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1006 Cards in this Set

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abashed
humiliated; lowered in rank, presige, or esteem
abate
lessen in degree, reduce
abhorrence
looked at or felt with disgust, horror; shunned or rejected with scorn or fear
abide
put up with, tolerate
abode
home place where a person lives or stays
abomination
disgusting thing; something to be looked at with great dislike, disgust or horror
abstruse
hard to get the sense of, difficult to understand or comprehent; hidden away, recondite
abyss
deep hole; bottomless pit of hell
accord
be in harmony or agreement with
accost
go up and say something to a strange person
accountable
responsible, answerable, capable of being explained
accrued
increased, become a permanent addition
accumulate
get greater by addition; pile up
acquiescing
giving agreement, making no protest against; consenting quietly or passively
acquisition
prize, gift, something gained
acrid
biting, sharp, bitter taste or smell
acuteness
sharpness of mind, clear-minded
adduced
put forward as an example or authority, for proof or for consideration
admonished
warned, told by someone about one's wrongdoing, mildly or kindly but seriously
adultery
consenting sexual intercourse between a married person and another person to whom the first person is not married; usually against religious law if not political or social statute. Note: this word never appears in the text of The Scarlet Letter.
advance
to go before, ahead of
advent
coming, arrival, esp. one of importance
adverse
going against one's interests; going in an opposite direction
afflicted
in pain with or because of; physical suffering or in distress because of
agency
action, being an instrument of, operating through
agitate
shake up, disturb, cause to move violently and irregularly
ails
wrong with, diseased
airily
high in the air, not seriously--there is some implication also of supernatural power (in the air)
airy
like or in the air, as light as air, immaterial or without substance or weight
alacrity
speed, quickness; eagerness, cheerful willingness
alchemy, alchemist
magical power, chemical philosophy of transmutation or changing metals into gold; (alchemist); Parcelsus was the most famous medieval alchemist
allot
to parcel out; assign a portion
alloy
to mix (a metal) with another one of less value
alms-house
poor-house; place where people who cannot support themselves are housed and fed by public charity
amenable
controlled by, responsible to authority
amiss
improper, wrong, whatever offends
amplest
most sufficient or adequate
analogy
parallel to, reasoning by like, corresponding qualities
anathemas
curses, strong denunciations
anatto
variant of annatto, yellow-red dye from a tropical seed
animadversion
pointing out bad qualities, hostile criticism
annihilated
completely destroyed, put out of existence
anon
again; archaic: in a short time, quickly
anthracite
hard coal used for stove fuel
antics
foolish acts, jumps
Antinomian
Religious liberal who believes in individual grace through self-knowledge, not church law or teaching, and thus persecuted by Puritans
antipathy
a dislike or aversion; animosity, enmity; (synonym: repugnance)
antiquarian
one who studies very old, historic things
antiquated
old, having gone out of use
antique
very old, of old times
antiquity
early times in history
apartment
set of rooms; British: flat
apostle
religious missionary, ardent supporter
apothecary
keeper of medical store, one who supplies medical drugs
apotheosized
glorified, exhalted
appalled
shocked, dismayed, made pale
apparition
strange-looking thing
appellation
name or title
apple-peru
a weed, originally from tropical America, with white or blue flowers
appliances
instruments, things, esp. of household use
apprehension, apprehensive
fear; or, understanding or perception in general
aqua-vitae
strong liquor such as brandy or whisky
archaic
old, ancient, old-fashioned
arch-fiend
the devil, Satan
archive
library, storehouse of books
aright
correctly
armorial
having to do with coats of arms
array
clothing or armor
arraying
dressing, composing
art
second person familiar 'are'; also, black art: sorcery, evil, black magic
ascended
went up
ascending
going up
ascertain
get knowledge of, make sure of
ascetic
(adj.) self-denying, austere, severe; (noun) one who renounces comforts of life
askew
at an angle
asks permission
behest
aspect
facial expression; appearance to the eye
asperity
sharpness, roughness
attainments
accomplishments
attire
clothing
audacity
boldness, bravery, unrestrained impudence
auditor
one who hears; a listener
aught
archaic: the least bit, anything at all
augur
to predict, forecast the future
auspicious
favorable; (see inauspicious)
austerity
simple, unadorned, with no ornaments
autumnal
fall-like in age, old, elderly
avail
help, make use of, to be of advantage
averred
said that thing is so, affirm
avowed
acknowledged openly, said to be the case
behalf, benefit (not archaic, but more common, behooved)
beneficence
between
bid
blows, throws
beadle, town-beadle
book in Gothic type, with heavy dark strokes, like Olde English
blasoned
broom made of a bundle of twigs
besought
C
cadence
rhythm in sound, going up and down
calamity
serious trouble, shocking events
calculable
come to decision as to probable events, readily relied on
cankered
diseased or corrupted, or spreading it
capering
playful leaping like a young goat
caprice
impulse, whim, an impulsive change of mind; capricious: fickle, impulsive and unpredictable; wanton, wilful behavior, without rational motivation
capriole
playful, goatlike leap in air
careering
going quickly or violently, running or moving at full speed, in a rush
catarrh
inflammation of the lining of the nose and mouth
catechism
book of questions and answers used by the Church to teach a system of Christian belief
cause of death, ruin, destruction
bark
celestial
pertaining to the sky, heavenly, divine
centrifugal
having a tendency away from the center
chamber
room, esp. bedroom
chamber-window
(upstairs) bedroom window
chaos
without any order or form
charger
archaic: a platter, a large shallow dish
chased
decorated with engraving or embossing
cheery
in good spirits, happy
chest; breasts of female or mother; body near heart, center of emotion
brat
chink
crack, narrow opening
chirography
writing with a pen
chirurgical
surgical
choleric
easily angered
church usher, official whose duty it was to keep order
beckoning
cicerone
a tourist guide
circuit
circle
circumference
outline of circle, distance around
clamor
big noise, protest
clangor
loud, metallic sounds
clarion
trumpet
clench
tightly shut
clew
clue, something that guides to the solution of a problem or mystery
cloister
monastery, place of secluded study
close
ending; but also, narrow passageway or alley (now chiefly British); neighborhood of a church or other building
coadjutors
workers along with a person; assistants
cogitating
thinking, pondering
colloquy
a talk between persons
commodiousness
comfort in spaciousness
commodity
anything that can be traded
communed
communicated quietly
communion
union, shared feeling or place
compass
range, distance around
compeers
equals (persons)
compliance
as ordered or requested
comports
behaves
comprehension, comprehended
understanding; comprehend: see clearly in a wide range
conceits
strange comparisons or ideas
concoct
make, mix
concord
harmony, agreement between two aspects
condescension
recognition
confer
give, consult, make conference with
confidant
one to whom secrets or private matters are told or confided; (female, confidante)
confinement
imprisonment; also, lying-in, period of time around childbirth when mother lies in bed separate from other people (according to the OED, that euphemism was not yet in common use in 1600s-- term was "bands", or "Our Lady's bands", while "confinement" is a euphemism cited from 1774 and was popular in Hawthorne's Victorian times)
confusing, perplexing, uncertain
baggage
congregated
grouped together
conjectural
conclusion inferred from incomplete evidence
conjoined
joined, joined together, united
conjunction
state of being joined; simultaneous occurrence in time or space
conjuration
magic spell; also, solemn invocation or appeal
conscious
aware of
consciousness
awareness, understanding
consecrated, consecration
given up to God, declared or set apart as sacred
considerable
big, a lot of, large in amount
consigned
given over to
consolation, consolations
comforting, solace
consternation
great surprise and fear; sudden confusion or amazement
constitution
makeup, how put together of parts
constraining, constrained
limited, restricted; forced, not natural
consummation
fulfillment, ultimate end or goal, made complete
contadina
Italian peasant girl; masculine = contadino; plural = contadini
contagion
poision, bad influence that spreads rapidly
contiguity, contiguous
joining, touching
contingency
happening, occurence, esp. by chance
contortions
twisted out of normal form
contrive
devise with cleverness, fabricate
contumely
rough, rude, haughtily contempuous language or treatment
conversant (with)
having knowledge of or about
convulsed, convulsive
violent, uncontrolled movement of muscles
cope
coping, top part of a wall
cordial
liqueur
countenance, countenanced
(noun) face, facial expression, aspect; (verb) to condone, to approve (cliche: out of countenance = visibly upset or embarrassed)
countenanced
supported or encouraged in belief
covering made of cloth made stiff with paste
burdock
craftily
falsely, not straightforwardly
crave
beg, want greatly, desire
credibility
possibility of being believed in
creed
short statement of belief in Christian church
culprit
person caught violating the law
cumbrous
bulky, hard to handle
cut
clothing design
dame
married woman
dank
wet, unhealthy
darksome
dark, somber
dauntless
bold, not capable of being discouraged, fearless
deacon
man who helps minister in church functions
dearth
scarcity, lack, shortage
decapitated
head cut off; fired from job; [note: fake decapitation tricks were common in traveling magic shows in Hawthorne's time]
decease
death
decorous
proper, appropriate, polite
decorum
appropriate, polite behavior
decrepit
broken down, old and weak
decried
condemned, disapproved of
deem
consider, believe
defrauding
taking away from, especially by cheating
defunct
dead
degenerate
lost quality, gone down hill
deleterious
having a harmful effect
dell
small hollow with trees, usually secluded
delusive
having the nature of a delusion or false belief
delved
archaic word for dug
demeanour
behavior, way he handles himself, conduct
demerits
faults, offenses, defects
demonstration
public display
denizens
animals living in that place
denoted
indicated, served as a direct sign of
deportment
conduct, demeanor, bearing, behavior
depravity
moral corruption
depredations
plunder, preying on
deserts
deserved result, reward or punishment
design
form a plan for
desperadoes
pirates, dangerous criminals
despondency
feeling without hope, depression from lack of courage
despots, despotic
ruler with absolute power
detriment
harm, damage
device
in heraldry, a graphic motto or symbol
devoid
without, empty, lacking
devout
deeply religious
diabolical
devilish
diffused
spread out
dilapidated
ruined, decayed, fallen down
disapprobation
disapproval
disastrous
causing disaster, evil influence, esp. supernatural (from the Greek word for 'star')
discern
to perceive differences; to make distinctions
disclaim
deny (responsibility for)
disclosure
revealing, revelation, opening up to public view
discourse
formal, long, discussion of a subject
disdainful
scorning, looking down on, with contempt
disporting
playing
disposition
mood, (likely) pattern of behavior, attitude
disquietude
state of worry, uneasiness
dissolute
lacking in moral restraint
distracted
unsettled, pulled in opposite emotional directions
diversify
vary, mix in
divine
minister, clergyman, theologian; (maybe there is a hint of sarcasm sometimes, of the man who pretends to compare to God)
doing good, acting kindly, charity
benevolence, benevolent
domain
owned area, place, home
domestic
private, home, family
dost
do (second person singular present tense)
dotage
senile, state of feeble-minded old person
draught
draft, a drink
drearier
dismal, boring, bleaker
dress or ornament in a loud or bad way
begs leave
dryad
wood nymph, a nature divinity in Greek mythology
due
at the right time
dusky
dark, in shadow, without adequate light
dynasty
source of ultimate power, succession of rulers in a kingdom
early
betoken
earnest
serious, grave, sincere
eccentricity
deviation from the normal; oddity
ecstasy
intense joy
edifice
building
effected
made, brought about; (not to be confused with 'affected' = influenced)
effervescence
bubbling, high spirits
efficacy
(noun) power to produce desired effect; ability to achieve results; (adj.) efficacious: effective, capable of producing desired effect
effusion, effluence
pouring out, flood
ejaculation
outburst, exclamation
ejectment
firing, forcefully thrown out
eldritch
weird, eerie, supernatural, ghastly; an eldritch scream is unnerving and makes chills go up and down your spine; an Eldritch Press would sound much like that, like a bearing going bad on a disk drive, if you could hear it operate; also, a frequent mispronunciation of that dreadful surname, "Eldred," always feared in e-mail message headers
elf
mischievous child or small creaure believed to have magical powers
Elizabethan
of the period of Elizabeth I, queen of England (1558-1603)
emaciated
thin, haggard, gaunt
embowed
arched, like a bow
embroidery
ornamental work sewing with needle and thread
eminence
height, commanding place higher than surrounding
emissary
ambassador, secret agent
emolument
profit derived from office or employment
encumbrance
burden, heavy weight
endowment
natural gift or ability
enervating
weakening, lessening of strength
engraved
written in stone or metal, so as to be permanent
engrossed
written in large, clear, words
enigma
mystery, ambiguous or inexplicable riddle
enjoined
commanded by authority
enmity
deep-seated hatred, antagonism
entreat
plead, make an earnest request for
enumerated
numbered
epoch
time, particular period of history
ere
before in time
erudite
(adj.) deeply learned; showing extensive knowledge; sagacious; (noun) erudition: deep and extensive learning, profound knowledge
escutcheon
shield bearing a coat of arms
esoteric
confidential, within a small circle
essayed
tried, attempted
estate
landed property
esteem
consider, have an opinion
estranged
removed, made a stranger
etherealized
(adj.) heavenly, delicate, intangible, spiritual; (verb) etherealize: to spiritualize
eulogium
eulogy, speech of great praise
evanescent
fleeting, likely to vanish; transitory
evaporated
come to nothing, turned to a gas
eventide
evening
ever
always
evoked
called forth
exchange of goods, trade
battery
exemplary
(adj.) serving as a model, commendable; (noun) exemplar: model
exhilarating, exhilaration
stimulating, made free or strong
exhort
strongly encourage
exigencies
great needs, pressing requirements
expatiate
talk at long length
expiation
making payment for some wrong, esp. by undergoing punishment
expostulation
demand, attempt to persuade or change another person's behavior
expunge
erase, strike out
extinguished
eclipsed, obscured
extravagant
unrestrained, growing beyond reasonable bounds
extremity
end, far point
faculty
power of mind or body (often plural)
fain
(adverb) preferably, gladly, willingly
faint
weak
fame
good name, reputation
familiarity
intimately, as closely acquainted, as members of the same family
fantastic
unreal, based on fantasy; extravagant, ingenious
farthingale
skirt hoop fashionable in that day
fathomless
so deep that it cannot be measured
feigned
pretended
fervently
with burning, strong feelings
festal
as in a feast, festive
festoon
string held up between two points as in a garland
fidelity
being true
field sable
heraldic term for a black shield
fiend
devil, very cruel person
filial
son-like, responsibility as a son or younger dependent person
fire-water
alcoholic drinks particularly intoxicating to Native Americans because of their lack of enzymes to digest alcohol.
flannel
soft woven cloth of wool or cotton
flit
moving like a bird, darting rapidly from place to place
flush
blush, red in face
folio
large book, about 15 inches in size
foolscap
large sheet of writing paper, about twice the width of a letter sheet
forbearance, forborne
holding back comment, restraint, tolerance
foreboded, foreboding
sense of impending evil, ominous
forenoon, meridian
morning, time before noon or mid-day; an hour past meridian would be one hour after the sun was at its highest, or one o'clock
form
appearance
former, old, past, historic
forsooth
archaic: indeed
forthwith
now, right away, without delay
fortified
made stronger
foundered
sank or sunk
fourscore
eighty (four times a score, which is twenty years)
frailty
readiness to give way to wrong impulses
frame
body
frank
honest, sincere, open
frantic
anxious, nervous, emotionally out of control
freak
monster or very unusual thing
freight, freighted
verb: to load with goods to be transported
fretted
gnawed or worn away by nervous movements
fringed
sewn fringes on
frisking
leaping, dancing in playful way
futurity
future, time to come
gable-peaks
triangular end sections of a building wall, between the pitched roof lines and the ridge pole
gait
peculiar way of moving
galliard
archaic: lively and happy, as in a popular dance of the time by that name
garb
clothing, esp. a distinctive form of dress
gat
Archaic: past tense of 'get'
Geneva
black academic cloak with wide sleeves worn by Puritan ministers in style of Calvin of Geneva
genial
friendly, kindly, pleasant
germ
seed, early stage of life
gesticulation, gesticulating
making gestures, emphatic hand or body motions
ghastly
frightening, terrifyingly horrible, like a ghost or corpse
gibe
making sport, usually with unkind words
gild, gilded
gold, make gold, bright
give; give as gift; use
bethought
given
said, ascribed, submitted for acceptance
glimmer, glimmered, glimmering
faint, intermittent light; flickering
gorgeous
magnificent, brilliant, dazzlingly beautiful
gossip
archaic word for kinsman, close friend, or godparent
got in the way of, stopped
balm
gouty
sick with the disease gout, which causes pain in joints
grassy-margined
grass at edges
gratuitous
iunearned, unnecessary, unjustified
grievous
causing pain, serious
grimace
(verb) to contort the face to show pain, etc.; (noun) facial contortion to show pain, disgust, etc.
gripe
grip, hold
grisly
causing fear or repugnance
grossness
coarseness, unrefined, vulgar
grotesque
thing of strange or unnatural form
grovelled
got down on one's face to show great fear to someone else, making a low opinion of oneself
guise
outward appearance
gules
heraldic term for red
habituated
got used to
haggard
very tired-looking, with lined, worried face
hap
luck, by chance
harassed
annoyed, troubled again and again
harrowed
gave pain to feelings
haughty
stiff, high, with a good opinion of oneself and looking down on others
heraldic, herald
related to heraldry, which keeps track of families and their coats of arms
hermitage
place where a hermit lives, cabin away from others
heterodox
disagreeing with some church belief, or just having different beliefs, unorthodox
heterogeneous
mixed, having different ingredients
hieroglyphics
writing in pictures, hard to understand
hither
toward, to the place of the speaker
hoary-bearded
with a beard white from age
horn-book
a book to teach children to read, formerly one page covered with clear horn
humors
amusements, whims
humorsome
comical
hussy
immoral or mischievous woman
hypocrite
insincere person, falsely making oneself seem better
idolized
gave over-great love to
ignominious
deserving shame; despicable, degrading; (see ignominy)
ignominy
bad name, dishonor, infamy, disgrace, shame
ill-omened
marked by signs of bad luck
illumination, illumined
light, gave light to
imbibed, imbibes, imbibing
took in (drink, ideas)
imbue
stain, spread all the way through
imminent
near, ready to take place, threatening
immoral woman
balked
imparted, imparting
gave
impediment, impeded
holding back, block
impelled
drove forward, forced
imperative
necessary to be done right away
imperceptibly
not noticed because so small or slow
imperious
with an air of authority
impiety
lacking reverence or respect
impiously irreverent; something said or sworn without respect, especially for God
blight
implore, beg for, make a strong request for
besmirch
import
sense, meaning
importunately
making strong and frequent requests
imposed
put on, passed off as
impropriety
something improper or inappropriate
impunity
without fear of ending or harm
in vain
without success
inalienable
inseparable; incapable of being transferred or lost
inarticulate
not clearly spoken
inauspicious
ill-omened; unfavorable
incited
spurred or urged on, put into motion
inclement
stormy, unfriendly
inclosure
variant of "enclosure," something closed in, confined, or surrounded
incoherent
loose; lacking order or cohesion
incommodities
disturbing details
incongruity
not proper, inharmonious
incumbent
in office, holding a position
incurious
not curious, indifferent
indefeasible
not capable of being undone
inditing
writing, writing down
indolent
lazy
inducements
motives, persuasions
indulgent
lenient, tolerant
ineffectual
not effective or leading to the desired result
inefficacious
not effective or useful for the desired result
inexplicable
not capable of being explained or accounted for
inextricable
not capable of being untangled, untied, or solved
infamy
a bad name, disgrace, an extremely bad thing
infer
arrive at a conclusion, by reasoning from evidence
inferred
arrived at a conclusion, by reasoning from evidence
infirmity
without resolution or determination
inflicted
caused, as punishment
infusion
pouring in of something, as into the veins
inimical
harmful, hostile, unfriendly, malevolent
iniquity
wickedness; sin; a grossly immoral act
innate
by nature, born with
inopportune
inconvenient, at the wrong time
inquietude
in a disturbed state
inquisitively
curiously, prone to asking questions
inscrutable
mysterious, hard to understand
insomuch
inasmuch, in the degree of, as far as
instilment
instillment, given drop by drop
instruction
teaching, order, authoritative advice
insurmountable
incapable of being overcome or solved
intercourse
connection, dealings
interloper
someone from the outside who interferes with a process
intertwined
tied together, mutually involved
intervening
coming between
interview
meeting
intervolutions
spiraling folds
intimacy
of a personal, private nature
intimate
private, personal
intimations
suggestions, hints, indirect communications
intricacy, intricacies
complex parts
introspection
looking inward, self-examination
intuitions
insight, knowledge gained without rational thought
inured
accustomed to, esp. something undesirable
invested
clothed, covered, endowed with
investing
clothing, covering
invests
endowing with
inveterate, inveterately
obstinate, firmly established habit
inviolable
secure from assault or violation
invite, order, command, offer
birch-bark
irksome
annoying, a bother, full of trouble
irksomeness
tediousness, weariness
irrefragable
impossible to refute or alter
irrevocable
unalterable; impossible to take back
irrevocably
impossible to change
jet
intense black
joint-stool
small piece of furniture used for sitting, with legs but no back, made of pieces of wood fitted together; sometimes a term of disparagement
kind, gentle, mild
bequeathed
kindled
caught fire, lighted, stirred up or aroused
kindly, well-wishing
benign
kindred
family, relationship, similarity or alikeness
labyrinth
maze, intricate structure of passages
languid
slow, long
languor
weakness of mind or body, lethargy
lapse
passage of time, slip, forfeit
large decorative pin
brow
late
recent, in the period shortly before
latent
quality present but not yet active
latitude
scope or range, esp. of freedom of action (archaic)
lattice
structure of crossed wood strips across window
laudable
worthy of praise
lavished
spent in great amount, squandered
learned
educated
leaves
the two sides or leafs of a window that opens to the sides like a book
leech
archaic for physician--because of the practice of using bloodsucking worms to take amounts of blood from patients in hopes of some cure--be aware that the word was used like we use "doc," and did not necessarily have a disgusting connotation
lees
sediment, more solid leftovers in bottom of [wine] glass
lieu; in lieu of
instead of, in place of
ligaments
attachments, binding strings
like a plant disease, putting an end to development or hope
bodice
limbs
arms and legs
listlessness
lack of energy (see languor)
little
in small, summarized as, as through a telescope
locks
curls of hairs
looking-glass
mirror
loquacity
talking a lot or too much
lot
fate, share, way of life
low, rough person; scoundrel, foul-mouthed person
black-letter
lucubrations
scholarly work -- origin of word indicates work by the light of a lamp
ludicrous
something that should be laughed at because foolish
lumber
stored furniture or other items
lunacy
losing his mind, insanity, foolishness (once thought to be caused by phases of the moon)
lurid
shining with a red glow as of fire through smoke, also a horrifying, shocking, or revolting color from yellow to orange
lustre
glow of reflected light
luxuriance
indulgent, growing profusely or richly
machination
act of plotting, hostile intrigue, conspiracy, schemes; (usually plural)
made as headline; set on fire; glowing; lit up
blasphemous
made bright by rubbing
burrs
magistracy
state or office of magistrate
magistrate
judge or law enforcement officer
make
compel, bring about, cause to happen
making signs to come toward
bedizen
malefactress
female criminal, woman who has done wrong
malevolence
bitter hatred, ill will, wishing (and acting) bad of someone
malice
deep desire to see another suffer
malicious
deliberate or impulsive desire to do harm
malignant
injurious, tending to produce death
malignity
instance of malignant or malicious quality or behavior
manifest
(adj.) clearly apparent, obvious; (verb) to show, reveal
manifestation
demonstration of the existence of something; revelation
manifold
many, in various details
manse
Scottish word for house of a minister
marble
(like) white stone used for statues
margin
edge, border
marry
archaic exclamation, after Mary, mother of Jesus
marshal
arrange and direct so as to be in order
martial
warlike
martyrdom
suffering and death for a principle or belief
mask
now usually spelled 'masque,' a short play with masked actors
master-word
key, idea that would control
matronly
like a married woman, dignified
meed
archaic word for wages or earned reward, recompense
melancholy
sad, dark, depressing or depressed
memorials
memorandum, written statement of facts
mercenary
hired for pay to serve in armed force
meridian
noon, highest point of sun in day
Methinks
archaic: I believe, it seems to me
metropolis
main city (here, Boston)
mien
behavior, appearance, expression
mill-pond
quiet body of water stored to run a water mill
mimic
play, pretend
ministrations
aid or service, usually by ministers
misanthropy
distrust or hatred of humanity or men
misdemeanours
small crimes or misdeeds
mishap
happening by bad luck
molested
disturbed, annoyed
mollified
soothed, softened
momentous
important, consequential
monarch's
king's
morbid
sick, diseased
morions
helmets without crests
morsel
bite, small piece of food
mortal
human being
motto
phrase inscribed as a guiding principle
mould
mold, form in which to shape something
mouldy, mouldering
covered with mold, a fungus growth, and thus old, unused
mountebank
trickster, charlatan, impostor
multitudinous
great, large
must needs
necessarily
muster
military gathering, usually for training
mutability
capability for change
nasty, ill-mannered, spoiled child; one who is a trouble
brazen-clasped
natal
birth
naturalized
to grow an introduced plant so it becomes as if native
necromancer
magician, conjurer; necromancy: black magic, sorcery
needful
something needed, wanted, or necessary
nether
down below the earth's surface
nigh
near
night-hags
(female) witches
night-whimseys
nightmares, bad dreams
nugatory
of little consequence, vain
nuptial
wedding, pertaining to marriage
nutriment
food, nourishment
oath
solemn promise; careless use of sacred name (as by sailors)
obeisance
a gesture of respect; a bow
obligations
duty, responsibilities, what one is supposed to do, promises or debts
oblivion
forgotten, overlooked
obscure
dark, indistinct, faint
obtuseness
slow, not sharp in understanding
obviated
anticipated, prevented, or made unnecessary
ochre
clay pigment containing iron ore
odious
hated
office
function, service, assigned or assumed duty, role, or task
offshoot
product, descendant
offspring
child; demon offspring = child of Satan and a witch
ominous
pertaining to an omen of evil, menacing, alarming
omniscience
all-knowing; All High Omniscience = God
opening, gap, hole
brig
opportune
happening at an appropriate time
optics
eyes
orb
circle, world, surroundings
ordinances
laws, regulations
outlandish
strange, foreign, bizarre
outskirt
part remote from center; the forest outside town that was thought to live the Devil
overmuch
too big an amount
pacify
calm, sooth, appease
pall
spreading covering, usually associated with gloom, as a cloth over a casket, or a dark cloud
palliate
moderate, cover over, lessen in intensity
pallid
pale, dull, lacking color
palsied
trembling, shaking with a palsy, a nervous condition
panoply
full armor
papist
Roman Catholic--heretics to the Puritans
parable
short fiction that illustrates a moral or religious principle
paramour
lover, esp. an adulterous one
parishioner
member of a parish, a church for a certain area
parochial
relating to a church parish
part of face over eyes
buccaneer
passed on, left in a will
beseeching
pastime
diversion, something amusing that helps to pass the time
pathos
emotion of pity or compassion
patriarchal, paternal
fatherly; 'patriarchal' implies authority
pauper
very poor person
pealing
ringing sound or succession of sounds
peculiar
strange, different, or odd
peculiarity
oddity, quirk, distinguishing characteristic
pelting
striking with many missiles
penitence
sad, humble feelings of regrets for doing wrong or sin; repenting adds resolve to change
pensiveness
sad or dreaming thinking
perchance, peradventure
perhaps, by chance, luck (mostly archaic now)
peremptory
urgent, commanding, no disagreement allowed
perforce
by necessity, no matter what
perilous
dangerous
perpetration
committing, carrying out, as of a crime
perpetuate
to make last forever
perpetuated
made to last forever
perplexity
bewilderment
persecutor
someone who annoys, harrasses, deliberately does harm to another
personage
person, esp. important one
pervading
present through the whole thing
perverse
stubborn, wrong-headed, cranky
perverted
twisted, corrupt
pestered
annoyed
pestilence
disease, esp. devastating and highly contagious
petrified
turned to stone
petty
small
petulant
peevish, insolent, rude
phantasmagoric
fantastic, dreamlike imagery
phantoms
illusions, dreams, visions
pharmacopoeia
book or collection of drugs
phial
vial, a shallow jar
physic
medicine
physiognomy
face; or, art of judging character from facial features
picturesque
quaint, charming, pretty as a picture
Pilgrim
a pilgrim is one who travels on a religious journey; the Pilgrims were English Puritans who founded the colonies in Massachusetts in the early 1600s.
pillory
See stocks
pious
sacred, worthy, dutiful
pirate, sea outlaw
buckramed
pit
the pit = Hell
pith
core, important meaning
placidity
quietness, complacency
plaintiveness
suffering, melancholy
plashy
splashing
plebeian
(adj.) characteristic of commoners, crude, vulgar, low; (noun) commoner
plumage
feathers
podere
Italian country estate
polluted
dirty, contaminated, defiled
pomp
showy display or ceremony
ponderous
heavy
port
appearance, carriage
portal
door
portent
omen, something that predicts important event
portico
entrance porch supported by columns
posterior to
after, later than
posterity
descendants, coming generations
potent
powerful, has the power to do something
potentate
great power or ruler
powdered head
in colonial days men wore wigs kept straight with white powder
prattle
childish, unimportant talk
precincts
within boundaries
precocity
exceptionally early development of mature powers
predilections
wishes, desires, preferences
predominant
main, most common or prevailing
prefigured
suggested by an image coming before
prejudices
preconceived opinions
premises
land and building
presentiments
feeling that something (bad) is going to happen
preternatural
abnormal, transcending natural order
prickly envelope of fruit that sticks to clothes
button, seize by the
prickly herb or weed with sticky burrs
burnished
priest
authorized, sacred, religious minister; (at that time, Puritan minister as well as Anglican or Catholic)
Prince
Prince of the Air = the Devil
pristine
in a pure state, uncorrupted, original
prithee
archaic, please (I pray you)
probity
upright, known to be highly honest
procured
got, obtained, bought
proffered
offered, presented for accepting
progenitor
ancestor, fore-father
projected
planned, designed
prolific
productive of, fruitful
prolixity
great length, tedious
promotion
making move ahead or along, advancing, furthering
propagate
pass along to offspring
propensity
leaning, natural inclination or preference
prophecy
prediction of something to come
propinquity
nearness in place or time
propounded
offered for discussion
proprietor
owner (more significantly, but probably only accidentally in this case, one of the legal founders of a colony)
propriety
appropriateness, following customs or rules
Providence
God's care and guidance
proximity
closeness, nearness
pulpit
high platform or desk a minister preached from; also, figuratively, the minister's position or office
puny
weak
Puritan
English Protestant dissenter in 1600s and 1700s who advocated strict religious rules and simplification in churches; some of them became Pilgrims, while others overthrew King Charles I in England
purple, born in the
of high rank (from the royal color)
purport
purpose, meaning, appearance
quaff
drink up rapidly
Quaker
member of the Religious Society of Friends, group considered heretic by Puritans
quietude
repose, quiet and restful state
quitted
left, gone from
rack
torture instrument (engine) designed to stretch victim to death
ramparts
fortified wall
rank
excessively overgrown
rankle, rankling
to irritate or make bitter;irritating, festering
ransacked
examined carefully and thoroughly
ransomed
freed from captivity by payment of a price
rapture, rapturously
ecstasy, intense state of being carried away emotionally
ravenous
very hungry
rebuke
sharp criticism
reciprocated
returned (in the same way, kind, or degree)
recompense
payment, compensation
recounted
told, explained
recreate
play, refresh (with connotations of 'create himself anew')
redeem, redemption
save, win back, make up for
reduced
made more small
reeled
staggered, whirl around and around
reflected on; thought about; remembered
betimes
regimen
healthy plan
rejoined
answer, reply
relinquish
give up
reminiscences
memories, recollections
remonstrance
reproof, protest, admonishment
remorse
long and bitter self-reproach for the wrongs one has done, esp. those that cannot be made up for
reparation
compensation for injury
repel, repelled
push back or turn away from
repent, repentance
to feel bad about one's past behavior and to decide to change it in the future
repining
expressing or feeling discontent, dejection, or wanting something else in life
replete
full, complete
repose
rest
reprimand
sharp rebuke, reproof
reproof
correction of a fault, v. 'reprove'
republican
federal, U.S.; (the Republican Party did not yet exist)
repudiate
refuse to accept, reject as untrue
repugnance
arousing loathing or dislike
repute
reputation, "fair repute" would be a good reputation. In a shame culture people are defined by how others look at them ("fair" being a light or attractive appearance)
request, order
behold
requisite
necessary
requite, requited, requital, in requital
repay, in return, as payment for
resolve
determined, made a decision
resort
place to which one goes to do something
retired
secluded, away from buildings and people
retribution
punishment, payback
revelation
showing, discovery, coming to be known
revenue
tax, as on trade goods
reverberated
echoed
reverend
deeply respected, loved
reverential
inspiring deference, awe
reviled
verbally abused, scolded
revolution
overthrow, overturning, complete change; (but 'revolutionary' as in Ch. 12 of The Scarlet Letter means the American Revolution, which began in 1775)
rheumatic flannel
cloth worn to keep warm and to avoid pain in joints from the disease rheumatism
riotously
in wild profusion
rod
stick or twigs used to punish (in Hawthorne's time, it was beginning to be thought too harsh for children--Thoreau quit as a teacher after he used the rod, even though the blows were apparently light, on the hand, and soon forgotten by the misbehaving boy)
rough, crude, rude, offensive
bosom
rude
rough, coarse
ruff
elaborate collar worn all around neck, looks like a big pleated wheel
russet
reddish brown or red
rustic
plain, country style not city
Sabbath
the Puritan holy day of the week, appointed by God for rest, was Sunday
sable, sable-cloaked
black, dark-colored, sober, serious in clothing
sad-colored
dark
sagacity, sagacious, sagaciously
(with) keen intelligence; shrewdness
sagamores
chiefs or subchiefs in the Abnaki language and culture
sailing ship with square-rigged sails on the foreward masts and a fore-and-aft sail on the rear mast
barter
sailing ship with two masts, both square-rigged, but with also a fore-and-aft sail on stern mast
bright-apparelled
sanctified
sacred, holy (sometimes Hawthorne uses the term sarcastically, to mean 'sanctimonious,' or hypocritical holiness)
sanctity
sacred, godly, holy, consecrated
satiating
filling, satisfying to excess
scaffold
plaform for hanging condemned prisoners--in this case, also holding the stocks, although in 1642 Boston this was not historically the case
scandal
disgrace or moral offense
scarlet
red. It could be red in general, but, specifically, a bright red with an orange tinge.
schooner
sailing ship with two masts, the one forward shorter than the one to the rear, usually all fore-and-aft sails
scintillating
brilliant flashing
scorned
looked down upon, with disdain or contempt
scourge
(verb) to flog, to whip, to chastise severely; (noun) a whip or any means of inflicting punishment or vengeance
scrutinized
looked over with careful attention to small details
scurrilous
vulgar or coarse, possibly with obscenities
scurvy
disease encountered on long sea voyages of the time, with bleeding into the skin and teeth falling out and even death, later found to be preventable by citrus juice, and even later found to be caused by lack of vitamin C (word was first used in 1565)
scythe
mowing tool with sharp blade, used with both hands, as the one carried by Father Time
seclusion
solitary, away from being seen by others
sedulous
diligent, busy, careful in doing
see
behoof
seemly, unseemly
fit, proper; unfit, improper
selfsame
identical
semblance
form, aspect, likeness
sensibility
awareness and responsiveness to another's emotion; sensitiveness or taste (important word for Romantics); there is also the element of common sense or level-headedness, so Jane Austen's title 'Sense and Sensibility' is a pun or two
sentiment, sentimental
emotion, feeling, or opinion; 'sentimental' is a positive or excess of feeling
sepulchre
tomb, grave structure
serf
servant (but here more like a feudal slave or bond-servant)
serving-men
i.e., serving meals, waiting on table
severed
cut or broken off
sexton
church official or employee who digs graves, rings bell, and takes care of church property
shield of arms
heraldic decorative emblem, a square field on the coat of arms
ship-chandlers
one who sells equipment for ships (a chandler is one who makes or sells candles)
shot
figurative for things like bullets
shrewd
sharp, piercing, looking carefully with intense awareness
shrubbery
low woody plants planted in a garden
signification
the meaning of a sign, esp. the one it is intended to convey
similitude
alike to the eye
simples
medicine--usually from one herb or plant
singular, singularity
unusual, distinctive or peculiar
sire, grandsire
father, grandfather
slumber
sleep
smite, smiting, smote, smitten
hit, strike a blow with the hand
smooth white skin, like paper, of birch tree
blackguard
sobriety
moderate, serious, thoughtful character
soil by splashing with a liquid (1640 variant of "spatter")
bestow, bestowing
sojourn
(noun) temporary stay, brief residence; (verb) to reside temporarily
solace
source of relief or freedom from anxiety
sombre
somber, dark, gloomy, dismal. Not "sobre"--a spelling Hawthorne never used.
something like a slave; a person who sold his or her services for a period of years without wages, in return for passage to the New World and housing. See a separate page on bond-servant.
boon
somnambulism
sleep-walking
somniferous
causing sleep (humorous)
sooth
archaic: true, truly
soothed
comforted, brought relief to
sore
difficult, hard
sought, looked for
bespatter
species
kind, sort
spectre, spectral
ghost; supernatural, like a ghost
speculation
reflection, talk without evidence
sportive
playsome, frolicsome
spruce
dressed neatly
stain, causes shame or bad reputation
besom
staircase rails and supporting posts
bandied
stalwart
strong, sturdy
steeple-crowned
with a crown (the part that fits over the head) high up, like the Pilgrims traditionally wore
sterling
of the highest standard (like the precious metal or coin made of silver)
steward
on a ship, the employee who looks after passengers
stifling
smothering, muffling, repressing, discouraging
stigma
mark, brand, esp. of shame
stocks, pillory
device usually holding a prisoner's head and hands in public view as shame and punishment (Hawthorne sometimes uses the phrase 'the scaffold of the pillory' or 'platform of the pillory', but the pillory was not placed on the scaffold or gallows at this time in Boston)
stole
go quietly, unobserved, as if stealing
stomacher
clothing worn around waist, usually highly embroidered or jeweled in front
stop
halt, as in the period ('full stop') at the end of a sentence
storey
story, rooms on a floor of a building
straitly
archaic: rigorously, carefully
strenuously
vigorously, zealously
stripes
whip blows--they cause striped bruises or cuts
strove
struggled, tried hard, attempted (past of 'strive')
stupefied
made stupid or groggy
subsequent
later, following
subserve
serve, be useful for
subtile
subtle, elusive, crafty
suffice, suffices, sufficed
be enough for, be sufficient
sumptuary regulations
laws governing personal or moral behavior, usually excessive spending or clothing, both religious and to preserve class distinctions (however, Puritan ministers did eventually follow the fashion, as with elaborate wigs and ruffs)
sundering
splitting apart, break into two
suppressing
stopping, checking, arresting
swarm
mass of animate things in motion, as a honeybee swarm
sweet oil as medicine to give peace or relief from pain
balustrade
taint
stain, bad mark
talisman
anything having apparently magical properties
taper
candle
tarry
wait; but 'tarry blackguard' is a bad sailor with tar on his skin
temporal
on earth (as opposed to eternal, in heaven)
tenacity
firm hold on
tenure
terms or period under which a position is held
terminating
ending, bringing to a conclusion
thing of great value, favor; blessing
boorish
thither, thitherward
away from, toward
threshold
doorsill or doorway, piece of wood below the door or entry
thrown back and forth in a casual or humorous manner
bane
thwarted
defeated, frustrated
tidings
news, information
tithing-men
men who collected taxes for the church
to hold in conversation, as by grabbing someone's coat button so he does not move away
bygone
to mean, stand for
betwixt
token
symbol or piece of metal used to represent something else
tome
large, scholarly book
torpid
sleepy, dormant, hibernating
torrent
violent stream of liquid as down a mountain
tost
tossed
trait
peculiarity, distinguishing quality
trammelled
caught as in a net, confined, restrained
transfiguration
a change in appearance, usually exalted or glorified
transformation
change in form or appearance
transgress, transgressor, transgressed
go beyond limit, commit sin or violate law
transitory
short, brief
transporting
carrying from one place to another; also, carrying away with pleasantly strong emotion
tread
follow, walk on, step on, esp. with a heavy step; see p.p., 'trode'
tremulous
vibrating, quivering, trembling
tribunals
courts, in this probably a religious law case
trifled
mocked, treated as insignificant, misled
trifling
not significant, not important, small
triumphant
winning, successful, victorious
trode, trodden
walked (on) with a heavy step (p.p. of tread)
trow
think or suppose
truculency
ready to fight, belligerent, savage
trundle-bed
a simple bed close to the floor, usually one that can slide under another. For Puritans the elaborate master bed was the prominent piece of furniture--all lower people slept closer to the floor.
tumult
commotion, hubbub, confusion and uproar of a crowd; a violent outburst
tunic
a long slip-on jacket, sometimes with high collar
type
pattern, symbol, form, ideal or primary example of that sort
typify, typified
represent by an image or mark of the essential characteristics of something
ulterior
future, going beyond what is openly said
ultimately
in the end
unaccustomed
unusual, not in the habit of
unadulterated
pure, not mixed with anything else. Adultery is then mixing another's genes into children without maintaining the purity of the marriage partner's genes.
unamiable
unfriendly, difficult to deal with
unattainable
can't be reached or obtained
unbenignantly
unkindly, not mildly
uncouth
crude, not polished in manners
unction
exaggerated seriousness
undissembled
not disguised or hidden under a false appearance
undulating
moving like waves, flowing, not at a constant speed or direction
unerring
without error or fault
unflinching
not moving away from, uncompromising
ungracious
rude, disagreeable, or archaic: wicked
unhallowed
not holy, immoral
unison
in exact harmony, at the same time and with the same musical pitch