logo

How to Read Moby Dick

a guide for first-time readers

home    reading sections 12345   vocabulary   quotations   allusions   activities   store              search the novel
   Allow blocked content to use online dictionary.             print          
                                   

 
Moby Dick SAT Primer: Vocabulary
                  

Nautical terms in alphabetical order (not required, but interesting to know)
ballast, boom, bulkhead, bulwarks, cleat, forecastle, gaff, grapnel, halyard, hawser, helm, jib, league, luff, reef, scuttle, spar, tiller, yaw

For each of the following words, you need to be able to 1write the literal definition (denotation) of the word, then 2specifically apply it to some aspect of the novel itself. For at least 10 (total) of all the words, 3apply the word in an elevated context.

Example:circumambulate--1to circle on foot, especially ritualistically. 
2When Ishmael arrived in New Bedford, he circumambulated the town, observing its places and its people.
3Sometimes in a discussion of a sensitive topic, we circumambulate; we step carefully, fearful that we will offend others.

Chapters 1-21:  Back to Reading Section 1

cataract

  
monopolize 


palsy 


sufferable

 
tanning

 
skylarking


patrician

 
congregate

 
tarpaulin

 
impregnable

 
trifling

  
immutable


incorrigible

 
inordinate


apoplexy

 
tattered


enshrine


 Chapters 22-42:                 Back to Reading Section 2

superfluous

 
anoint 


ignominy


circumvention 


vindictive


deprecate


leviathan 


punctilious 


seaboard  


progenitor 


embodiment


vehement 


smitten 


vicissitude


shroud


hue


incarnation


apprehension


abode


Chapters 43-65:           Back to Reading Section 3

celestial

squall

conflagration

insurgent

ingenuous

spasmodic
 
perdition

tumultuous

discriminate

venerable


Chapters 66-86:                     Reading Section 4

impel

embalm

protuberance 

dexterous

salvation

jurisprudence

stigma

omnipresent

tawny

talisman


Chapters 87-109:             Back to Reading Section 5

somnambulist

Chapters 110-130:

None

Chapters 131-Epilogue:

None


               

Vocabulary list adapted from list at Vocabulary .com