This is a dictionary of words that appear in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that students might have difficulty understanding.


Abolitionist (noun) - one that wishes to abolish slavery
Addled (verb) - to become rotten or confused
Aristocracy (noun) - government by the best individuals or by a small privileged class
Benefactor (noun) - one that makes a gift or bequest
Blackguard (verb) – to insult
Bogus (adj.) – counterfeit or fake; not genuine
Brash (adj.) - brittle; heedless of the consequences
Capered (verb) - to leap or frisk about; frolic
Careened (verb) – to lurch or swerve while in motion
Cavorting (verb) - to have lively or boisterous fun; romp
Cipher (noun) - zero; a message in code
Contrite (adj.) - feeling regret or sorrow for one’s sins or offences; penitent
Contrived (verb, adj. ) - devise or plan; to bring about by stratagem or with difficulty
Commence (verb) - to begin; to start
Crockery (noun) – earthenware or tableware
Delirium tremens (noun) – a violent delirium with tremors induced by alcoholic liquors
Derrick (noun) - a hoisting apparatus employing a tackle rigged at the end of a beam; a frame-word or tower for supporting tackle
Dismal (adj.) – causing gloom or depression; dreary
Disposition (noun)- to put into place; prevailing tendency, mood, or inclination
Dissipating (verb)- to break up and drive off; to spend wastefully
Draft (noun) – check or money order
Eaves
(noun) – lower part of a roof
Enamel (noun) - a coating that dries to a hard glossy finish
Flighty (adj.) – easily excited
Flapdoodle (noun) – nonsense
Garret
(noun) – attic
Gaudy (adj.) – showy in a tasteless or vulgar way
Genies (noun) - a spirit that gives service
Hew (verb) – to cut
Histrionic (adj.) - excessively dramatic or emotional
Hogshead (noun) - a large barrel or cask that holds approximately 63 liquid gallons
Impudent (adj.) - lacking modesty; marked by contemptuous or cocky boldness or disregard
Impair (verb) – to cause to diminish as in strength, value, or quality
Impostor (noun) - one that assumes false identity for the purpose of deception
Infernal (adj.) - abominable; awful
Ingenious (adj.) – marked by inventive skill and imagination
Ingots (noun) - casting molds for metal
Insurrection (noun) - an act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government
Lineal (adj.) - belonging to or being in the direct line of descent of an ancestor.
Melodeum (noun) - a small keyboard organ
Mesmerism (noun) - hypnotic appeal
Muse (verb) - to become absorbed in thought
Naboba (noun) - person of great wealth or prominence
Notion (noun) – theory; belief
Oracle (noun) - a shrine consecrated to the worship and consultation of a prophetic deity
Outlandish (adj.) - strikingly out of the ordinary; exceeding proper or reasonable limits or standards
Pallet (noun) – a temporary bed made by bedding arranged on the floor
Pensive (adj.) – suggestive or expressive of melancholy thoughtfulness

Phrenology (noun) - the study of the shape and protuberances of the skull, based on the belief that they reveal character or mental capacity
Pious (adj.) - showing reverence for deity and devotion to divine worship
Pivot (verb) – to cause to rotate, revolve, or turn
Pommel (verb) – to beat; pummel

Providence (noun) - (1) care or preparation in advance; foresight (2) divine direction
Quicksilver (noun) - mercury
Rapscallions (noun) - a mean, unprincipled, or dishonest person; rascal
Raspy (adj.) – harsh; grating
Remiss (verb) - showing neglect or inattention
Reticule (noun) – a drawstring handbag or purse
Row (noun) – fuss; argument
Scoundrel (noun) - a disreputable person; rascal
Scow (noun) - a large flat bottom boat with square ends, used chiefly for transporting freight
Seedy (adj.) – shabby; run-down
Shirk (verb) - to go stealthily; to evade the performance of an obligation
Shoal (noun, verb) - to become shallow; a sandbank or sandbar
Shrivel (verb) - to make or become much less or smaller; dwindle
Singular (adj.)- relating to a separate person or thing; distinguished by superiority; being out of the ordinary
Skiff (noun) - a flat-bottomed rowboat
Soliloquy (noun) – a dramatic form of discourse in which a character talks to him or herself or reveals his or her thoughts without addressing a listener
Specimen (noun) - an individual, item, or part that represents a class, genus, or whole
Speculate (verb) - to mediate on a subject; to reflect
Stealthy (adj.) – acting with quiet, caution, and secrecy intended to avoid notice
Sublime (adj.) - awe inspiring; impressive
Sultry (adj.) – exceedingly hot
Tartar (noun) - a person regarded as ferocious or violent
Temperance (noun) – moderation and self-restraint, as in behavior or expression
Thicket (noun) – a dense growth of shrubs or underbrush

Thrash (verb) - to beat soundly as if with a whip; to go over again and again
Tolerable (adj.) - capable of being tolerated; endurable
Trance (noun) - stupor, daze; a sleeplike state; a state of profound abstraction or absorption
Valid (adj.) – well grounded; just
Venture (noun) – an undertaking that is dangerous, daring, and of uncertain outcome
Vial (noun) – a small container used especially for liquids

Victuals (noun) - food usable by people; supplies of food
Whale - lash, thrash; to strike or hit vigorously; to defeat soundly
Yawl (noun) – a ship’s small boat, crewed by rowers