Pequod

Moby-Dick Vocabulary

Extracts The Carpet-Bag

Moby-Dick Vocabulary List: Chapter 1

Moby-Dick vocabulary list for Chapter 1 - as encountered in the text | alphabetical

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hypos
slang for hypochondria: an excessive preoccupation or worry about having a serious illness
methodically
in a deliberate, oderly manner; systematically
insular
on an island; suggesting the isolation of an island
manhattoes
people who live in Manhattan (the island borough of New York City, New York, USA)
commerce
the trading of something of economic value such as goods, services, information or money between two or more entities
waterward
heading towards the water
battery
an impressive grouping of things (people in this case)
mole
a massive structure, usually of stone, used as a pier, breakwater, or junction between places separated by water
circumambulate
walk around
sentinels
soldier who keeps guard; a person hired to watch for something to happen
reveries
daydreams; absentminded dreaming while awake
spiles
the posts used as a foundation for a dock; the piles
pier-heads
the outward or seaward end of a pier or dock
bulwarks
the sides of a ship above the upper deck
rigging
the ropes supporting the masts and spars of a vessel, and serve as purchases for adjusting the sails
landsmen
men who have never ventured out to sea
lath
a thin, narrow strip of wood, nailed to the studs of a building, for the purpose of supporting plaster
plaster
a composition of lime, water, and sand used to coat walls
extremest
far beyond the norm
loitering
standing around doing nothing; wasting time
lee
when your standing next to something to block the wind or weather, that spot is the lee
nigh
near; near in place or time
leagues
an association of individuals having a common goal
inlanders
dale
valley; a low place between hills
reveries
daydreams; absentminded dreaming while awake
infallibly
knowing for certain something to be true
athirst
thirsty; wanting drink
metaphysical
concepts above and beyond physical reality, such as God, the absolute, mind, matter
mazy
perplexed with turns and windings; winding; intricate
spurs
a lateral ridge projecting from a mountain or mountain range
tranced
a state of complete mental absorption or deep musing
cataract
a large waterfall; a great fall of water over a precipice
pedestrian
lacking in vitality, imagination, distinction, etc.; commonplace; prosaic or dull
robust
indicating vigorous health
inferred
to derive by reasoning; conclude or judge from premises or evidence
salt
an old or experienced sailor
abominate
to hate in the highest degree, as if with religious dread; loathe
tribulations
that which occasions distress, trouble, or vexation; severe affliction
barques
any small sailing vessel
brigs
two-masted, square-rigged vessels
schooners
a type of sailing vessel characterized by the use of fore-and-aft sails on two or more masts
judiciously
having good or discriminating judgment; wise, sensible, or well-advised
judgmatically
sensible, indicating a well balanced decision
reverentially
in a respectful manner
idolatrous
of or pertaining to the worship of false gods
dotings
extravagantly or foolishly loving and indulgent
ibis
large, wading birds, having long, curved beaks; any bird of the genus Ibis and several allied genera, of the family Ibidae
river horse
hippopotamus; a massive thick-skinned herbivorous animal living in or around rivers of tropical Africa
bakehouses
a building or room to bake in; bakery
mast
a pole, or long, strong, round piece of timber, or spar, set upright in a boat or vessel, to sustain the sails, yards, rigging, etc
plumb
downright or absolute; reference to a plumb line (a small bit of lead tied to a line and used by masons and carpenters to establish a true vertical)
fore-castle
the forward part of the vessel, under the deck, where the sailors live
mast-head
the topmost part of the mast
spar
any round piece of timber used as a mast, yard, boom, or gaff
tar-pot
the small pot held when tarring down the stays (various strong ropes for steadying masts)
decoction
boiling something to extract its virtues; concentration; extraction
old hunks
old miser; grumpy old man; old bully (slang)
urbane
courteous in manners; polite; refined; elegant
consign
commit forever; commit irrevocably; give over to another for care or safekeeping
perdition
the utter loss of the soul, or of final happiness in a future state; future misery or eternal death; entire loss; utter destruction; ruin
fore-castle deck
the deck at the foremost section of the ship, above where the crew is housed
head winds
wind blowing in a direction opposite to the heading of a moving object
prevalent
widespread; found or existing everywhere
astern
behind; in or at the rear part of a ship; toward the stern
pythagorean maxim
in a right triangle, the square of the length of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the lengths of the sides
quarter-deck
the rear part of the uppermost deck on a ship, from which the Captain commands the sailing activities
commonalty
the common people, as opposed to the upper classes; lacking noble rank
wherefore
whatever the reason for something happening; the cause or reason
programme
a brief outline or explanation of the order things are to happen, or the subjects that will be covered, in any public exercise, performance, or entertainment (like the kind of 'program' you receive when you go the the circus or a ballgame)
interlude
a short dramatic piece, esp. of a light or farcical character, formerly introduced between the parts or acts of miracle and morality plays or given as part of other entertainments
genteel
high-class; well-bred; free from vulgarity, or lowness of taste or behavior
farces
a comedy which aims to entertain the audience by means of unlikely, extravagant situations, broad satire, and rediculous, stereotyped characters
cajoling
to urge with gentle and repeated appeals, teasing, or flattery; coax
delusion
a false belief or opinion
portentous
having forewarning properties of fear; something to be feared; indicating something is a bad omen
inducements
a considering factor which motives someone to perform a certain task
conceits
a favorable and especially unduly high opinion of one's own abilities or worth

Vocabulary from the book Moby Dick.

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