IEW: U.S. History-Based Writing, Volume 1, Vocabulary Words

pillar
Noun: a slender upright column used to support a roof. One who strongly supports a work or cause.

George Washington was a pillar for the patriots in the Revolutionary War.

prosperity
Noun: the state of being successful or flourishing.

A quick dollar is not the way to true prosperity.

coax
Verb: to try to persuade by gentle but constant asking or other means.

Mom tried to coax her sick son to take his medicine.

transfixed
Verb: motionless with amazement or horror.

The Indian stood transfixed as the strange ships approached.

presume
Verb: to suppose to be true or to act without permission or authority.

The bat in his hand caused his mother to presume he had broken the window.

Explorers presumed to claim American land for their countries.

askew
Adjective: not lined up straight; awry.

Her hat was askew and her hair was a mess.

flank
Verb: to be placed at the side of

Two chairs flank the fireplace.

reverently
Adverb: with feelings of deep respect.

He opened the Bible reverently.

endeavor
Verb: to make a major effort; attempt.

John Smith endeavor to make Jamestown survive.

resolve
Verb: to make a firm decision; to bring to a conclusion.

John Smith resolved to require everyone in Jamestown to work in order to eat.

appalled
Verb: surprised and dismayed.

John Smith must have been appalled at the gentlemen who refused to work.

frivolous
Adjective: Not serious or important; silly.

In Jamestown, the desire for riches seemed frivolous when so many were starving.

hostile
Adjective: Unfriendly; unfavorable to one’s well-being.

The setters feared the Indians would be hostile.
The hostile storm tossed the tiny boat.

subside
Verb: 1) to sink or fall to the bottome; settle.
2) to become less in strength or violence.

The storm did not subside for weeks.

secluded
Verb: kept apart from everything else.
Below in the gun deck, the Pilgrims were secluded from the dangers on deck.

perilous
Adjective: Dangerous

The journey to the New World was long and perilous.

cunning
Adjective: sly or clever.

John Smith, who was a cunning leader, announced the law that would save Jamestown.

gravity
Noun: seriousness

John Smith understood the gravity of the situation.

persevere
Verb: to keep on, to persist.

The Pilgrims and the Mayflower persevered through the horrible storm.

contemplate
Verb: to regard thoughtfully.

The Pilgrims had to contemplate much before deciding to journey to America.

fathom
Verb: to comprehend (understand) in depth.

Who can truly fathom the extent of God’s grace?

impotent
Adjective: powerless.

The impotent King, who was across the ocean in England, could not control the colonists.

imperative
Adjective: necessary.

Storing food for winter was imperative in colonial times.

placidly
Adverb: calmly; peacefully.

The king hoped the colonists would placidly obey his laws and pay his taxes.

inevitable
Adjective: unavoidable; bound to happen.

Since cold, harsh winters were inevitable in New England, colonists had to store plenty of food every autumn.

squander
Verb: to waste.

Puritans believed it was a sin to squander time or resources.

waver
Verb: to be uncertain; to fluctuate; to swing back and forth.

The Puritans did not waver al all in the practice of their faith.

diligent
Adjective: hard working.

The New England Puritans had to be diligent farmers to produce much food from the rocky soil.

provoke
Verb: 1) to make angry; to annoy. 2) to arouse to action or feeling.

The English settlers that crossed the Appalachian Mountains provoked the French, who then sent soldiers to defend their land.

audacious
Adjective: bold; daring.

The English audaciously began to settle territory that the French believed belonged to them.

indignant
Adjective: angry about something that is unfair, mean, or bad.

The French were indigant when the English told tem to leave the Ohio River Valley.

animosity
Noun: a feeling of resentment that could lead to violence; hostility.

There was much animosity between the English and the French.

warily
Adverb: on guard; alert to or looking out for danger.

The Redcoats approached the waiting minutemen warily.

destined
Verb: to be determined or established ahead of time.

America was destined for war.

confront
Verb: to come face to face with; to oppose.

The minutemen met at Lexington to confront the Redcoats.

vehemently
Adverb: intensely; strongly or violently.

The minutemen vehemently fought the Redcoats.

compliant
Adjective: submissive; yielding.

King George expected the colonishts to be compliant, but they believed his laws were unfair.

compel
Verb: to force.

When King George would not listen to their pleas for a fair and peaceful solution, the colonists were compled to declare their independence from Britain.

deliberate
Verb (de LIB er rayt): to consider; to reflect upon.

The Continental Congress met to deliberate the idea of declaring independence.

Adjective (de LIB er uht): Decided upon as a result of careful thought.

The Continental Congress made a deliberate decision when they adopted the declaration.

obstinate
Adjective: stubborn; clinging, usually unreasonably, to an opinion purpose, or course.

The Americans colonists repeatedly asked King George for fair treatment, but he was obstinate.

solemn
Adjective: serious and thoughtful; formal or stately.

The members of the Second Continental Congress made a solemn pledge as they signed the Declaration of Independence.

tyrant
Noun: a cruel or brutal ruler; any oppressor.

When he sent troops to America, many colonists believed King George was a tyrant.

enthrall
Verb: to charm or captivate; to hold spellbound.

The inspiring words of the Declaration of Independence have enthralled people all over the world.

adept
Adjective: skilled; expert.

Thomas Jefferson was an adept writer, so he was asked to pen the Declaration.

incessant
Adjective: unceasing; never ending.

John Paul Jones fought with incessant determination.

zealous
Adjective: enthusiastically devoted to something; fervent.

Samuel Adams was one of the most zealous patriots, stirring up others ti fight for freedom.

trepidation
Noun: fear; nervous trembling; apprehension.

Nathan Hale showed not trepidation when he was to be executed.

exemplary
Adjective: outstanding; worthy of imitation.

Benjamin Franklin led an exemplary life.

prominent
Adjective: 1) well-known, leading, or outstanding
2) attracting attention as by size or position.

The delegates who wrote the Constitution were all prominent men in their states.

privily
Adverb: privately

Our founding fathers met privily and refused to discuss their work until the Constitution was complete.

The expression “being privy” to something means sharing in a secret knowledge of something.

affirm
Verb: to declare positively; to maintain to be true.

The founding fathers wanted the Constitution to affirm their belief in a government by and for the people.

espouse
Verb: 1) to marry
2) to support or adopt a cause or theory.

The founding fathershoped that the people of America would espouse the government set forth in the Constitution.

tedious
Adjective: long and tiring.

Writing the Constitution was a tedious process.

implement
Verb: to put into practice; to carry out the terms or details of, such as a treaty or a plan.

Before Congress could implement the ideas written in the Constitution, the states had to ratify it.

scrutinize
Verb: to examine closely.

Each state would scrutinize the details of the proposed Constitution before voting on it.

potential
Noun: the capability of becoming real; possibility.

The Constitution gave the United States the potential to become a great country governed by the people.

aspire
Verb: to seek to attain something high or great.

When children see our flag, some may aspire to become the president of the great country.

elated
Adjective: filled with joy and pride.

He was elated as the fireworks brightened the sky and the band played “The Star Spangled Banner.”

auspicious
Adjective: favorable; pointing to a good result.

Francis Scott Key knew that the flag flying onver Fort McHenry was an auspicious sign.

adverse
Adjective: unfavorable; directed against a person or a thing

When our country faces adverse circumstances, the flag helps unite us.

amiable
Adjective: friendly; agreeable.

Lewis and Clark hoped the Native Americans in the Louisiana Territory would be amiable.

antagonist
Noun: an opponent; a person who is against another person; In literature, the “bad guy” or anything that is opposing the “good guy.”

In the Lewis and Clark story, the mountains were a kind of antagonist.

distraught
Adjective: confused and upset; agitated.

Lewis’ men were almost distraught when they way the Rocky Moutains standing in their way.

awestruck
Adjective: amazed; filled with wonder mixed with fear.

Lewis and Clark must have been awestruck at many of the sights and animals of the Louisiana Territory.

trite
Adjective: overused; not original.

The theme could be considered trite in literature, but since it was true story, it was inspiring.

formidable
Adjective: causing fear or dread; having qualities that discourage approach or attack.

The moutain range was a formidable obstacle.

obscure
Adjective: unclear, clouded.

Before the Lewis and Clark expedition, Americans had only obscure ideas about the Louisiana Territory.

laden
Adjective: loaded, burdened.

The explorers were laden with heavy supplies that made their travel slow.

revel
Verb: to take great delight in something.

The families on the Oregon Trail would revel in the thought of being able to begin a new life.

jaunty
Adjective: Lively; energetic.

The jaunty children traveling in covered wagons needed to get out and run around every few miles.

encounter
Verb: to come upon or meet.

The settlers traveling in the wagon trains hoped they would not encounter hostile Native Americans.

lure
Verb: to tempt or lead away by offering some pleasure of advantage.

The spacious Oregon Territory lured settlers from crowded eastern cities.