The Crucible Vocabulary Acts I-IV
inert • adjective • Having no power of action, motion or resistance; inactive or unable to react • She was lying inert in her bed when her mother tried to wake her for school.
somber • adjective • Gloomily dark; depressing or dismal; serious • The mood at her grandmother’s funeral was somber.
theocracy • noun • A form of government in which God is recognized as the supreme civil ruler • The Puritans lived under a theocracy; therefore, worshipping Satan was against the law.
hearty • adjective • vigorous and healthy; warm-hearted and affectionate • Our mother cooked us a hearty meal consisting of meat, potatoes, and vegetables.
dissemble • verb • To give a false or misleading appearance; to conceal the truth • Abigail Williams has an endless capacity for dissembling because she is living a lie.
faction • noun • A group or clique within a larger group; strife or trouble within a group • There was a faction against Thomas Putnam in Salem.
abomination • noun • A vile, shameful, horrible, detestable action; anything disliked as evil or hated • Dancing in the forest was considered an abomination to the Puritans.
vindictive • adjective • Inclined or likely to get revenge; showing a vengeful spirit • Many vindictive Puritans of Salem used witchcraft accusations to get back at those with whom they had a conflict
corroborate • verb • To make certain; to confirm, authenticate or validate • The two scientists corroborated their hypothesis about global warming
intimation • noun • A hint or suggestion • Her father had a slight intimation about the party she had the night before.
formidable • adjective • Causing fear, apprehension, or dread; of awesome strength or size • The undefeated football team was a formidable opponent. • Cleaning her room as a formidable task.
trepidation • noun • Tremulous fear, alarm; trembling or quivering • Her trepidation about giving the speech increased as she took the stage.
prodigious • adjective • Extraordinary in size, amount, or extent; wonderful or marvelous; monstrous • The prodigious Rocky Mountains are a well-known natural beauty.
inquisitive • adjective • Given to asking questions;; eager for knowledge; intellectually curious; prying • Her inquisitive nature came in handy when she became a reporter.
arbitrate • verb • To determine or settle an argument or dispute • Since she was skilled at arbitration, she decided to become a counselor.
squabble • Verb and noun • To engage in a petty quarrel or fight • The family’s squabble over money lasted for years.
iniquity • Noun • An injustice or wickedness; a violation; sin • Because of her numerous iniquities, she was known as a sinner and thought to be worshipping the devil.
defamation • Noun • The act of injuring the good reputation of another, as by slander (using language/insult) • When she made up the rumor about her friend, it was undoubtedly a cruel act of defamation.
anarchy • Noun • A state of society without government or law; lack of obedience to an authority • When her parents were gone, the home was in a complete state of anarchy.
licentious • Adjective • Sexually unrestrained; immoral or going beyond proper bounds or limits; disregarding rules • Her promiscuously immoral habits caused her to be known as a licentious trouble maker.
condemnation • Noun • An expression of disapproval; a judgment; an accusation • He expressed his condemnation after he witnessed her horrible behavior.
scoff • Verb • To mock or speak badly about; to belittle • When her daughter asked for a new car, the mother scoffed at the idea.
conviction • Noun • A fixed or firm belief • Her convictions allowed her to live an honest life.
ameliorate • Verb • To make or become better or more bearable; to improve • He hoped to ameliorate the situation by lending a helping hand.
compact • Noun • A formal agreement between two or more parties or states; a contract • Tituba claimed to have made a compact with the Devil.
base • Adjective • Morally low; immoral; dishonorable • John Proctor asked his wife if she thought he was base for his indiscretions.
pious • Adjective • Showing a reverence for God; extremely religious • Rebecca Nurse was known as a pious woman who went to church and prayed regularly.
wily • adjective • Full of tricks; tricky or sly; deceitful • Abigail Williams is a wily girl who tells lies to get power.
trifle • noun • A matter or thing of little value or importance; a small thing • When they went for coffee, they talked of trifles.
covet • verb • To desire wrongfully; to want to wish for eagerly • Thomas Putnam coveted the land of others, so he accused them of witchcraft.
quail • verb • To shrink in fear; to cower • When she saw a spirit, she quailed in fear.
evasively • adverb • Avoiding ; not answering straightforwardly • She evasively answered his difficult questions.
gingerly • adverb • Done with great care; carefully • She gingerly placed the eggs into her basket so as not to break them.
calamity • noun • A great disaster or catastrophe; a misfortune • Many people’s homes were left in ruins after the calamity of Hurricane Sandy.
vengeance • noun • Infliction of harm; violent revenge; desire for revenge • Thomas Putnam sought vengeance and began accusing innocent people of witchcraft.
menacingly • adverb • Harmfully, dangerously; done in a way that causes harm; threateningly • Government soldiers in armored vehicles menacingly drove through the streets firing into crowds.
blasphemy • noun • Cursing or disrespecting God or sacred things • Blasphemy is a serious crime in Puritan society and could cause one to be accused of witchcraft.
lechery • noun • Unrestrained sexual desire; excessive indulgence; lust • John Proctor committed an act of lechery when he had the affair with Abigail Williams.
pretense • noun • Pretending; make believe • The girls in Salem were never punished for excessive pretense
providence • noun • Luck or divine intervention; fate; The care and guidance of God or nature over the creatures of the earth • The Puritans believed there wasprovidence in Salem, so they behaved according to the laws of God
abundant • adjective • Present in great quantity; well supplied; plentiful • She had such an abundant supply of clothes that she gave things away to her friends.
scorn • noun • Disrespect or despisal of something • Religious people expressed their scorn for the Devil.
remorseless • adjective • Without guilt in spite of wrongdoing; inhuman • When Abigail Williams seemed remorseless when she accused Tituba of making her conjure.
daft • adjective • Senseless; stupid or foolish; insane or crazy • Elizabeth thought her husband John had gone daft when he cheated
contentious • adjective • Tending to argue; causing conflict or arguments • The relationship between the Putnams and most other people in Salem is contentious because the Putnams always have conflict with others.
affidavit • noun • A written declaration upon oath used for evidence in court; testimony; a sworn statement • Giles Corey was asked by the judges to submit his affidavit that his wife is not a witch.
contempt • noun • Antipathy (not caring); aversion; disrespect; hatred of something • Many people in Salem were arrested on charges of contempt, which is disrespect of the court.