Thursday, March 31, 2016

momentous & perambulate

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

"Walking - riding - yachting - I suppose the most momentous conversations of my life took place while perambulating the great court at Trinity.

Definitions:

momentous:
very important or serious, especially because there may be important results.

perambulate:
to walk about a place.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

grunt & disconcert

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

It took him a moment to recover from the impropriety of having snored, and possibly grunted, before a young lady. To wake and find oneself left alone with one was also slightly disconcerting

Definitions:

grunt:
1. to make a short low sound in your throat, especially to show that you are in pain, annoyed or not interested;
2. to make the half-nasal, half-throaty noise that a pig makes

disconcert:
to make sb feel anxious, confused or embarrassed;

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

chime & impropriety

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

A bell chimed behind them, and Richard raised his head.

It took him a moment to recover from the impropriety of having snored, and possibly grunted, before a young lady.

Definitions:

chime:
1. to ring; 
2. to show the time by making a ringing sound;

impropriety:
behaviour or actions that are dishonest, morally wrong or not appropriate for a person in a position of responsibility;

Monday, March 28, 2016

dogged & in the prime of life

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

He was a man of forty perhaps; and here there were lines round his eyes, and there curious clefts in his cheeks. Slightly battered he appeared, but dogged and in the prime of life.

Definitions:

dogged:
showing determination and not giving up easily;

in the prime of life:
in the best and most productive and healthy period of life.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

unheeded & battered

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

Ridley, who had prowled unheeded, started forward, stopped, and, with a gesture of disgust, strode off to his study.

He was a man of fort perhaps; and here there were lines round his eyes, and there curious clefts in his cheeks. Slightly battered he appeared, but dogged and in the prime of life.

Definitions: 

unheeded:
ignored; not listened to or given serious attention.

battered:
1. attacked violently and badly damaged by weapons or by bad weather;
...

Saturday, March 26, 2016

threadbare & sprightly

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

"I brought Persuasion," she went on, "because I thought it was a little less threadbare than the others - though, Dick, it's no good your pretending to know Jane by heart, considering that she always sends you to sleep!"

She was determined that Sir Walter should take her  husband's mind off the guns of Britain, and divert him in an exquisite, quaint, sprightly, and slightly ridiculous world.

Definitions: 

threadbare:
1. that does not have much effect, especially because it has been used too much;
2. ...

sprightly:
full of life and energy;

Friday, March 25, 2016

fingertip & vainly

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

"Produce your instances, Miss Vinrace," he went on, Joining his finger-tips. "I'm ready to be converted." He waited, while Rachel vainly tried to vindicate her sex from the slight he put upon it.

Definitions: 

fingertip:
the end of the finger that is furthest from the hand;

vainly:
without success.

vain:
failing to have or unlikely to have the intended or desired result;

Thursday, March 24, 2016

impertinent & box sb's ears

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

"I long to ask questions," she continued. "You interest me so much. If I'm Impertinent, you must just box my ears."

Definitions: 

Impertinent:
rude and not showing respect for sb who is older or more important;

box sb's ears:
to hit sb with your hand on the side of their head as a punishment;

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

cram & stuffy

​​Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

When you're my age you'll see that the world is crammed with delightful things.

She glanced round as much as to say, "not only a few stuffy books and Batch."

Definitions:

cram:
1. to push or force st/sth into a small space; to move into a small space with the result that it is full;
...

stuffy:
1. very serious, formal boring or old-fashioned;
...

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

calumny & snuffy

​​Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

Envy and calumny and hate and pain - you remember?

I really respect some snuffy old stockbroker who's gone on adding up column after column all his days, and trotting back to his villa at Brixton with some old pug dog he worships, and a dreary little wife sitting at the end of the table, and going off to Margate for a fortnight - I assure you I know heaps like that - well, they seem to me really nobler than poets whom every one worships, just because they're geniuses and die young.

Definitions:

calumny:
a false statement about a person that is made to damage their reputation.

snuffy:
1. supercilious or contemptuous;
2. in a bad temper and easily annoyed;

Monday, March 21, 2016

impulsive & flounder

​​Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

It was burst impulsively open, and Mrs. Dalloway stood in the room leaving the door open, so that a strip of the white deck and of the blue sea appeared through the opening.

"She's so - so - well, so like a tight plait," Rachel floundered.

Definitions:

impulsive:
1. acting or coming in short bursts;
2. someone who is impulsive tends to do things without thinking about what will happen as a result;

flounder:
1. to struggle to know what to say or do or how to continue with sth;
2. ...

Sunday, March 20, 2016

fugue & stumble

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

In three minutes she was deep in a very difficult, very classical fugue in A, and over her face came a queer remote impersonal expression of complete absorption and anxious satisfaction.

Now she stumbled; now she faltered and had to play the same bar twice over; but an invisible line seemed to string the notes together, form which rose a shape, a building.

Definition​​

fugue:
a piece of music in which one or more tunes are introduced and then repeated in a complicated pattern. 

stumble:
1. to make a mistake or mistakes and stop while you are speaking, reading to sb or playing music;
2. ...

Friday, March 18, 2016

airy & jocular

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

The talk appeared too airy to admit of it.

The talk meanwhile raced past her, and when Richard suddenly stated in a jocular tone of voice, "I'm sure Miss Vinrace, now has secret leanings towards Catholicism," she had no idea what to anser, and Helen could not help laughing at the start she gave.

Definition​​

airy:
1. acting or done in a way that shows that you are not worried or that you are not treating sth as serious;
2. not serious or practical;
3. with plenty of fresh air because there is a lot of space;

jocular:
1. humorous;
2. enjoying making people laugh;

Thursday, March 17, 2016

lemur & martin

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

"Then we had canaries," he continued, "a pair of ring-doves, a lemur, and at one time a martin."

Definition​​

lemur:
an animal like a monkey, with thick fur and a long tail, that lives in trees in Madagascar.

martin:
a bird of the swallow family with a notched or square tail, which builds its nest on cliffs or houses

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

dormouse & canary

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

The first sorrow I can remember was for the death of a dormouse.

"Then we had canaries," he continued, "a pair of ring-doves, a lemur, and at one time a martin."

Definition

dormouse:
a small animal like a mouse, with a tail covered in fur.

canary:
a small yellow bird with a beautiful song, often kept in a cage as a pet.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

chap & brisk

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

"He was a Skype terrier, one of those long chaps, with little feet poking out from their hair like - like caterpillars - no, like sofas I should say. Well, we had another dog at the same time, a black brisk animal - a Schipperke, I think, you call them.

Definition

chap:
1. the lower exterior half of the jaw, especially the cheek;
2. ...

brisk:
1. moving or acting quickly;
...

Monday, March 14, 2016

uncommunicative & cuff

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

The party, which had seemed so odd to her the night before, was already gathered round the table, still under the influence of sleep, and therefore uncommunicative, but her entrance sent a little flutter like a breath of air through them all.

She was curiously conscious of his presence and appearance -- his well-cut clothes, his crackling shirt-front, his cuffs with blue rings round them, and the square-tipped, very clean fingers with the red stone on the little finger of the left hand.

Definition

uncommunicative:
not willing to talk to other people or give opinions;

cuff:
1. the end of a coat or shirt sleeve at the wrist;
...

Sunday, March 13, 2016

nasal & introspective

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

"You're thinking of Shakespeare," said Mr. Grice, and taking down a copy from a shelf well lined with books, recited in an emphatic nasal voice: 

Hamlet was what you might call too introspective for Mr. Grice, the sonnets too passionate;

Definition

nasal:
1. sounding as if it is produced partly through the nose;
...

introspective:
tending to think a lot about your own thoughts, feelings, etc.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

popery & blob

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

I'm not exactly a Protestant, and I'm not a Catholic, but I could almost pray for the days of popery to come again - because of the fasts.

Here were the treasures which the great ocean had bestowed upon him - pale fish in greenish liquids, blobs of jelly with streaming tresses, fish with lights in their heads, they lived so deep.

Definition

popery:
an offensive way of referring to Roman Catholicism. 

blob:
1. a small amount or drop of sth, especially a liquid, a small area of colour;
2. something that seems to have no definite shape

Friday, March 11, 2016

tirade & benignant

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

The bitterness with which he spoke was ominous of what was to come. He led her off to his own quarters, and, sitting on the edge of a brass-bound table, looking uncommonly like a seagull, with her white tapering body and thin alert face, Mrs. Dalloway had to listen to the tirade of a fanatical man.

How peaceful, how beautiful, how benignant in comparison the sea?

Definition

tirade:
a long angry speech criticizing sb/sth or accusing sb of sth;

benignant:
kind and gracious in behaviour or appearance;

Thursday, March 10, 2016

ominous & quarter

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

The bitterness with which he spoke was ominous of what was to come. He led her off to his own quarters, and, sitting on the edge of a brass-bound table, looking uncommonly like a seagull, with her white tapering body and thin alert face, Mrs. Dalloway had to listen to the tirade of a fanatical man.

Definition

ominous:
suggesting that sth bad is going to happen in the future.

quarter:
1. rooms that are provided for soldiers, servants, etc. to live in.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

consolidate & outlandish

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

"It's taken a long time, but we've pretty nearly done it," he said; "it remains to consolidate."

I will take this occasion of adding that we are both enjoying ourselves in these outlandish parts, and only with for the presence of our friends (yourself and John, to wit) to make the trip perfectly enjoyable as it promises to be instructive ...

Definition

consolidate:
1. to make a position of power or success stronger so that it is more likely to continue;
2. to join things together into one;

outlandish:
strange or extremely unusual.

Monday, March 7, 2016

sententiously & lasso

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

"It's the continuity," said Richard sententiously.

He ran his mind along the line of conservative policy, which went steadily from Lord Salisbury to Alfred, and gradually enclosed, as though it were a lasso that opened and caught things, enormous chunks of the habitable globe. 

Definition

sententiously:
sententious:
1. expressing much in few words;
2. ...

lasso:
a long rope with one end tied into a loop that is used for catching horses, cows, etc.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

crank & soliloquise

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

Did you ever see such a set of cranks? The woman asked me if I thought her husband looked like a gentleman!

"To be a leader of men," Richard soliloquised

Definition

crank:
1. a person with ideas that other people find strange;
...

soliloquise/soliloquize:
to speak a soliloquy in the course of a play;

Saturday, March 5, 2016

rake & fox-terrier

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

Then there's a nice shy girl -- poor thing -- I wish one could rake her out before it's too late.

It's like sitting down to dinner with an ill-conditioned fox-terrier, only one can't comb him out, and sprinkle him with powder, as one would on's dog.

Definition

rake:
1. to pull a rake over a surface in order to make it level or to remove sth;
2. ...

fox-terrier:
a small dog that is either wirehaired or has smooth coat, belonging to a breed that is white with dark markings; a small dog that is white with some dark spots.

Friday, March 4, 2016

poop & flannel

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

They talk about art, and think us such poops for dressing in the evening.

I'd rather have my head cut off than wear flannel next the skin.

Definition

poop:
1. an offensive term that deliberately insults somebody's intelligence or competence;
2... 

flannel:
1. a type of soft light cloth, containing cotton or wool, used for making clothes;

Thursday, March 3, 2016

cramped & croquet

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

Already this cramped little cabin was the dressing room of a lady of quality.

They're like people playing croquet in the 'sixties. 

Definition

cramped:
a cramped room, etc. does not have enough space for the people in it.

croquet:
a game played on grass in which players use wooden hammers (called mallets ) to knock wooden balls through a series of hoops (= curved wires)

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

berth & frill

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

Instead of letting her mouth droop, dropping all her clothes in a bunch as though they depended on one string, and stretching her limbs to the utmost end of her berth, she merely changed her dress for a dressing-gown, with innumerable frills, and wrapping her feet in a rug, sat down with writing-pad on her knee.

Definition

berth:
1. a place to sleep on a ship or train, or in a caravan/camper;
2. a place where a ship or boat can stop and stay, usually in a harbour;

frill:
1. a narrow strip of cloth with a lot or folds that is attached to the edge of a dress, curtain, etc. to decorate it;
2. things that are not necessary but are added to make sth more attractive or interesting;

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

dilation & strident

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out

Mrs. Dalloway hid a tiny yawn, a mere dilation of the nostrils.

A man's voice, which she took to be that of Mr. Pepper, strident in discussion, and advancing upon the saloon, gave her the alarm.

Definition

dilation:
the act or process of widening or being widened, enlarging or being enlarged, or stretching or being stretched;

strident:
1. having a loud, rough and unpleasant sound;
2. aggressive and determined;