform raised above the surrounding level
    The security guard's desk was a raised podium, so we had to look up at him.
  93. fatality
    the quality of being able to cause death
    Again, no
    confirmed fatalities ..."
  94. structural
    relating to the composition of something
    Annabeth kept talking about structural supports, and how she would've made the windows
    bigger, and designed a see-through floor.
  95. sniff
    perceive by inhaling through the nose
    He took his nose out of the jelly-bean bag long enough to sniff.
  96. blurt
    utter impulsively
    "Charon wants a pay raise," I blurted, just remembering the fact.
  97. unruly
    unable to be governed or controlled
    She was
    my age, with unruly black, punk-style hair, dark eyeliner around her stormy green eyes, and
    freckles across her nose.
  98. blare
    make a loud noise
    We burst through the EZ DEATH gate, which started even more alarms blaring, and raced
    into the Underworld.
  99. bristle
    a stiff hair
    The hairs on my arms bristled.
  100. pillage
    steal goods; take as spoils
    They've been pillaging Pan's
    kingdom ever since.
  101. brakes
    a device that works to slow a motor vehicle
    Every time the brakes hissed on an eighteen-wheeler, it reminded me of Echidna's reptilian
    voice.
  102. chaotic
    completely unordered and unpredictable and confusing
    It was spread out, chaotic, hard to move around.
  103. caption
    brief description accompanying an illustration
    The picture's caption read:
    Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson, wanted for questioning in the Long Island disappearance
    of his mother two weeks ago, is shown here fleeing from the bus where he accosted
    several elderly female passengers.
  104. yelp
    a sharp high-pitched cry
    The kid yelped.
  105. ramp
    an inclined surface connecting two levels
    Their car
    disappeared down the ramp.
  106. vagrant
    a wanderer with no established residence or means of support
    It was a hundred and ten degrees, easy, and we
    must've looked like deep-fried vagrants, but everybody was too interested in the wild animals to
    pay us much attention.
  107. confuse
    mistake one thing for another
    "I hate being confused with that old horse-man.
  108. erupt
    start suddenly
    Noise erupted all around us, of a million gears grinding, as if the whole pool were turning
    into one giant machine.
  109. ultimatum
    a final peremptory demand
    You and the satyr have been helping this hero—coming
    here to threaten me in Poseidon's name, no doubt—to bring me an ultimatum.
  110. grill
    a framework of metal bars used as a partition or a grate
    And sure enough, there it was at the back of the
    warehouse, a fast-food counter with a grill, a soda fountain, a pretzel heater, and a nacho cheese
    dispenser.
  111. surveillance
    close observation of a person or group
    "Channel Five has learned that
    surveillance cameras show an adolescent boy going wild on the observation deck, somehow
    setting off this freak explosion.
  112. fang
    canine tooth of a carnivorous animal
    When she smiled, I saw that her teeth were fangs.
  113. lithe
    moving and bending with ease
    He lounged on his throne of fused human bones, looking
    lithe, graceful, and dangerous as a panther.
  114. grimace
    contort the face to indicate a certain mental state
    Annabeth grimaced.
  115. marred
    blemished by injury or rough wear
    They are
    marred.
  116. cooperate
    work together on a common enterprise of project
    "I mean, didn't Athena and Poseidon ever
    cooperate?"
  117. shaky
    vibrating slightly and irregularly
    My legs felt shaky.
  118. veer
    turn sharply; change direction abruptly
    We veered toward the stall farthest from
    the street, keeping our eyes open for patrol cars.
  119. flick
    throw or toss with a quick motion
    I flicked the lighter.
  120. shimmer
    shine with a weak or fitful light
    I could see Aunty Em's dark reflection in the orange glass;
    her headdress was gone, revealing her face as a shimmering pale circle.
  121. stumble
    miss a step and fall or nearly fall
    Together, the three of us stumbled
    back to the warehouse.
  122. virtual
    being actually such in almost every respect
    There were virtual-reality suits with working laser guns.
  123. impertinent
    improperly forward or bold
    "They'll think you're impertinent."
  124. sprout
    produce buds or branches; germinate
    Grover's shoes sprouted wings.
  125. barter
    exchange goods without involving money
    Barter with me.
  126. barb
    a point facing the main point making an arrowhead or spear
    Judging from the
    sign, it once had been called WATERLAND, but now some of the letters were smashed out, so it
    read WAT R A D.
    The main gate was padlocked and topped with barbed wire.
  127. chasm
    a deep opening in the earth's surface
    They tugged at my clothes, trying to pull me back, but I felt compelled to walk forward to the
    very edge of the chasm.
  128. ripple
    a small wave on the surface of a liquid
    Her words seemed to come from
    everywhere, rippling through the water like dolphin sonar.
  129. gust
    a strong current of air
    Every gust of wind through Death Valley sounded like a spirit of the
    dead.
  130. fuse
    any igniter used to initiate the burning of a propellant
    The empty,
    horrid throne was made from human bones fused together.
  131. filthy
    disgustingly dirty
    Sitting in a row of filthy metal cages were three of the most pathetic zoo
    animals I'd ever beheld: a zebra, a male albino lion, and some weird antelope thing I didn't know
    the name for.
  132. dissolve
    pass into a solution
    A shimmering image hovered over the void: my mother, frozen at the moment she'd
    dissolved in a shower of gold.
  133. gape
    look with amazement
    In my dreams, I stood in a dark cavern before a gaping pit.
  134. translate
    restate from one language into another language
    Grover translated: "Aunty Em's Garden Gnome Emporium."
  135. react
    show a response to something
    I was too stunned to react.
  136. revealing
    showing or making known
    I could see Aunty Em's dark reflection in the orange glass;
    her headdress was gone, revealing her face as a shimmering pale circle.
  137. humane
    marked by concern with the alleviation of suffering
    The eighteen-wheeler had a sign on the back, which I could read only because it was reverseprinted
    white on black, a good combination for dyslexia: KINDNESS INTERNATIONAL:
    HUMANE ZOO TRANSPORT.
  138. distort
    twist and press out of shape
    The green swirls
    of the gazing ball must be distorting it, making it look worse.
  139. concentrate
    make denser, stronger, or purer
    But I could only concentrate on controlling the boat.
  140. percent
    a proportion in relation to a whole
    But he must've been one hundred percent mortal, because the blade passed
    harmlessly right through his chest.
  141. normally
    under normal conditions
    I was underwater, and I
    was breathing normally.
  142. clump
    a grouping of a number of similar things
    Black trees—Grover told me they were poplars—grew in clumps here and there.
  143. glimmer
    a flash of light
    Then I saw something glimmering in the darkness below, growing bigger and brighter as it
    rose toward me.
  144. transparent
    transmitting light; able to be seen through with clarity
    Out of
    the corner of my eye, I could see them all just fine, but if I focused on any one of them in particular,
    they started looking ... transparent.
  145. strand
    line consisting of a complex of fibers twisted together
    A cobweb, I thought, but then I looked at
    a strand of it on my palm and saw it was some kind of metal filament, so fine it was almost
    invisible.
  146. reluctantly
    with a certain degree of unwillingness
    "Um," Grover said reluctantly, "we don't have any money, ma'am."
  147. ignore
    refuse to acknowledge
    We ignored him.
  148. cradle
    a baby bed with sides and rockers
    "I appeared on my father's doorstep, in a golden cradle, carried down from Olympus by
    Zephyr the West Wind.
  149. gleaming
    bright with a steady but subdued shining
    There, not five feet in front of me, was my sword, its gleaming bronze hilt sticking up in the
    mud.
  150. ferry
    a boat transporting people or vehicles over a body of water
    Normally, with adults, you see, I could charge your American Express, or add the ferry price to
    your last cable bill.
  151. survivor
    one who lives through affliction
    We're trying to
    get to some of the survivors, to question them about eyewitness reports of someone falling from
    the Arch."
  152. collapse
    break down, literally or metaphorically
    We all collapsed, exhausted, on the obsidian gravel.
  153. cavern
    a large cave or a large chamber in a cave
    I slashed up with my sword, heard a sickening shlock!, then a hiss like wind rushing out of a
    cavern—the sound of a monster disintegrating.
  154. stormy
    affected or characterized by commotion
    She was
    my age, with unruly black, punk-style hair, dark eyeliner around her stormy green eyes, and
    freckles across her nose.
  155. spray
    water in small drops in the atmosphere
    At the rate things are going, I'll never find Pan."
    "Pam? Like the cooking spray?"
  156. maximum
    the greatest or most complete or best possible
    Just then a big Lincoln Continental pulled into the car wash with its stereo turned to
    maximum hip-hop.
  157. confine
    place limits on
    I hate confined places.

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