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Great Gatsby Vocabulary

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Rout: (N) –an overwhelming defeat. “disorderly retreat,” 1590s, from Middle French route “disorderly flight of troops,” literally “a breaking off, rupture,” from Vulgar Latin rupta “a dispersed group,” literally “a broken group,” from Latin rupta, fem.pp. of rumpere “to break? innumerable (adj.) –very numerous; incapable of being counted; countless. mid-14c., from Latin innumerabilis “countless, immeasurable,” from in- “not” numerabilis “able to be numbered,” from numerare “to count, number,” from numerus “a number”

Estatic: (Adj.) –subject to or in a state of ecstasy; rapturous. 1590s, “mystically absorbed, stupefied,” from Greek ekstatikos “unstable,” from ekstasis. Meaning “characterized by intense emotions” is from 1660s, now usually pleasurable ones, but not originally always so. Related: Ecstatical; ecstatically. Reproach: (V) –to fnd fault with (a person, group, ect.); blame. mid-14c., reprochen “to rebuke, reproach,” from Old French reprochier, Anglo-French repruchier, from reproche Related: Reproached; reproaching.

Serf: (N) –a slave late 15c., “slave,” from Middle French serf, from Latin servum (nom. servus) “slave” Fallen from use in original sense by 18c. Meaning “lowest class of cultivators of the soil in continental European countries” is from 1610s. Use by modern writers with reference to medieval Europeans first recorded 1761 (contemporary Anglo-Latin records used nativus, villanus, or servus). Obstinate: (Adj.) –inflexible; stubborn; not yielding. mid-14c., from Latin obstinatus “resolute, resolved, determined, inflexible, stubborn,” pp. of obstinare “persist, stand stubbornly, set one’s mind on,” from ob “by” stinare, related to stare “stand,” from PIE root *sta- “to stand” . Related: Obstinately.

Exult: (V) –to show or feel a lively or triumphant joy; rejoice; be highly elated or jubilant 1560s, “to leap up;” 1590s, “to rejoice, triumph,” from Middle French exulter, from Latin exultare/exsultare “leap about, leap for joy,” frequentative of exsilire “to leap up,” from ex- “out” salire “to leap”. The notion is of leaping or dancing for joy. Related: Exulted; exulting.

Hulking: (Adj.) –heavy and clumsy; bulky. “big, clumsy,” 1690s (through 18c. usually with fellow), from hulk (n.) Nebulous: (Adj.) -hazy, vague, indistinct, or confused. late 14c., “cloudy, misty,” from Latin nebulosus “cloudy, misty, foggy, full of vapor,” from nebula. The figurative sense of “hazy, vague, formless” is first attested 1831. Astronomical sense is from 1670s. Related: Nebulously; nebulousness.

Laudable (Adj.) –deserving praise; praiseworthy; commendable. early 15c., from Old French laudable and directly from Latin laudabilis “praiseworthy,” from laudare. Related: Laudably. Insidious: (Adj.) –intended to entrap or trick. 1540s, from Middle French insidieux (15c.) or directly from Latin insidiosus “deceitful, cunning, artful,” from insidiae (plural) “plot, snare, ambush,” from insidere “sit on, occupy,” from in- “in” sedere “to sit” (see sedentary). Repose: (N) –peace; tranquility; calm. “rest,” c.1500; “lie at rest,” late 15c., from Middle French reposer, from Old French repauser (10c.), from Late Latin repausare “cause to rest,” from Latin re-, here probably an intensive prefix, Late Latin pausare “to stop”. Related: Reposed; reposing. Elusive: (Adj.) –hard to express or define; cleverly or skillfully evasive. 1719, from Latin elus-, pp. stem of eludere.

Related: Elusiveness.

Debauch: (N) –an uninhibited spree or party. 1590s, from Middle French débaucher “entice from work or duty,” from Old French desbaucher “to lead astray,” supposedly literally “to trim (wood) to make a beam” (from bauch “beam,” from Frankish balk or some other Germanic source akin to English balk). A sense of “shaving” something away, perhaps, but the root is also said to be a word meaning “workshop,” which gets toward the notion of “to lure someone off the job;” either way the sense evolution is unclear.

Antecedent: (N) –a preceeding circumstance, event, object, style, phenomenon. late 14c. (n. and adj.), from Old French antecedent (14c.) or directly from Latin antecedentem (nom. antecedens), prp. of antecedere “go before, precede,” from ante- “before” cedere “to yield”. Used as a noun in Latin philosophical writings. Ingratiate: (V) –to establish (oneself) in the favor or good graces of others by deliberate effort. 1620s, possibly via 16c. Italian ingraziarsi “to bring (oneself) into favor,” from Latin in gratiam “for the favor of,” from in “in”. gratia “favor, grace”.

Dilatory: (Adj.) –tending to delay or procrastinate; slow; tardy. late 15c., from Late Latin dilatorius, from dilator “procrastinator,” from dilatus, serving as pp. of differe “delay” Desolate: (Adj.) –barren or laid waste; devastated; deprived or destitute of inhabitants; deserted; uninhabited; solitary; lonely. mid-14c., “without companions,” also “uninhabited,” from Latin desolatus, pp. of desolare “leave alone, desert,” from de- “completely” solare “make lonely,” from solus “alone”. Sense of “joyless” is 15c.

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