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					Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Vocabulary List Book One chapters 1-4
Adapted from a list prepared by Prof. Dick Bohrer (www.dickbohrerbooks.com)

Instructions: Below are the vocabulary words for this section and the sentences in
which they appear in the text. Read the sentences. Try to use any context clues to
infer the meaning of the word. After you have done that, try the matching activity
and see if this helps you.


 1. DESPOIL - Daring burglaries by armed men, and highway robberies, took place in the capital
itself every night…after which the mail was robbed in peace; that magnificent potentate, the Lord
Mayor of London, was made to stand and deliver on Turnham Green, by one highwayman, who
despoiled the illustrious creature in sight of all his retinue… (dɪˈspɔɪl)

2. CAPITULATE-Reins and whip and coachman and guard, however, in combination,
had read that article of war which forbade a purpose otherwise strongly in favour of
the argument, that some brute animals are enbued with Reason; and the team had
capitulated and returned to their duty. (kə -ˈpi-chə -ˌlā t)
3. VEX -"My blood!" ejaculated the vexed coachman… (veks)
4. ADJURE– With a hurried adjuration that his passengers be on the alert, the guard readied
his rifle and stood on the offensive. (aj-oo-RA-shun) [French adjurer; Latin adjurare, adjuratum to
swear to, to adjure.]

5. EXPEDITIOUSLY– While he was gone, his fellow passengers had expeditiously secreted
their wallets and watches in their boots. (eks-pa-DISH-us-lee) [Acting or carried out with speed
and efficiency.]

6. UNFATHOMABLE - No more can I look into the depths of this unfathomable
water, wherein, as momentary lights glanced into it, I have had glimpses of buried
treasure and other things submerged. (-ˈfa-thə -mə -bə l\)
7. INEXORABLE – The inexorable fact of the existence of God can- not be overcome by any
of man’s own theories. (in-EKS-o-ra-bl) [Latin inexorabilis, in, not, plus exorabilis, responsive to
intreaty.]

8. INSCRUTABLE– The inscrutable secrets of many men’s minds go with them to their
graves. (in-SCROO-ta-bl) [Later Latin inscrutabilis - in, not, plus scruta- bilis, scrutiny, no close
examination to minute detail.]
9. LAMENTATION - Pride, contempt, defiance, stubbornness, submission,
lamentation, succeeded one another; so did varieties of sunken cheek, cadaverous
colour, emaciated hands and figures. (la-mə n-ˈtā-shə n)
10. EMACIATED – Pride, contempt, defiance, stubbornness, submission, lamentation,
succeeded one another; so did varieties of sunken cheek, cadaverous colour,
emaciated hands and figures. (e-MA-she-ate-ed) [ Latin emaciates, participle of emaciare, to
make lean; e plus maciare, to make lean; from macies, leanness.]

11. DISCOURSE – He kept up in his mind an imaginary discourse with the wretched creature.
(DIS-kors) [French discourse, from Latin disqursus, from discurrere, discursum, to run to and fro;
from dis plus curare, to run.]

12. ADMONISH – He would be lost in his thoughts until an impatient movement from his
fellow passengers would admonish him to close the window. (ad-MON-ish) [From Old French,
from Latin admonere, to remind, warn; from ad plus monere, to warn.]

13. PLACID – The sun rose, bright, placid and beautiful. (PLA-sid) [Latin, placidus, from placere,
to please.]

14. SONOROUS – He had a loud watch which ticked a sonorous sermon under his flapped
waistcoat. (so-NOR-us) [Latin, sonorous, from sonor plus oris, a sound.]

15. EVANESCENCE – The watch seemed to be pitting its gravity and longev- ity against the
levity and evanescence of the fire. (ev-a-NES-ens) [Latin, evanescere, from e, out and vanescere, to
vanish; from vanus, empty, vain.]

16. LEVITY – The watch seemed to be pitting its gravity and longevity against the levity and
evanescence of the fire. (LEV-i-tee) [Old French and Latin, levitas, levis light.]

17. GRAVITY – The watch seemed to be pitting its gravity and longevity against the levity
and evanescence of the fire. (GRAV-i-tee) [Latin gravitas, weight, heaviness, gravis, heavy.]

18. SUPPRESS – Mr. Lorry’s face was habitually suppressed and quieted. (su- PRES) [Latin
suppressus, suprimere, to suppress.]

19. STOLID – He emptied his cup with an air of stolid desperation and followed the anxious
waiter out of the room. (STOL-id) [Latin stolidus.]




20. PECUNIARY – “Feelings! I have no time for them, no chance of them,” Mr. Lorry
expostulated. “I pass my whole life, Miss, in turning an immense pecuniary mangle.” (pa-KYU-
ne-a-ree) [Latin pecuniarius, from pecunia money – originally property in cattle, from pecus, cattle.]

21. EXPOSTULATE - “Feelings! I have no time for them, no chance of them,” Mr. Lorry
expostulated. “I pass my whole life, Miss, in turning an immense pecuni- ary mangle.” (eks-
POS-tyu-late) [Latin expostulatus, expostulare, to demand vehemently, strongly, to require.]
22. SUPPLICATORY – “Pray,” said Mr. Lorry in a soothing tone, bringing his left hand from
the back of the chair to lay it on the supplicatory fingers, “pray control your agitation—a
matter of business.” (SUP-lick-a-to-ree) [Latin supplicatus, supplicare, to suppli- cate, from sub and
plicare, to fold under, bend under.]

23. OBLIVION -"As I was saying; if Monsieur Manette had not died… for instance,
the privilege of filling up blank forms for the consignment of any one to the
oblivion of a prison for any length of time…then the history of your father would
have been the history of this unfortunate gentleman, the Doctor of Beauvais." (ə -
ˈbli-vē-ə n, ō-, ä-\ )


24. ENTREAT - "I entreat you to tell me more, sir.” (\in-ˈtrēt, en- )
MATCHING VOCABULARY BOOK 1 CHAPTERS 1-4:

DESPOIL                 A. (to appeal to; to charge)
CAPITULATE              B. withered)
VEX                     C. (mourning aloud)
ADJURE                  D. vanishing, disappearing)
EXPEDITIOUSLY           E. (to make something less attractive, usually by force)
UNFATHOMABLE            F. lightness, gaiety, frivolity)
INEXORABLE              G. undisturbed)
INSCRUTABLE             H. compose, restrain)
LAMENTATION             I. relating to money)
EMACIATED               J. inflexible, willfully immovable)
DISCOURSE               (K. distressed; agitated)-
ADMONISH                 L.beseeching, praying)
PLACID                  M. condition of being forgotten)
SONOROUS                N. not easily excited)
EVANESCENCE             O. (efficiently, with rapid action)
LEVITY                  P. resonant)
GRAVITY                 Q. (to cease resisting; to surrender
SUPPRESS                R. scold, warn, reprove)
STOLID                  S. to object, to reason earnestly)
PECUNIARY               T.. (unexaminable; incomprehensible)
EXPOSTULATE             U. plead
SUPPLICATORY            V. earnestness, the state of being seriouss)
OBLIVION                W. incomprehensible)
ENTREAT                 X. conversation)

				
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