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Vocabulary - To Kill A Mockingbird Chapters 4-7
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 on the lines provided.

1. For some reason, my first year of school had wrought a great change in our relationship:
Calpurnia's tyranny, unfairness, and meddling in my business had faded to gentle grumblings
of general disapproval.


2. Mrs. Dubose lived two doors up the street from us; neighborhood opinion was unanimous
that Mrs. Dubose was the meanest old woman who ever lived.


3. Jem's evasion told me our game was a secret, so I kept quiet.


4. She was a widow, a chameleon lady who worked in her flower beds in an old straw hat
and men's coveralls, but after her five o'clock bath she would appear on the porch and
reign over the street in magisterial beauty.


5. "Son," he said to Jem, "I'm going to tell you something and tell you one time:
stop tormenting that man. That goes for the other two of you."


6. Jem decided there was no point in quibbling, and was silent.


7. Jem skipped two steps, put his foot on the porch, heaved himself to it, and teetered a long moment.


8. Every night-sound I heard from my cot on the back porch was magnified three-fold;
every scratch of feet on gravel was Boo Radley seeking revenge, every passing Negro
laughing in the night was Boo Radley loose and after us; insects splashing against the screen
were Boo Radley's insane fingers picking the wire to pieces; the chinaberry trees were
malignant, hovering, alive.



Mockingbird Vocabulary - Chapters 4-7

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.

_____10. tyranny                    A. moved unsurely in a see-sawing motion

_____11. unanimous               B. like a lizard known for changing colors to match its surroundings;

changeable person

_____12. evasion                    C. making petty distinctions or irrelevant observations

_____13. chameleon               D. actively evil in nature

_____14. tormenting               E. in complete agreement

_____15. quibbling                 F. pestering; harassing

_____16. teetered                    G. act of avoiding

_____17. malignant                 H. extreme harshness or severity; rigor


Chapter 4

abominable – horrid                                                    arbitrated – refereed

auspicious – promising                                               evasion – avoidance

quelling – overcoming                                                 scuppernongs – plum-like fruits

unanimous – agreed by all







Chapter 5

asinine – mindless                                                       benevolence – good will

benign – harmless                                                       edification – illumination; instruction

inquisitive – curious                                                    magisterial – authoritative

peril – danger                                                              pestilence – plague

placidly – calmly                                                         tacit – understood but unspoken


Chapter 6

dismemberment – mutilation                              pilgrimage – journey    

ensuing – following                                                     prowess – skill           

malignant – evil                                                           solitary – only

                                                                                    waning – dwindling                


Chapter 7

ascertaining – finding out                                           

meditative – thoughtful

rendered – made                                 

tarnished – rusty                     

vigil – lookout