The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo, Vocabulary List Chapters 38-43

The Tale of Despereaux Vocabulary List

  1. average | see definition»

    something usual in a group, class, or series

    Your average house mouse (or castle mouse, if you will) weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of four ounces.

  2. beatific | see definition»

    showing complete happiness

    She smiled a beatific smile.

  3. cascade | see definition»

    to flow or fall rapidly and in large quantity

    Tears were cascading from his eyes.

  4. clasp | see definition»

    to hold firmly with the hands or arms

    Despereaux looked at his father, at his gray-streaked fur and trembling whiskers and his front paws clasped together in front of his heart, and he felt suddenly as if his own heart would break in two.

  5. compel | see definition»

    to make happen by force

    "You just have to feel compelled to do the thing."

  6. dapple | see definition»

    to mark or become marked with rounded spots of color

    Like most hearts, it was complicated, shaded with dark and dappled with light.

  7. diminish | see definition»

    to become or to cause (something) to become less in size, importance, etc.

    When the powerful are made weak, when they are revealed to be human, to have hearts, their diminishment is nothing short of terrifying.

  8. empathy | see definition»

    the understanding and sharing of the emotions and experiences of another person

    Do you know what it means to be empathetic?

  9. emphatic | see definition»

    spoken or done forcefully

    And from the members of the Mouse Council, there came a tiny but emphatic chorus of "ayes."

  10. makeshift | see definition»

    serving as a temporary substitute

    Then he looked up from the makeshift table and saw Despereaux.

  11. nada | see definition»


    Zip. Zero. Nada.

  12. particle | see definition»

    a very small bit or amount of something

    He loved the Princess Pea with every particle of his being.

  13. perspective | see definition»

    the ability to understand which things are truly important and which things are not

    Reader, allow me to put this in perspective for you:

  14. quest | see definition»

    a usually adventurous journey made in search of something

    "You friend, are on a quest."

  15. rubbish | see definition»

    something of little or no value that is thrown away

    "Good riddance to bad rubbish."

  16. telltale | see definition»

    indicating or giving evidence of something

    The telltale red thread still around his neck like a thin trail of blood.

  17. throb | see definition»

    to feel repeated pangs of pain

    His paws were shaking and his muscles were jumping and the place where his tail should be was throbbing.

  18. wring | see definition»

    to twist (hands) together as a sign of anguish

    He stuck his head around the door of the pantry and saw Cook standing in the center of the kitchen, wringing her fat hands.

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