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Weekly Vocabulary

Literary Elements and Terms

Vocabulary Group #7
1. Cordial (adj): warm and friendly; heartfelt and sincere.
2. Fluctuate (verb): rise and fall irregularly in number or amount.
3. Impetuous (adj): acting or done quickly and rashly.
4. Innuendo (noun): an allusive or oblique remark, typically a suggestive or disparaging one.
5. Insidious (adj): proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, with harmful effect.
6. Jaunt (noun): a short excursion for pleasure.
7. Languid (adj): disinclined to exert oneself physically; weak or faint from illness or fatigue.
8. Permeate (verb): spread throughout; pervade.
9. Provincial (adj): unsophisticated or narrow-minded.
10.Vehement (adj): showing strong feeling; forceful, passionate, or intense.

Vocabulary Group #6
1. Antithesis (noun): a person or thing that is the direct opposite of another.
2. Apathetic (adj): not interested or enthusiastic.
3. Complacent (adj): smug and uncritically satisfied with oneself or one’s achievements.
4. Conscientious (adj): diligent and thorough in carrying out one’s work or duty.
5. Feign (verb): pretend to be affected by (a feeling, state, or injury).
6. Incredulous (adj): unwilling or unable to believe.
7. Infinite (adj): limitless in space, extend, or size.
8. Intimation (adj): closely acquainted; familiar.
9. Reciprocal (adj): given, felt, or done in return.
10. Supercilious (adj): having an air of contemptuous superiority.

Vocabulary Group #5
1. Unprecedented (adj): unparalleled.
2. Unwarranted (adj): unjustified; groundless; undeserved.
3. Venerate (verb): revere (honor or worship).
4. Virtuoso (noun): highly skilled artist.
5. Wanton (adj): unrestrained; willfully malicious; unchaste.
6. Wily (adj): cunning.
7. Yoke (verb): join together; unite.
8. Yore (noun): time past.
9. Zeal (noun): eager enthusiasm.
10. Zenith (noun): point directly overhead in the sky; summit.

Vocabulary Group #4

1. Feckless (adj): ineffectual; feeble; unthinkable and irresponsible.
2. Forbearance (noun): patient self-control and restraint; tolerance
3. Garrulous (adj): excessively talkative.
4. Inveigh (verb): speak or write about with great hostility.
5. Obstreperous (adj): noisy and difficult to control.
6. Partisan (noun): a strong, often uncritical, supporter of a party, cause, ro person.
7. Penchant (noun): a strong liking or inclination.
8. Precarious (adj): not securely held or in position, likely to fall; uncertain
9. Remonstrate (verb): make a forcefully reproachful protest.
10. Truculence (adj): quick to argue or fight; defiant.

Vocabulary Group #3

1. Absolution (noun): formal release from guilt, obligation, or punishment.
2. Ambiguous (adj): having more than one meaning.
3. Analyze (verb): examine in detail the elements or structure of.
4. Cathartic (adj): release of pent-up emotions.
5. Epiphany (noun): a moment of sudden and great revelation.
6. Ideal (adj): most suitable; perfect.
7. Miser (noun): a person who hoards wealth and spends as little as possible.
8. Pragmatic (adj): dealing with tings in a practical rather than theoretical way.
9. Presumptuous (adj): failing to observe the limits of what is permitted or appropriate.
10. Reproach (verb): express one’s disapproval of or disappoint with.
11. Superficial (adj): not thorough or deep; cursory; lacking depth of character or understanding.
12. Transgression (verb): go beyond the limits set by (a moral principle, standard, law, etc.).

Vocabulary Group #2

1. Chastise (verb): reprimand severely.
2. Condemn (verb): express complete disapproval of.
3. Elude (verb): evade or escape from; fail to be attained or understood by.
4. Imperceptible (adjective): so slight, gradual, or subtle as not to be perceived.
5. Mediocre (adjective): of only average or fairly low quality.
6. Spry (adjective): (especially of an old person) lively.
7. Sullen (adjective): bad-tempered and sulky.
8. Surreptitious (adjective): done secretly or furtively.
9. Tribulation (noun): a state of great trouble or suffering.
10. Waspish (adjective): sharply irritable.


Vocabulary Group #1

  1. Abolitionist (noun): a person who favors the abolition of something, especially slavery.
  2. Intolerable (adjective): unable to be endured.
  3. Methodically (adjective): characterized by method or order.
  4. Perfunctory (adjective): carried out with a minimum of effort or reflection.
  5. Persecute (verb): subject to prolonged hostility and ill-treatment.
  6. Principle (noun): a fundamental truth serving as the foundation for belief or action.
  7. Rebuke (verb): criticize or reprimand sharply.
  8. Spite (noun): a desire to hurt, annoy, or offend.
  9. Undulate (verb): move with a smooth wave-like motion.
  10. Yearn (verb): have an intense feeling of loss and longing for something.
  11. Anti-Semitism (noun): hostility to or prejudice against Jews.
  12. Pogrom (noun): an organized massacre of an ethnic group, originally that of Jews.
  13. Scapegoat (noun): a person who is blamed for the wrongdoings or mistakes of others.
  14. Sanitarium (noun):an establishment for the care of convalescent or chronically ill people.


Literary Terms & Elements

Allegory is the representation of ideas or moral principles by means of symbolic characters, events, or objects. For example, Aesop’s fables use allegory to teach lessons about life.

Alliteration is the repetition of an initial (usually consonant) sound, as in “swift, silent serpent.”

Figurative Language refers to the use of words in an imaginative, nonliteral (not actual) sense. Similes and metaphors are examples of figurative language.

A simile is a comparison using like or as. Examples: Her eyes gleamed like stars. The house was as large as a castle.

A metaphor is a comparison between unlike objects that does not use like or as. Example: The girls were tigers on the playing field, ferociously mauling their opponents.

Personification is a figre of speech that applies human qualities to objects, ideas, or animals. Example: The sun smiled down on the village.

Hyperbole, or exaggeration, is overstatement for the purpose of emphasis. Examples: His ears were so sharp he could hear dogs bark in the next county.

Onomatopoeia refers to the use of words that sound like the things they name. Examples: bang, buzz, crackle, sizzle, hiss, murmur, roar.

An oxymoron is a combination of two contradictory words. Examples: deafening silence, a definite possibility.

Flashback refers to the insertion of a scene showing an earlier event, often one that took place before the opening scene of a literary work. For example, a novelist may include a flashback to revel a childhood incident in the life of an adult character.

Foreshadowing refers to the suggestion of events to come. For example, gray clouds at the beginning of a story may foreshadow a storm that occurs later.

Imagery refers to the use of description of figurative language to create vivid images, or word pictures. These images may appeal to the sense of sight or to any of the other senses. Examples: Thick tree roots clutched the ground like gnarled fingers. The frightened screech of an unseen animal tore through the night.

Irony refers to a situation that is the opposite of what is or might be expected. For example, it would be ironic if a lifeguard had to be saved from drowning.

Irony can also refer to the expression of an attitude or intention that is the opposite of what is actually meant, as when a latecomer is sarcastically told, “We’re so glad you could join us!”

Repetition is the repeating of a word or group of works for effect. For example, Archibald MacLeish’s poem “The End of the World” concludes with these lines:

There in the sudden blackness the black pall

Of nothing, nothing, nothing—nothing at all.

A rhetorical question is a question asked only for effect or to make a statement, not to get an answer. Example: How much longer will we put up with this injustice? Isn’t it time we took action?

Satire refers to writing that uses humor, irony, or wit to attack or make fun of something, such as people’s follies or vices.

Symbolism is the representation of ideas or things by symbols. A symbol is something that stands for something else. For example, a writer may use a rose as a symbol of beauty or a snake as a symbol of evil.

Characterization refers to the development of characters, their personalities and behaviors. Example: Madeline is characterized as loud and bossy.

Mood refers to the atmosphere or feeling of a literary work. For example, the mood may be joyful, gloomy, or suspenseful.

The plot is the series of events that take place in a story, novel, play, etc.

Point of view refers to the vantage point from which a story is told. For example, in first-person point of view, the narrator himself or herself tells the story and may participate in events. Works written in the first person use pronouns such as I, me, and my.In omniscient point of view the author is an all-knowing impersonal observer who does not take part in events but can describe the thoughts and actions of all characters.

Setting is the time and place in which events occur.

Structure refers to how the parts of a literary work are organized and arranged. For example, the structure of a novel may be based on chronological order with occasional flashbacks. The structure of poetry includes the number, form, and pattern of lines and stanzas.

The theme of a literary work is its central or main idea. The theme is the point of the story, the moral, or the lesson.

Tone is the attitude an author shows toward his or her subject. For example, the tone may be serious, sympathetic, or angry.