Analysis Pages

Vocabulary in Emma

Vocabulary Examples in Emma:

Volume I - Chapter I

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"widower..."   (Volume I - Chapter I)

The word "widower" refers to a married man whose wife has died (the male version of a widow).

"animated..."   (Volume I - Chapter I)

The word "animated" means full of movement and life. In this case, Mr. Woodhouse is animated from the walk. something he is usually not.

"curtseys..."   (Volume I - Chapter I)

The word "curtsey" refers to a gestures in which a girl or woman bends at the knees and bows her head as a sign of respect or reverence.

"unexceptionable..."   (Volume I - Chapter I)

Here, the word "unexceptionable" means Mr. Weston was a fine, upstanding man who gave no one cause to doubt his good character.

"alloy..."   (Volume I - Chapter I)

The word "alloy" describes the mixing of two or more things to create an impure substance. In this case, Emma's getting "her own way" and thinking "a little too well of herself" may prove disadvantageous and get in the way of the good things in her life.

"governess..."   (Volume I - Chapter I)

The word "governess" refers to a female teacher hired to tutor a child. In this case, Miss Taylor serves as Emma's governess, educating her and teaching her about manners and conduct.

"tacitly..."   (Volume I - Chapter II)

The adverb "tacitly" means implicitly or understood without any official proclamation or commitment.

"portionless..."   (Volume I - Chapter II)

The word "portionless" means without dowry; in this case, having no inheritance or money of her own.

"come-at-able..."   (Volume I - Chapter III)

The phrase "come-at-able" refers to those who were easy to invite and would come when invited.

"gruel..."   (Volume I - Chapter III)

The word "gruel" refers to a thin porridge made of milk or water and some kind of boiled grain.

"parlour-boarder..."   (Volume I - Chapter III)

The word "parlour-boarder" is someone who is treated like one of the family rather than just a student. A privileged boarder could use the parlour for entertaining or visiting, much like a family member.

"prosings..."   (Volume I - Chapter III)

The word "prosing" means everyday language used in speaking or writing. In this case, the women prattle on about unimportant or insignificant (and therefore tedious or boring) things.

"fancy-work..."   (Volume I - Chapter III)

In this context, the word "fancy-work" refers to elaborate needlework, such as embroidery.

"chilblains..."   (Volume I - Chapter III)

The world "chilblains" means inflammation and/or swelling caused by prolonged exposure to the cold.

"mistress..."   (Volume I - Chapter III)

Here, "mistress" is short for "headmistress," the female form of "headmaster."

"quicksighted..."   (Volume I - Chapter III)

The word "quicksighted" means quick to see. In this case, Miss Bates always looks for the positive in other people.

"atonement..."   (Volume I - Chapter III)

The word "atonement" means amends or reparations. In this case, Miss Bates is not brilliant enough to compensate for all of her other deficiencies.

"parish..."   (Volume I - Chapter III)

The word "parish" refers to a certain area, like a neighborhood, served by one pastor or preacher.

"principal..."   (Volume I - Chapter VI)

The word "principal" refers to a primary actor who plays a major role in a play.

"deposit..."   (Volume I - Chapter VI)

The word "deposit" refers to something which is entrusted to another for safekeeping. Here, the deposit is the portrait.

"shawl..."   (Volume I - Chapter VI)

The word "shawl" refers to a kind of wrap which covers the shoulders and upper body.

"fore-shortening..."   (Volume I - Chapter VI)

The word "fore-shortening" means to shorten certain lines and figures to show perspective.

"portfolio..."   (Volume I - Chapter VI)

The word "portfolio" refers to a collection of drawings, papers, photographs, or other such things. It also refers to the satchel or folder containing these items.

"secure..."   (Volume I - Chapter VII)

The word "secure" means sure and certain. In this case, Mr. Martin is certain of maintaining her friendship.

"unaffected..."   (Volume I - Chapter VII)

The word "unaffected" means natural, honest, and genuine. In this case, Mr. Martin writes freely and does not sound like someone he is not.

"pressed..."   (Volume I - Chapter VII)

The word "pressed" means urged to do something, in this case read the letter of proposal.

"consequence..."   (Volume I - Chapter VIII)

Here, the word "consequence" means importance or possessing means. In this case, it means social standing and money.

"puff her up..."   (Volume I - Chapter VIII)

The phrase "to puff him/her up" means to inflate someone's ego or to make someone feel more important than he/she ought to feel.

"indignation..."   (Volume I - Chapter VIII)

The word "indignation" means upset or angry at a real or perceived unfairness or injustice.

"stanza..."   (Volume I - Chapter IX)

The word "stanza" means a division in a poem, similar to a paragraph in a story or the chorus or verse in a song.

"tribute..."   (Volume I - Chapter IX)

The word "tribute" means a declaration, statement, or expression of respect, appreciation, or admiration.

"couplet..."   (Volume I - Chapter IX)

The word "couplet" refers to two lines of rhyming poetry, which contain a complete and connected thought.

"motto..."   (Volume I - Chapter IX)

The word "motto" refers to an opening quote or saying at the beginning of a chapter in a book.

"flutter..."   (Volume I - Chapter IX)

The verb "to flutter" means to quickly flap or wave, as in a heart going "pitter-patter" or a woman flitting about in excitement.

"trident..."   (Volume I - Chapter IX)

A "trident" is a three-pronged spear generally used for spearing fish or as a weapon in battle.

"intentions..."   (Volume I - Chapter IX)

The word "intention" refers to a proposed course of action; in this case, to pursue a courtship.

"Courtship..."   (Volume I - Chapter IX)

The word "courtship" refers to the relationship which comes before an engagement or marriage.

"conundrums..."   (Volume I - Chapter IX)

The word "conundrum" refers to difficult problems; in this case, something similar to a riddle or puzzle.

"ciphers..."   (Volume I - Chapter IX)

The word "ciphers" refers to figures made of an intricate design incorporating letters. They are similar to monograms or the fancy lettering used for initial letters on the pages of old manuscripts.

"quarto..."   (Volume I - Chapter IX)

The word "quarto" refers to a small book comprised of full sheets of paper folded to make eight small pages which are then written or printed on.

"mantelpiece..."   (Volume I - Chapter IX)

The word "mantelpiece" refers to the top and sides surrounding a fireplace, specifically the shelf above the fireplace.

"secure..."   (Volume I - Chapter X)

In this case, "secure" means sure of a positive answer to his proposal.

"ill-equipped..."   (Volume I - Chapter X)

The word "ill-equipped" means not appropriately prepared; in this case, an improperly laced boot.

"pales..."   (Volume I - Chapter X)

The word "pales" refers to boundaries like hedges and fences between two properties.

"broth..."   (Volume I - Chapter X)

The word "broth" refers to a flavorful, clear liquid in which meat, fish, or vegetables have been cooked.

"half-boot..."   (Volume I - Chapter X)

The word "half-boot" refers to a short boot, which comes just above the ankle and is generally used here for walking.

"garters..."   (Volume I - Chapter X)

The word "garter" refers to an elastic ring or band worn on the leg to help keep up a woman's (or man's) stocking.

"stomacher..."   (Volume I - Chapter X)

The word "stomacher" refers to the front piece or placket of a lady's gown or corset, often elaborately and uniquely designed.

"carpet-work..."   (Volume I - Chapter X)

The word "carpet-work" refers to a kind of embroidery which uses yarn instead of thread and canvas instead of cloth.

"perforce..."   (Volume I - Chapter X)

The word "perforce" means forced because of circumstances; in this case, a lack of money.

"distinction..."   (Volume I - Chapter X)

The word "distinction" refers to that which sets one thing apart from other things of the same kind.

"contrive..."   (Volume I - Chapter X)

The verb "to contrive" means to make something happen by trickery or deceit; in this case, wrangling an invitation to go into the house.

"pollards..."   (Volume I - Chapter X)

The word "pollards" refers to trees whose limbs have been drastically cut all the way to the trunk in order to promote new and fuller growth.

"unsullied..."   (Volume I - Chapter XI)

The word "unsullied" means fresh and clean; not dirty; not tarnished with something bad, dirty, or negative.

"nursery-maids..."   (Volume I - Chapter XI)

The word "nursery-maids" are women paid to take care of children (not just babies, as the word "nursery" implies).

"severe Philippics..."   (Volume I - Chapter XII)

Philipic is by its nature severe because it means any bitter verbal attack on someone. The name derives from speeches by Demosthenes, a Greek philosopher, against Philip I of Macedon, a kingdom to the north of Greece, whom he hated as an enemy of Greece.

"accomplished..."   (Volume I - Chapter XII)

Here, the word "accomplished" means talented, gifted, and successful at any number of things.

"palpitations..."   (Volume I - Chapter XII)

The word "palpitations" refers to increased rate of heartbeats, often caused by stress or nervousness.

"magistrate..."   (Volume I - Chapter XII)

The word "magistrate" means a local judge who has the official power to enforce laws and settle disputes.

"the true English style..."   (Volume I - Chapter XII)

The phrase "true English style" means a formal meeting where no personal feelings are shown.

"Concession..."   (Volume I - Chapter XII)

The word "concession" means an admission of guilt.

"hoarse..."   (Volume I - Chapter XIII)

The word "hoarse" refers to a condition in which someone's voice is rough, often due to strain or illness.

"despatch..."   (Volume I - Chapter XIII)

The word "despatch" means a prompt disposal; in this case, a speedy consumption of food by the hungry men.

"leisure..."   (Volume I - Chapter XIV)

The word "leisure" here means the first free moment which was not taken up by pleasantries or formalities.

"reviving..."   (Volume I - Chapter XIV)

The verb "to revive" means to bring back to life; in this case, to bring the subject up again after it had already died.

"foot-pace..."   (Volume I - Chapter XV)

In this context, "foot-pace" means traveling no faster than a human could walk (as opposed to the speed at which a horse would normally travel).

"making violent love..."   (Volume I - Chapter XV)

The phrase "making violent love" means expressing his feelings for her and speaking to her of his love for her (a little tamer than the modern meaning).

"tete-a-tete..."   (Volume I - Chapter XV)

A "tete-a-tete," which translates to "head to head" in French, is a private conversation between two people.

"bleak..."   (Volume I - Chapter XV)

The word "bleak" means bare. In this case, free from trees or other elements which would help keep the wind and snow from drifting or blowing so fiercely.

"ulcerated..."   (Volume I - Chapter XV)

The word "ulcerated" means keeping some organ of the body from functioning properly; in this case, the throat.

"improprieties..."   (Volume I - Chapter XV)

The word "improprieties" refers to misconducts and failures to abide by the typical rules of what is proper.

"principals..."   (Volume I - Chapter XVI)

The word "principals" refer to the most important people in the situation or the most significant actors in a play.

"elegancies..."   (Volume I - Chapter XVI)

The word "elegancies" refers to manners, appearance, sense of style, and behavior.

"gradations..."   (Volume I - Chapter XVI)

The word "gradations" means ranks, stages, degrees, or classes (as in social or economic classes).

"did him no service..."   (Volume I - Chapter XVI)

The phrase "did him no service" means did not help him make his case or argument. Here, it did not help his chances of getting Emma to accept his proposal.

"penance..."   (Volume I - Chapter XVII)

The word "penance" means self-imposed punishment to pay for sins or wrongs.

"contriving..."   (Volume I - Chapter XVII)

The word "contriving" means to make happen or bring about by skill, cunning, or trickery.

"detained..."   (Volume I - Chapter XVII)

The word "detained" means kept, but not by choice.

"puppy..."   (Volume I - Chapter XVIII)

In this context, a "puppy" is someone who does everything to please others without any adherence to principles or personal beliefs.

"chattering coxcomb..."   (Volume I - Chapter XVIII)

A "chattering coxcomb" is an overly conceited fellow who is more concerned about being fashionable than anything else.

"nice..."   (Volume I - Chapter XVIII)

In this obsolete usage, "nice" means too exacting or demanding.

"declaration..."   (Volume I - Chapter XVIII)

The word "declaration" means statement. In this case, the statement is that he intends to go home and visit his father, with or without permission.

"backward..."   (Volume II - Chapter I)

The word "backward" means not having or understanding the social customs and therefore seeming rather socially undeveloped.

"excessively..."   (Volume II - Chapter I)

The word "excessively" means to a high intensity or degree; in this case, they really, really want her to come.

"make enough of her..."   (Volume II - Chapter I)

In this context, "make enough of her" means to celebrate her or show her how much we love and appreciate her.

"upon your honour..."   (Volume II - Chapter I)

The phrase "upon your honour" means in other words, "do you give me your word that what you're saying is true?"

"beaufet..."   (Volume II - Chapter I)

An archaic spelling of "buffet" which refers to a sideboard or long table on which foods were placed; of course this is the precursor for the modern-day buffet.

"insight..."   (Volume II - Chapter II)

The word "insight" means ability to determine the truth or reality of a situation.

"cloak of politeness..."   (Volume II - Chapter II)

"Cloak of politeness" is a figure of speech which means true feelings are covered up or hidden by polite words or gestures.

"relapsing..."   (Volume II - Chapter II)

The word "relapsing" means going backwards, regressing, and returning to a previous condition.

"novitiate..."   (Volume II - Chapter II)

The word "novitiate" means a novice or beginner, particularly a woman who is preparing to be a nun.

"acquirements..."   (Volume II - Chapter II)

The word "acquirements" means that which is practiced and learned through lessons, study, or training.

"haberdasher's..."   (Volume II - Chapter III)

The word "haberdasher" refers to a merchant who sells sewing notions (needles, threads, buttons, etc.).

"full..."   (Volume II - Chapter III)

The phrase "full heart" means containing many emotions or feelings.

"runs away with it..."   (Volume II - Chapter III)

The phrase "to run away with it" means to get an idea and expand or grow it into something much more significant.

"quick at..."   (Volume II - Chapter III)

In this context, "quick" means quick to pick up on clues and to perceive.

"oppress..."   (Volume II - Chapter III)

In this context, "oppress" means to put her under a large debt of gratitude for the generous gift of pork.

"spencer..."   (Volume II - Chapter III)

At this time and in this context, a "spencer" was a short sweater or jacket that came to a woman's waist.

"hind-quarter..."   (Volume II - Chapter III)

The "hind-quarter" is a cut of meat which includes the rear end of the animal plus a leg and perhaps a rib.

"loin..."   (Volume II - Chapter III)

The word "loin" refers to the area between ribs and pelvis. In this case, it is a cut of meat coming from this part of the pig.

"discerned..."   (Volume II - Chapter III)

The verb "to discern" means to sense or perceive, sometimes through something other than the senses.

"kept..."   (Volume II - Chapter IV)

The word "kept" means owned and paid for. Someone who kept two carriages was quite wealthy since caring for and driving horses was expensive.

"soliloquy..."   (Volume II - Chapter V)

The word "soliloquy" refers to a monologue, whereby a character explains his inner thoughts out loud, regardless of the audience.

"reanimation..."   (Volume II - Chapter V)

The word "reanimation" refers to the state of being filled with new life or the condition of being reenergized.

"evil stars..."   (Volume II - Chapter V)

The phrase "evil stars" is a reference to fate or destiny (as in horoscope predictions based on the alignment of the stars).

"distinct..."   (Volume II - Chapter VI)

The word "distinct" means clear. In this case, distinct means true, as in her true thoughts and feelings about people.

"Poor comfort..."   (Volume II - Chapter VI)

The phrase "poor comfort" means of little help. In this case, his words do not make Emma feel any better.

"sashed..."   (Volume II - Chapter VI)

Sashed windows are the smaller panels of a window which are connected together to make a larger window.

"half-gentlemen..."   (Volume II - Chapter VI)

The word "half-gentleman" refers to a successful man who has a good social standing but is not a titled nobleman.

"hyperbolical..."   (Volume II - Chapter VI)

The word "hyperbolical" means exaggerated, and therefore perceived as being rather insincere.

"I hate the recollection..."   (Volume II - Chapter VIII)

In other words, the phrase "I hate the recollection" means "I hate thinking about it, about leaving so soon."

"pianoforte..."   (Volume II - Chapter VIII)

The word "pianoforte" refers to a version of the piano which followed the harpsichord. On the pianoforte, keys could be pressed to make a note softer or louder.

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