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VOCABULARY - To Kill A Mockingbird

Chapters 1-3 Part I: Using Prior Knowledge and Contextual Clues

Below are the sentences in which the vocabulary words appear in the text. Read the sentence.
Use any clues you can find in the sentence combined with your prior knowledge, and write what you
think the underlined words mean in the space provided.

  1. Thus we came to know Dill as a pocket Merlin, whose head teemed with eccentric plans,
    strange longings, and quaint fancies.


  1. Inside the house lived a malevolent phantom.


  1. Nobody knew what form of intimidation Mr. Radley employed to keep Boo out of sight,
    but Jem figured that Mr. Radley kept him chained to the bed most of the time.


  1. Jem condescended to take me to school the first day, a job usually done by one's parents,
    but Atticus had said Jem would be delighted to show me where my room was.

Condescend: ____________________________________________________

  1. The class murmured apprehensively, should she prove to harbor her share of the peculiarities
    indigenous to that region.

Indigenous: ______________________________________________________

  1. Having never questioned Jem's pronouncements, I saw no reason to begin now.


  1. Jem's free dispensation of my pledge irked me, but precious noontime minutes were ticking away.


  1.  Apparently she had revived enough to persevere in her profession.


  1. "Do you know what a compromise is?" he asked.







Part II: Determining the Meaning

Match the vocabulary words to their dictionary definitions. If there are words for which you
cannot figure out the definition by contextual clues and by process of elimination, look them up in a dictionary.

_____1. eccentric                                A. threats

_____2. malevolent                             B. authoritative statements

_____3. intimidation                           C. departing from the established norm, model, or rule

_____4. condescended                        D. exhibiting or having ill-will; malicious

_____5. indigenous                             E. native

_____6. pronouncements                    F. settlement of differences in which concessions are made

_____7. irked                                      G. remain constant to a purpose in spite of obstacles

_____8. persevere                               H. annoyed; bothered

_____9. compromise                           I. to come down voluntarily to the level of inferiors



Chapter 1

assuaged – soothed                                            

chattels – slaves                                                 imprudent – bold

dictum – rule                                                      nebulous – cloudy

diverted – turned                                       predilection – tendency

flivver – old, cheap car                              strictures – restrictions

foray – short journey                                         taciturn – quiet

impotent – powerless                                          vapid – dull



Chapter 2

delegation – group                                                                 

illicitly – without permission

enact     – act out                                        

entailment – restriction placed on estate inheritance

uninitiated – not yet introduced to (look up the meaning of the word initiate)

Chapter 3

amiable – friendly                                                        erratic – irregular

concede – admit to                                                       expounding – explaining

contemptuous – hateful                                               fractious – quarrelsome

cordially – warmly                                                       iniquities – injustices

diction – choice of words                                            judiciously – generously

diminutive – very small                                                 

disapprobation – disapproval