The Adventures of Augie March Glossary

Glossary

Buy Study Guide

acedia

spiritual inactivity or boredom

aggrandizement

elevation; increase of scope of power or wealth

aldermanic

seeming to be of high rank or political authority

annulment

legal invalidation of a marriage

arcana

specialized knowledge of something generally considered a mystery or a secret

armory

a storage building for arms and military equipment

assignation

allocation or apportionment according to a design or plan

astrakhan

the wavy wool of young lambs from the city of Astrakhan in southwest Russia

bestial

like a beast; brute; subhuman

burro

a small donkey used to carry supplies

cadet

a student training at a military academy to become an officer

Caligula

A.D. 12-41; Emperor of Rome A.D. 37-41; noted for his cruelty and megalomania

capitulate

to surrender or yield; to acquiesce

cistern

a storage tank holding rainwater

clement

mild; lenient

coif

to dress or arrange one's hair

columnar

in the shape of a column

conjugality

having to do with a marriage or spouses

consummation

fulfillment of a goal; fruition

copious

ample; abundant

degenerate

in a state of decline or corruption

derby

a round, black, hard hat; a bowler hat

discord

conflict; tension

dispensary

a public institution that distributes medical aid and treatments

ecclesiastical

associated with a church

effigy

a statue; a likeness (usually of a person)

effrontery

bold and presumptuous behavior

endive

crisp salad green with irregular, curled, frilly leaves

excelsior

thin, curling wood shavings used in packing boxes

fantail

fan-like overhang of the deck at the stern of a ship

feint

deceptive action intended to divert attention away from the real purpose or target

flophouse

a cheap boarding house

foulard

a lightweight silk or silk-like scarf or necktie, usually printed with a small pattern

galliard

lively; a popular French dance from the 16th and 17th centuries

galluses

suspenders

geode

a hollow cavity in rock lined with crystals along the inside wall

gypsy

nomadic, unconventional

hash-houses

slang for inexpensive restaurants

homage

public honor; ceremonial show of respect or deference

impresario

a promoter, manager, or director of public entertainment

involutional

entangled in or involved

jocular

humorous; joking

kinesis

motion induced in response to a stimulus

kinkajou

fruit-eating mammal in Central and South America with brown fur and a long tail

lateen

a triangular sail, usually used in the Mediterranean Sea

lepidopterous

of or seeming like a butterfly or moth, with membranous wings

loam

rich soil mixture of clay and sand and decaying matter, often used to make bricks

Machiavelli

1469-1527; Italian political thinker who theorized that power and position could be maintained by excluding moral considerations

margrave

German military governor

mesmeric

hypnotic; fascinating

millenarian

believing in a coming age or millenium of peace, great prosperity, and happiness

mobcap

a woman's cap adorned with frill and puffery, worn indoors during the eighteenth and nineteenth century

palaver

charming or flattering talk

parapet

low, fortifying wall on the edge of a balcony or roof, usually for added protection

pedantry

inappropriate display of learning

pellucid

transluscent or clear; admitting the shine of light

pinochle

card game involving a 48-card deck and two or four persons

pontiffs

popes; bishops

precipitating

occurring unexpectedly from a hasty act

pulque

a thick, alcoholic beverage made from the Mexican agave plant

racketeers

persons involved in illegal business activities

rambunctious

boisterous; ill-disciplined

rancor

deep bitterness and anger; a feeling of ill will

rickshaw

two-wheeled cart pulled by a human being, carrying one passenger

rout

to dig out and expose

rudiments

basic elements, principles, or facts

sepulcher

burial chamber; altar

spittoons

metal bowls with covers for the spit of tobacco-chewers

stalwart

resolute; hardy

temerarious

rashly daring

Trotsky

a Russian revolutionary and communist theoretician who opposed Stalin's rise to authoritarianism; banished and killed in Mexico while in exile

trundled

pushed on wheels; rolled along

tubercular

relating to the lesions associated with the infectious disease tuberculosis

turpitude

corrupt or depraved activity; baseness

ulterior

concealed, with the intent to deceive

utopia

a perfected, idealistic, and often impractical scheme of political and social reform

waywardness

marked by acting willfully, contrary to others' advice or wishes