reflect deeply on a subject
She tapped her forefinger on the table as she
pondered, her rings flashing in the light.
being provided with adequate nourishment
"You can’t run errands for me unless properly
"Nourish" comes from the Old French "norrir" which comes from the Latin "nutrire" which means "to feed" which one needs to do to one's body in order to be healthy enough to work.
the act of making a noisy disturbance
When I went back inside, there came a
ruckus and much shouting from the second floor.
discuss the terms of an arrangement
Becky brought back peas, greens, and gossip from the marketplace: the British fleet was in the harbor, no, the fleet had sailed for Jamaica, no, the Congress had
negotiated a peace, no, the British planned to kill us all while we slept.
a building or group of buildings to house military personnel
The pump was set in a little shed at the edge of the Common, a big gathering place ringed by army
barracks, the poorhouse, and the jail.
related by blood
It made me feel
kin to the old man, and I smiled and curtsied polite whenever I saw him.
“You don’t want to sail anywhere, not now,” he said,
doffing his hat and bowing to three officers passing on horseback.
characterized by intense emotion
I fervently hoped Becky would chop off their heads and strip off their skins.
cultivated and genteel
Madam knocked on the door with a not terribly
standing above others in character or attainment
Madam tried to look beyond him to the
distinguished guest but could not see through the thick form of her husband.
a braid of hair at the back of the head
His own hair was dark, pulled back into a neat
queue, and tied with string.
idle or foolish and irrelevant talk
This was not idle
prattle about Congress.
Compare with "natter" in the list for Chapters 1-11--although "prattle" is used here as a noun, in its use as a verb, the two words are synonymous, with the difference that "natter" is mostly used by British speakers.
prevent the occurrence of; prevent from happening
“War will be
averted and countless lives saved."
a state of peace and quiet
"Our world will return to the former state of
tranquility we enjoyed before all this nonsense.”
a crime that undermines the offender's government
“All of the American leaders have committed
treason against the King."
Compare with "sedition" in this list--both are crimes against the government, but "treason" often involves betrayal of one's country to an enemy.
an often persistent bodily disorder or disease
“She is not suffering her particular
ailment, is she?”
He bade Madam to sit on the chair she had nearly broke over my head, took a seat himself, and
addressed me gravely.
Here, "address" does not mean an actual location or the directions for finding a location (but the sense of direction is suggested in the preposition "to"). Used as a verb, it is pronounced with the stress on the second syllable instead of the first.
with strained or eager attention
I dove behind a log barricade just as two soldiers turned the corner, talking
intently to each other and sweeping the street with their eyes.
a person employed to keep watch for some anticipated event
As I neared the gate, a
sentry stepped out and blocked my way.
burn slowly and without a flame
I followed him inside, past a room of men sleeping on the floor, along a hall to a small room where a low fire
smoldered in the hearth, a chair drawn up before it.
a hot, smoldering fragment of wood left from a fire
He walked to the hearth and looked at the glowing
indicate by signs
Becky brought back tales of sea monsters chasing the British fleet and a two-headed calf born outside Philadelphia that
portended all manner of disaster.
turned or twisted to one side
Instead of wearing a hat or coat, he had a long cloak draped over his head, and his wig sat
a member of a plot to carry out some harmful or illegal act
Conspirators who plotted against the American cause had been arrested all over the city and in several close-by villages.
In Latin, the word sounds more innocent, because "com" means "together" and "spirare" means "to breathe" so conspirators are people who breathe together. But this sense of closeness often connects to secrecy, which is usually needed for some harmful or illegal plot.
an instrument from which a person is executed by hanging
Perhaps he would provide an escort for Ruth and me direct from the
gallows to the wharf.
with one leg on each side
I could pick out General Washington
astride his big gray horse at the center of the line.
an illegal action inciting resistance to lawful authority
“Thomas Hickey, you have been court-martialed and found guilty of the capital crimes of mutiny and
sedition, of holding a treacherous correspondence with, and receiving pay from, the enemy for the most horrid and detestable purposes, and you have been sentenced to hang from the neck until dead."
Compare with "treason" in this list--the description of Hickey's crimes includes both sedition and treason (implied by the "treacherous correspondence" with the enemy). "Treason" usually refers to an individual's direct action, while "sedition" includes any speech or action that might provoke others to actions against their government.
unpleasant to look at
Ruth’s fingers drifted to her nose for some
a shelter from danger or hardship
Could we slip away to
sanctuary in the commotion?
civilians trained as soldiers, not part of the regular army
Militia units from the surrounding colonies piled into the city.
a distinctive odor that is offensively unpleasant
stench cooked under the midsummer sun.
a substance believed to cure all ills
Within the pouch lay a green flask filled with a calming
elixir prescribed by the doctor.
a coating of gold or of something that looks like gold
The King was not made of gold, but of soft lead, covered with
“Even during time of war, we must follow the rules of
propriety and civilization.”
somewhat ill or prone to illness
indisposed, sir,” Madam answered.