/Vocabulary Lists

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell, Vocabulary List Chapters 16-20

Learn vocabulary for Island of the Blue Dolphins, chapters 16-20

  1. amuse | see definition»

    to make someone laugh or smile : to entertain (someone) in a light and pleasant way

    Scallops fell on the reef like rain, which amused me, but not Rontu who could not understand what the gulls were doing.

  2. creature | see definition»

    an animal of any type

    And, too, he has created characters and company out of wild creatures and the natural landscape itself.

  3. cripple | see definition»

    to cause (a person or animal) to be unable to move or walk normally

    Whirling away from the one he had crippled, Rontu faced him, but not in time to fend off the first heavy rush.

  4. discovery | see definition»

    the act of finding or learning something for the first time : the act of discovering something

    “We have made a great discovery,” I said to Rontu.

  5. error | see definition»

    something that is not correct : a wrong action or statement

    From these memories I made it after many errors and many hours of work, sitting on the floor while Rontu slept nearby and the storms beat upon the roof.

  6. feast | see definition»

    to eat large amounts of food

    In the old days on the island there were children to keep away the gulls, which would rather feast on abalones than anything else.

  7. flail | see definition»

    to move or swing your arms or legs in a wild and uncontrolled way

    The giant was flailing his arms, struggling to get back into the water.

  8. flock | see definition»

    a group of birds or animals (such as sheep)

    Red-winged blackbirds also came flying out of the south, and flocks of crows, and a bird with a yellow body and a scarlet head, which I had never seen before.

  9. heed | see definition»

    to pay attention to (advice, a warning, etc.)

    The wild dogs had been to the house many times that winter and he had paid no heed to them, but the night before, after they had come and gone, he had stood at the fence.

  10. jagged | see definition»

    having a sharp, uneven edge or surface

    The light came from the sun, which shone down through a jagged crack in the ceiling.

  11. limp | see definition»

    having an unpleasantly soft or weak quality : not firm or stiff

    I do not think that he knew I was picking him up, for his body was limp, as if he were dead.

  12. perch | see definition»

    to sit on or be on something high or on something from which it is easy to fall

    They would jump down from the roof and perch on my arm and beg, making their reep, reep sound.

  13. prey | see definition»

    to hunt and kill (something) for food

    Pursued by killer whales, which prey upon them when seals are not to be found, the bass had tried to escape by swimming toward shore.

  14. pry | see definition»

    to raise, move, or open (something) with a tool

    This is when there are few starfish feeding, for they are as hard to pry loose from an abalone as an abalone is to pry from a rock.

  15. refuse | see definition»

    to say or show that you are not willing to do something that someone wants you to do

    It worried me to see him act so strangely, and when he refused to eat I finally let him out.

  16. shallow | see definition»

    having a small distance to the bottom from the surface or highest point

    Seldom did you see any devilfish here, for they like deep places, and the water along this part of the reef is shallow.

  17. shimmer | see definition»

    to shine with a light that seems to move slightly

    The day was the hottest of all and the sea shimmered with red light.

  18. slash | see definition»

    to make a long cut in (something) with a knife or other sharp weapon

    When the old bull slashed at him again, he struck first and sunk his teeth into the other’s neck.

  19. tame | see definition»

    not wild : trained to obey people

    I made up names for them and clipped their wings and before long they were as tame as their parents.

  20. tender | see definition»

    easy to chew or bite : not tough

    Devilfish is the best food in the seas. The flesh is white and tender and very sweet.

  21. wary | see definition»

    not having or showing complete trust in someone or something that could be dangerous or cause trouble

    Since no cows were playing among the waves in front of him, I knew that he did not have a herd of his own, and for that reason would not be so wary or quickly angered.

  22. whine | see definition»

    to make a high, crying sound

    He stood and whined and walked up and down.

  23. wonder | see definition»

    to have interest in knowing or learning something : to think about something with curiosity

    I wondered what would happen to me if I went against the law of our tribe which forbade the making of weapons by women—if I did not think of it at all and made those things which I must have to protect myself.

  24. wriggle | see definition»

    to twist from side to side with small quick movements like a worm

    whip. Another, which Rontu had chewed off, lay wriggling at the edge of the water, as if it were looking for something to fasten on to.

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