Into the Wild Vocab Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Into the Wild Vocab Deck (155):
1

taiga

coniferous evergreen forest
"Alaskan taiga"

2

peregrination

wandering, meandering
"details of his peregrinations"

3

dispassionate

calm, devoid of feeling
"dispassionate rendering was impossible"

4

asceticism

practice of self-denial, simplicity, nonmaterialism
"emulated Tolstoy's asceticism"

5

fulminate

to denounce or condemn
"they fulminated him as a reckless idiot"

6

muskeg

a bog
"expanse of windswept muskeg"

7

unsullied

unsoiled, pure
"unsullied enormity of alaska"

8

enormity

monstrousness
"unsullied enormity of alaska"

9

sonorous

rich and full in sound
"Gallien's low, sonorous drawl"

10

dissuade

to persuade against
"Gallien tried to dissuade him"

11

futility

uselessness
"laughing at the futility of life"

12

escarpment

cliff
"crests of the outermost escarpments"

13

amalgam

an alloy
"carpeted in a boggy amalgam of muskeg"

14

cordillera

chain of mountains
"northernmost cordillera of the Outer Range"

15

anomaly

a deviation from the norm
"a few locals know of the anomaly"

16

opaque

not allowing light to pass through
"waters opaque with glacial till"

17

till

glacial drift
"waters opaque with glacial till"

18

contumacious

willfully disobedient
"the three locals are contumacious Alaskans"

19

posit

to assume as fact
"starvation was posited as the cause of death"

20

mawkish

overly sentimental
"walls filled with mawkish paintings"

21

fickle

not constant, not loyal
"fickle weather"

22

visage

face
"Ross Perot's sneering visage"

23

itinerant

traveling from place to place
"Alex had the physique of an itinerant laborer"

24

surrogate

a substitute
"found a surrogate family"

25

stasis

state of inactivity
"Alex liked carthage's community stasis"

26

plebian

common, ordinary
"carthage's plebian virtues"

27

bequest

legacy, something left in a will
"final years of college paid by a bequest from a family friend"

28

odyssey

a long journey
"trip was to be an odyssey"

29

onerous

burdensome
"graduating college was an onerous duty"

30

detritus

debris
"detrital wash"

31

austere

simple, severe, nonmaterialistic
"desert is sensorily austere"

32

inimical

hostile
"desert is historically inimical"

33

dun

grey-brown
"concealed under a dun-colored tarp"

34

interdiction

a prohibition
"car would be perfect for drug interdiction"

35

bore

an abrupt rise of tidal water
"bore of brown water came rushing down"

36

egress

to exit, means of going out
"only route of egress was now a full-blown river"

37

flout

to treat with disdain
"his moral responsibility to flout the laws of the state"

38

emasculate

to weaken
"river was emasculated with dams and canals"

39

indolent

lazy
"the river burbles indolently from reservoir to reservoir"

40

saline

salty
"landscape's saline beauty"

41

portage

carrying a boat overland
"decides to portage to the canal"

42

plaintive

mournful
"took photos of plaintive sunset"

43

perfunctory

hasty and superficial
"journal entries become short and perfunctory"

44

hummock

a small hill
"left the boat on a hummock of dune grass"

45

primordial

existing from the very beginning
"dominant, primordial beast"

46

idiom

dialect, distinctive style
"Bullhead city was in the late 20th century idiom"

47

garrulous

talkative
"McDonald's manager was a flashy, garrulous man"

48

raze

to tear down
"old navy base had been abandoned and razed

49

sundry

various
"snowbirds and drifters and sundry vagabonds congregate here"

50

turgid

swollen, pompous
"London's turgid portrayal of life in alaska"

51

fatuous

silly or foolish
"London was a fatuous drunk"

52

recluse

a hermit
"alex was no recluse"

53

denizen

an inhabitant
"alex spoke to the denizens of the slabs about alaska"

54

anachronistic

out of place in time
"penned in a shaky, anachronistic script"

55

spectral

ghostly
"rattle of wind interrupts the spectral quiet"

56

nexus

a means of connection, a link
"market-liquor store-post office was the cultural nexus"

57

endemic

native to a particular place
"endemic idiocracy of mainstream American life"

58

missive

a letter or epistle
"Alex wrote a missive to burres"

59

emanate

to send forth
"wrong to think joy emanates only from human relations"

60

cant

insincere talk, hypocrisy
"canted slope?"

61

maw

mouth or stomach of a voracious carnivore
"shoes protrude from the maw of the combine"

62

surfeit

excess
"alex did not have a surfeit of common sense"

63

supplant

to replace
"alex had a variety of lust that supplanted sexual desire"

64

succor

help or aid
"may have been tempted by the succor of women"

65

opprobrium

reproach, scorn
"many letters heaped opprobrium on alex"

66

epistle

a letter or missive
"dense, multipage epistle"

67

burlesque

mocking treatment of a solemn subject
"alex is a 20th century burlesque of London's protagonist"

68

hubris

excessive pride
"alex commits big-time hubris"

69

requisite

required
"overconfident men screw up because they lack the requisite humility"

70

beatific

blissful; saintly
"the other hand raised in a brave, beatific farewell"

71

emetic

causing vomiting
"the wild sweet pea proved emetic, so she recovered after her stomach rejected it"

72

munificience

great generosity
"despite this apparent munificence, the meat was very lean"

73

fecund

abundant
"the country was a fecund of plant and animal life"

74

feckless

irresponsible
"McCandless was not some feckless slacker"

75

modicum

a moderate or small amount
"loopy young man that lacked even a modicum of common sense"

76

sobriquet

nickname
"franklin's sobriquet was "the man who ate his shoes""

77

metis

a person of mixed ancestry
"Franklin's team was rescued by a band of metis"

78

hauteur

haughtiness
"Sir John Franklin's hauteur contributed to 140 deaths"

79

ungulate

having hoofs
"the ungulate alex shot was exactly what he said it was"

80

coppice

a small woods
"bus is parked beside a coppice of aspen"

81

miasma

a death-like atmosphere
"feet churn the muck into a foul-smelling miasma"

82

castigate

to criticize severely
"castigated himself for the waste of a life he's taken"

83

rictus

a gaping grin
"alex's features were distorted in a rictus of esctacy and amazement"

84

axiom

a self-evident truth that requires no proof
"fundamental axiom: winter is better for overland travel"

85

rubicon

"crossing the Rubicon" is the point of no return
"in doing so, he was crossing his rubicon"

86

laconic

using few words
"he began a laconic journal of blank pages of Tanaina Plantlore"

87

gloaming

the twilight
"walked down to the highway in the predawn gloaming

88

aperture

opening
"walt's synthetic aperature radar"

89

patina

film or covering
"i scraped away the patina of ice above my head"

90

reprise

a repeat
"it was a reprise of my attempt on the north face"

91

abate

a reduce in amount or intensity
"the blizzard finally abated"

92

volition

will; choosing or deciding
"volition alone was not going to get me up the wall"

93

spindrift

sea spray
"spindrift avalanches hissed down from the wall above"

94

bivouac

a military encampment
"i crouched inside my bivouac sack"

95

metastasize

the spread of disease
"squall metastasized into a major storm"

96

faux

fake
"faux leather valise stuffed with pill bottles"

97

epiphany

a sudden appearance or manifestation
"the epiphany occurred after time and misfortune

98

hector

to harass or bully
"we were hectored to excel in every class"

99

progeny

offspring
"his father's aspirations extended to his progeny

100

acrid

harsh or caustic
"acrid scent of singed hair"

101

conflagration

a destructive fire
"bag or garbage flared into a small conflagration"

102

chutzpah

audacity or nerve
"whole enterprise is held together with little more than chutzpah"

103

rime

frost
"coated with 6 inches of feathery rime"

104

dearth

lack of or scarcity
"the rock exhibited a dearth of holds"

105

recumbent

lying down
"spent most of my time recumbent in my tent"

106

self-possessed

in control of one's emotions
"he was a self-possessed young man"

107

mundane

common or ordinary
"even the mundane seemed charged with meaning"

108

carapace

the bony shield covering the dorsal part of an animal
"ice cap rides the spine of the range like a carapace"

109

gunwale

the upper edge of the side of a vessel
"hopped over the gunwale"

110

desideratum

something wanted or needed
"these mountains heralded the approach of my desideratum"

111

inveigle

to entice by artful talk
"i inveigled a ride on a salmon seiner"

112

exfoliate

to peel off layers
"huge fin of exfoliated stone"

113

sinister

evil or malignant
"the mountain looked particularly sinister"

114

recalcitrant

disobedient
"chris has the same pensive, recalcitrant stare"

115

histrionic

overly dramatic
"his notes read like the work of a histrionic high schooler"

116

greenhorn

a newcomer
"mccandless was one more dreamy, half-cocked greenhorn

117

recondite

esoteric, know or understood by only a few
"diary filled with recondite theory"

118

eremitic

like a hermit
"Alaska is not the best place for eremitic experiments

119

seine

a fishing net
"deckhand on a seine boat"

120

bight

a bend in a river or shoreline
"Hippie cove is a bight of tidewater"

121

purge

to cleanse or purify
"Rossellini purged his life of all but the most primitive tools"

122

devolve

to become simpler or disappear
"humans have devolved into inferior beings"

123

equanimity

composure
"Rossellini accepted the failure of his hypothesis with equanimity"

124

Denali

Mt. McKinley
"Waterman climbed Denali"

125

copious

abundant
"waterman took copious notes"

126

lucrative

profitable
"McCunn found lucrative employment on the pipeline construction"

127

paucity

dearth, lack of
"staggering paucity of common sense"

128

defile

a narrow passage between mountains
"oasis exists at the bottom of this slotlike defile"

129

ephemeral

not lasting very long
"ephemeral bloom of a lily"

130

nom de plume

pen name
"everet ruess carved his nom de plume into the canyon wall"

131

bohemian

artistic person who disregards convention
"Stella (ruess?) had bohemian tastes"

132

maxim

a proverb, and adage
"Ruess family maxim: Glorify the hour"

133

callow

immature and inexperienced
"Ruess was a callow romantic"

134

atavism

reversion to an earlier type, a throwback
"callow romantic and an atavistic wanderer of the wilderness"

135

incendiary

inflammatory
"Ruess's almost incendiary passion for the country"

136

vermilion

bright red
"vermilion sands of the desert"

137

unscathed

unharmed
"i have always escaped unscathed"

138

sever

to cut off
"captian nemo severs his every tie upon the earth"

139

veracity

truth
"the veracity of these ruess sightings are extremely suspect"

140

vestige

a trace of something no longer present
"vestiges of the monk's ancient dwellings"

141

taciturn

silent by nature
"walt maccandless is a bearded, taciturn man"

142

scudding

moving quickly
"sailboat scudding on the water"

143

arcane

known or understood by only a few, secret
"walt is an eminence in the ranks of his arcane field"

144

mercurial

changeable, fickle
"walts moods can me dark and mercurial"

145

vagary

an unpredictable or whimsical event
"exchanging steady paycheck for vagaries of self-employment"

146

loath

hesitant
"walt and billie are tightly would and loath to give ground

147

panache

flair, a grand manner
"chris belted out a song with impressive panache"

148

obsequious

fawning, brown nosing
"rich food and wine are abundant, and obsequious attendance"

149

monomania

obsession with a single thing
"chris's darker side was characterized by monomania"

150

philanderer

a womanizer
"heavy drinker and incorrigible philanderer"

151

lenity

mildness or gentleness
"incapable of extending lenity to his father"

152

sanctimonious

falsely religious
"chris thought walt was a sancitmonious hypocrite"

153

lambaste

to reprimand harshly
"chris lambasted bible-thumpers"

154

confrere

a colleague
"walts dwindling numbers of confreres"

155

pellucid

clear, translucent
"alaska's pellucid subarctic sky"