To Kill a Mockingbird
Honors Students Only
Placid – Due April 21
• Adjective (describing word)
• Definition: pleasantly calm or peaceful;
serenely quiet or undisturbed
Sentences from the book:
Jem said placidly, “We are going to give a
note to [him].”
“Just how?” I was trying to fight down the
automatic terror rising in me.
• Synonyms: calm, collected, composed,
detached, easygoing, imperturbable,
peaceful, poised, quiet, serene, still,
• Antonyms: agitated, excited, alarmed,
• Montresor carries out his plan in a placid
manner, showing that he is a true
• Her placid demeanor hides her ongoing
internal turmoil and stress from the world.
• Lake Placid was named because when the
first Europeans saw it they noticed how
calm it was.
Vehement – Due April 21
• Definition: marked by extreme intensity of
emotions or convictions
• Sentence from the book:
• Atticus shook his head vehemently: “Don’t
just stand there, Heck!”
• Synonyms: ardent, eager, earnest,
emphatic, enthusiastic, fervent,
forceful, impassioned, intense, lively,
potent, powerful, strong, zealous
• Antonyms: apathetic, indifferent,
uncaring, impassive, unemotional,
passive, stoic, stolid
• Her vehement denial convinced me that
the rumor wasn't true.
• Romeo’s most vehement expressions of
love for Juliet occurred in the Friar’s cell.
• Harry Potter’s vehement claims that
Voldemort was back were ignored by the
Ministry of Magic.
Innate – Due April 28
• Definition: existing in one
from birth; inborn
• Sentence From Book: I was
proceeding on the dim
theory, aside from the
innate attractiveness of
such words, that if Atticus
discovered I had picked
them up at school he
wouldn’t make me go.
• Synonyms: congenital, deep-seated,
essential, hereditary, inbred,
indigenous, inherent, intrinsic, natural
• Antonyms: acquired, extrinsic, learned
• She has an innate ability to
tell when people want to
talk and when they just
want to be left alone.
• Some people have an innate
sense of rhythm. Others
seem to have been born
with two left feet.
Ominous – Due April 28
• Definition: Something that predicts or
shows evil or harm coming in the future.
• Ominous means having a threatening or
menacing aspect. It usually foreshadows
• Sentence from book: There was a
murmur among the group of men, made
more ominous when Atticus moved back
to the bottom front step and the men
drew nearer to him.
• Synonyms: dire, dismal, doomed,
fateful, forbidding, haunting,
hostile, impending, inauspicious,
portentous, prophetic, sinister,
unfriendly, unlucky, unpromising
• Antonyms: auspicious, lucky,
• The ominous knock that he hears is
threatening to him because it means
that it is time for him to pay the rent.
• The ominous dark clouds dismayed the
bride, who had planned an outdoor
• For many generations, teachers have
been making ominous predictions
about students’ futures based on lack of
effort in high school.
Scrutiny – Due May 5
• Definition: A close, careful examination or
Sentence from book: The jury, thinking
themselves under close scrutiny, paid
attention; so did the
• Antonyms: skim, scan,
glance, thumb through,
• Books undergo careful scrutiny from
editors before they ever hit the shelves.
• American Idols endure scrutiny from the
judges after each performance.
• People who choose careers in the arts
know that their work will face scrutiny by
Chifforobe – due May 5
• Meaning: a piece of furniture
having both drawers and space
for hanging clothes.
• Sentence from the book:
• …there was this old chiffarobe
in the yard Papa’d brought in to
chop up for kindlin’
• Chifforobe - Old, yet modern, furniture...
A chifforobe is "a modern invention, having been in use
only a short time." That is what you see if you look in the
1908 Sears Catalog, which is [supposedly] the first time
the chifforobe was introduced to the furniture buying
public. It is basically a tall, free-standing closet for your
hanging clothes with a set of drawers for other clothing.
Often described as a mixture of an armoire, a wardrobe and a
chest of drawers, chifforobe components are usually arranged
side-by-side (but may also have the hanging clothes section
above one or two drawers). The chifforobe became popular
because turn of the century (1900) homes did not have much
closet space - because most families did not have many
clothes. However, with the growing affluence of the early
1900s, people all of a sudden needed more storage space. It
was much more convenient to buy a chifforobe from Sears
than to remodel a bedroom or two.
• Synonyms: bureau, chest, chiffonier,
dresser, highboy, lowboy, tallboy,
• Antonyms: none
• When I first moved out on my own, my
grandmother gave me a chiffarobe for my
hanging and folded clothes.
• Back in the day many houses didn’t have
closets, so instead of using a dresser people
would use a chiffarobe.
Impassive – due May 12
• Definition: Revealing no emotion;
• Atticus was standing under the street light
looking as though nothing had happened:
his vest was buttoned, his collar and tie
were neatly in place, his watch-chain
glistened, he was his impassive self again.
• Synonyms: collected, composed,
emotionless, hardened, indifferent,
placid, poker-faced, reserved, serene,
stoic, taciturn, unemotional,
unexcitable, unfeeling, unmoved,
• Antonyms: emotional, feeling,
passionate, responsive, sensitive
• Native Americans and people from the Far
East are known for being impassive in the
face of physical or emotional stress.
• Girls are taught that it’s OK to cry when
they’re in pain, but boys are told to be
Apprehension – due May 12
• Noun (thing)
• Definition: an uneasy or fearful feeling
about something that might happen
• Sentence from the book: Ladies in
bunches always filled me with vague
apprehension and a firm desire to be
elsewhere, but this feeling was what Aunt
Alexandra called being “spoiled.”
• Anxiety, fear, alarm, concern, doubt,
dread, foreboding, misgiving,
premonition, suspicion, trepidation,
• calmness, ease
• Most drivers feel apprehension the first
time they get behind the wheel.
• The performer experienced apprehension
before her first performance.
• Many actors say that the apprehension at
facing a live audience never really
Conceive – due May 19
• Definition: to understand
• Sentence from the book:
• I can’t conceive of anyone
low-down enough to do a
thing like this, but I hope
you found him.
• Synonyms: accept, appreciate, believe,
comprehend, get, grasp, imagine,
• Antonyms: NONE
Sentence from the book
• I can’t conceive of a reason
why he should be set free
after what he did.
• Some students can’t
conceive of why they should
spend time on their
• The crime was so gruesome
that I couldn't even conceive
of someone actually doing it.
Purloin – due May 19
• Definition: to take without permission;
• Sentence from the book: Miss Tutti
was sure those traveling fur sellers
who came through town two days ago
had purloined their furniture.
• Synonyms: burglarize, embezzle, filch,
heist, pilfer, plunder, shoplift, swindle,
• The Wicked Witch of the West feels that
Dorothy has purloined her ruby slippers.
• The student tried to purloin the final exam
from the teacher's desk.
• I did not purloin the necklace; it was given