The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo, Vocabulary List Chapters 13-15

The Tale of Despereaux Vocabulary List

  1. abyss | see definition»

    a gulf so deep or space so great that it cannot be measured

    They stood, the three mice, two with hoods and one without, and contemplated the abyss before them.

  2. beleaguered | see definition»

    suffering or being subjected to constant or repeated trouble or harassment

    Despereaux felt his beleaguered heart start up a crazy rhythm of fear.

  3. callused | see definition»

    having hard and thick skin : having calluses

    When Despereaux awoke, he was cupped in the large callused hand of a human and he was staring into the fire of one match and beyond the match there was a large, dark eye looking directly at him.

  4. contemplate | see definition»

    to look at with careful and thoughtful attention

    They stood, the three mice, two with hoods and one without, and contemplated the abyss before them.

  5. deem | see definition»

    to think of (someone or something) in a particular way

    He deemed it the only reasonable response to the situation in which he found himself.

  6. duty | see definition»

    something a person feels he or she ought to do because it is morally right

    I love somebody and it is my duty to save her.

  7. encompass | see definition»

    to cover or surround : ENCIRCLE

    Despereaux had never before encountered darkness so awful, so all encompassing.

  8. eternity | see definition»

    a period of time that seems endless

    For centuries, for eons. For eternities.

  9. hark | see definition»

    to pay attention in order to hear

    "Hark you, I will show you the twisted results of love."

  10. implication | see definition»

    something that is suggested

    But the mouse didn't have long to consider its implications, because he was suddenly pushed from behind by the hooded mice.

  11. irony | see definition»

    a result opposite to what was expected

    You are talking to Gregory the jailer, who, in the richest of ironies, is nothing but a prisoner here himself.

  12. irritable | see definition»

    easily made angry or annoyed

    "What?" said the first hood irritably.

  13. physical | see definition»

    existing in a form that can be touched or seen

    The darkness had a physical presence as if it were a being all its own.

  14. reduce | see definition»

    to bring to a usually worse state

    And it was in this way that Despereaux became the only mouse sent to the dungeon whom the rats did not reduce to a pile of bones and a piece of red thread.

  15. sputter | see definition»

    to make explosive popping sounds

    And the match was held to a candle and the candle sputtered to life and Despereaux saw that there was a rope tied around the man's ankle.

  16. treacherous | see definition»

    not safe because of hidden dangers

    Here, in this dungeon, you are in the treacherous dark heart of the world.

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