Martin Luther King Jr. Day Vocabulary List

Vocabulary and quotes from Martin Luther King's most famous speeches

  1. creed | see definition»

    a set of guiding rules or beliefs

    I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.

  2. degenerate | see definition»

    to change to a worse state or condition : to become worse, weaker, less useful, etc.

    We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.

  3. desolate | see definition»

    lacking the people, plants, animals, etc., that make people feel welcome in a place

    Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time...

  4. dignity | see definition»

    the quality of being worthy of honor or respect

    We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: for whites only.

  5. dream | see definition»

    something that you have wanted very much to do, be, or have for a long time

    I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

  6. fatigue | see definition»

    a state of being very tired

    We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities.

  7. inextricable | see definition»

    impossible to separate : closely joined or related

    And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.

  8. oasis | see definition»

    something that provides refuge, relief, or pleasant contrast

    I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

  9. revolt | see definition»

    violent action against a ruler or government

    The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

  10. thirst | see definition»

    a strong desire for something

    Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

  11. unalienable | see definition»

    impossible to take away or give up

    This note was a promise that all men - yes, black men as well as white men - would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

  12. veteran | see definition»

    someone who has a lot of experience in a particular activity, job, etc.

    You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

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