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To Kill a Mockingbird
Vocabulary

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

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acrimony
1 use
We could tell, however, when debate became more acrimonious than professional, but this was from watching lawyers other than our father. I never heard Atticus raise his voice in my life, except to a deaf witness.
acrimonious = bitter or angry
DefinitionGenerally acrimony means:
bitterness or anger
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17, p.229.89
Web Links
ambidextrous
1 use
About your writing with your left hand, are you ambidextrous, Mr. Ewell?
ambidextrous = having the ability to use either hand with equal ease
DefinitionGenerally ambidextrous means:
the ability to use either hand with equal ease
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17, p.238.8
Web Links
apprehension
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
apprehension about finals
Ladies in bunches always filled me with vague apprehension and a firm desire to be elsewhere, but this feeling was what Aunt Alexandra called being "spoiled."
apprehension = worry
DefinitionGenerally this sense of apprehension means:
worry about what is to come
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 24, p.307.41
Web Links
arbitration
1 use
Jem arbitrated, awarded me first push with an extra time for Dill, and I folded myself inside the tire.
arbitrated = acted as an impartial referee
DefinitionGenerally arbitration means:
the process of solving an argument with the help of an impartial referee
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4, p.49.72
Web Links
assuage
1 use
When it healed, and Jem's fears of never being able to play football were assuaged, he was seldom self-conscious about his injury.
assuaged = soothed (made less unpleasant or frightening)
DefinitionGenerally assuage means:
to soothe (make something less unpleasant or frightening)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1, p.3.14
Web Links
attribute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
It is an attribute of...
Atticus did not drive a dump-truck for the county, he was not the sheriff, he did not farm, work in a garage, or do anything that could possibly arouse the admiration of anyone. Besides that, he wore glasses. ...  With these attributes, however, he would not remain as inconspicuous as we wished him to: that year, the school buzzed with talk about him defending Tom Robinson, none of which was complimentary.
attributes = characteristics
DefinitionGenerally this sense of attribute means:
a characteristic (of something or someone)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 10, p.118.97
Web Links
auspicious
1 use
The remainder of my schooldays were no more auspicious than the first.
auspicious = suggestive of good things to come
DefinitionGenerally auspicious means:
favorable; or suggestive of good things to come
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 4, p.43.4
Web Links
circumstantial evidence
3 uses
We don't know, but there is circumstantial evidence to indicate that Mayella Ewell was beaten savagely by someone who led almost exclusively with his left.
circumstantial evidence = evidence from which a fact is reasonably inferred, although not directly proven
DefinitionGenerally circumstantial evidence means:
evidence from which a fact is reasonably inferred, but not directly proven
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 20, p.272.80
Web Links
context
1 use
...all men are created equal ... There is a tendency ... for certain people to use this phrase out of context, to satisfy all conditions. ... We know all men are not created equal in the sense some people would have us believe... But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal— there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution, gentlemen, is a court.
out of context = in a misleading manner because it is presented without the setting or situation in which it occurred
DefinitionGenerally context means:
the setting or situation in which something occurs
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 20, p.274.11
Web Links
dictum
3 uses
So Simon, having forgotten his teacher's dictum on the possession of human chattels, bought three slaves and with their aid established a homestead on the banks of the Alabama River some forty miles above Saint Stephens.
dictum = saying (in this case that teaches)
DefinitionGenerally dictum means:
a short saying intended to make a point
in various senses, including:
  • a popular saying — such as "Nothing is certain but death and taxes."
  • a formal declaration from a respected source — such as the Constitution's statement that "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech"
  • a non-binding remark in a judge's opinion — short for obiter dictum
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1, p.4.47
Web Links
elude
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
your point eludes me
A curious contest, the nature of which eluded me, was developing between my father and the sheriff.
eluded = was not understood by
DefinitionGenerally this sense of elude means:
to escape understanding (not understand)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 30, p.365.93
Web Links
induce
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
induce her to
No amount of sighing could induce Atticus to let us spend Christmas day at home.
induce = persuade
DefinitionGenerally this sense of induce means:
to persuade somebody to do something
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 13, p.174.25
Web Links
irrelevant
3 uses
Can't see what witness's literacy has to do with the case, irrelevant'n'immaterial.
irrelevant = not related or significant to the subject being considered
DefinitionGenerally irrelevant means:
not relevant (not related to the subject being considered, or not important enough to want to consider)
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 17, p.236.47
Web Links
morbid
6 uses
1  —6 uses as in:
a morbid curiosity
Once the town was terrorized by a series of morbid nocturnal events: people's chickens and household pets were found mutilated;
morbid = suggesting the horror of death and decay
DefinitionGenerally this sense of morbid means:
suggesting unhealthy thoughts—such as of death and decay; or an unhealthy interest in such thoughts
Word Statistics
Book6 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1, p.10.88
Web Links
persecution
7 uses
Persecution comes from people who are prejudiced.
persecution = bad and unfair treatment of a group of people
DefinitionGenerally persecution means:
very bad and unfair treatment of others — usually because of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or political beliefs
Word Statistics
Book7 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 26, p.327.89
Web Links
premise   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —1 use as in:
the premise of the argument
I pulled at his sleeve, and we were followed up the sidewalk by a philippic on our family's moral degeneration, the major premise of which was that half the Finches were in the asylum anyway, but if our mother were living we would not have come to such a state.
premise = assumption (used to logically build an argument)

(editor's note:  Philippic is a very rarely used synonym for denunciation, rant, or verbal attack.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of premise means:
something assumed to be true and upon which other things are based
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 11, p.136.8
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
located on the premises
Against the fence, in a line, were six chipped-enamel slop jars holding brilliant red geraniums, cared for as tenderly as if they belonged to Miss Maudie Atkinson, had Miss Maudie deigned to permit a geranium on her premises.
premises = land
DefinitionGenerally this sense of premises means:
land and buildings together — especially of a business or organization
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 17, p.228.64
Web Links
sustain
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
sustained by her faith
The place was self-sufficient: modest in comparison with the empires around it, the Landing nevertheless produced everything required to sustain life except ice, wheat flour, and articles of clothing, supplied by river-boats from Mobile.
sustain = provide necessities of
DefinitionGenerally this sense of sustain means:
provide support or necessities
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1, p.4.82
Web Links
wallow   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 3 uses
1  —1 use as in:
wallow happily in the mud
People caught hookworms going barefooted in barnyards and hog wallows.
wallows = mud puddles
DefinitionGenerally this sense of wallow means:
to relax — especially of an animal rolling about in mud or shallow water

or more rarely:  a noun describing the mud puddle or indentation in which an animal relaxes or rolls around
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2, p.25.47
Web Links
2  —2 uses as in:
wallow in self-pity
But they don't have to go to the courthouse and wallow in it-
wallow = indulge (get overly involved)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of wallow means:
to indulge in an emotion or situation

(This is often said of something negative such as self-pity when no attempt is made to move beyond it. But it is also sometimes said without connotation just to indicate that someone has a lot of something such as money or luxury.)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library1 use in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2, p.23.27
Web Links
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