Brave New World Vocabulary

definitions from; check the site to listen to pronunciations

page numbers are for the Perennial Classics (purple) book




abject, 4 (bjkt, b-jkt) adj. 1. Brought low in condition or status. 2. Being of the most contemptible kind: abject cowardice. 3. Being of the most miserable kind; wretched: abject poverty.

abjectly adv.         ab·jectness, ab·jection n.


burgeon, 7 intr.v. bur·geoned, bur·geon·ing, bur·geons  1. a. To put forth new buds, leaves, or greenery; sprout. b. To begin to grow or blossom.  2. To grow and flourish.


decant, 13 (d-knt) tr.v. de·cant·ed, de·cant·ing, de·cants  1. To pour off (wine, for example) without disturbing the sediment. 2. To pour (a liquid) from one container into another.


sententious, 16 (sn-tnshs) adj. 1. Terse and energetic in expression; pithy.

2. a. Abounding in aphorisms. b. Given to aphoristic utterances.

3. a. Abounding in pompous moralizing. b. Given to pompous moralizing.

sen·tentious·ly adv.           sen·tentious·ness n.


posthumous, 19 (psch-ms) adj. 1. Occurring or continuing after one's death: a posthumous award.

2. Published after the writer's death: a posthumous book. 3. Born after the death of the father: a posthumous child.

posthu·mous·ly adv.          posthu·mous·ness n.


viviparous, 24 (v-vpr-s, v-) adj. 1. Zoology Giving birth to living offspring that develop within the mother's body. Most mammals and some other animals are viviparous. 2. Botany a. Germinating or producing seeds that germinate before becoming detached from the parent plant, as in the mangrove.

b. Producing bulbils or new plants rather than seed, as in the tiger lily.

vivi·pari·ty (vv-pr-t, vv-) n.                     vi·vipa·rous·ly adv.


hypnopedia, 25 (hpn-pd-) n 1. sleep-teaching


indefatigable, 26 (nd-ft-g-bl) adj. Incapable or seemingly incapable of being fatigued; tireless.

inde·fati·ga·bili·ty, inde·fati·ga·ble·ness n.         inde·fati·ga·bly adv.


maudlin, 31 (môdln) adj. Effusively or tearfully sentimental: "displayed an almost maudlin concern for the welfare of animals" Aldous Huxley.

maudlin·ly adv.      maudlin·ness n.


surreptitious, 33  (sûrp-tshs) adj. 1. Obtained, done, or made by clandestine or stealthy means.

2. Acting with or marked by stealth.

surrep·titious·ly adv.        surrep·titious·ness n.


furtive, 43 (fûrtv) adj. 1. Characterized by stealth; surreptitious. 2. Expressive of hidden motives or purposes; shifty.

furtive·ly adv.        furtive·ness n.


ectogenesis, 46 n. 1. The growth process of embryonic tissue placed in an artificial environment, as a test tube.

     ectogenetic adj.




imperious, 59 (m-pîr-s) adj. 1. Arrogantly domineering or overbearing. 2. Urgent; pressing.

3. Obsolete Regal; imperial.

im·peri·ous·ly adv.             im·peri·ous·ness n.


ruminate, 60 (rm-nt) v. ru·mi·nat·ed, ru·mi·nat·ing, ru·mi·nates v.intr.

1. To turn a matter over and over in the mind. 2. To chew cud. To reflect on over and over again.

rumi·native adj.    rumi·native·ly adv.    rumi·nator n.


derision, 65 (d-rzhn) n. 1. a. Contemptuous or jeering laughter; ridicule. b. A state of being derided: The proposal was held in derision by members of the board. 2. An object of ridicule; a laughingstock.


asceticism, 69 (-st-szm) n. 1. The principles and practices of an ascetic; extreme self-denial and austerity. 2. The doctrine that the ascetic life releases the soul from bondage to the body and permits union with the divine.


atonement, 79 (-tnmnt) n. 1. Amends or reparation made for an injury or wrong; expiation.

2. a. Reconciliation or an instance of reconciliation between God and humans.

b. Atonement Christianity The reconciliation of God and humans brought about by the redemptive life and death of Jesus. 3. Obsolete Reconciliation; concord.


prone, 85 (prn) adj. 1. Lying with the front or face downward. 2. Having a tendency; inclined: paper that is prone to yellowing; children who are prone to mischief.

adv. In a prone manner: The patient was lying prone on the bed.

pronely adv.          proneness n.


supine, 85 (s-pn, spn) adj. 1. Lying on the back or having the face upward. 2. Having the palm upward. Used of the hand. 3. Marked by or showing lethargy, passivity, or blameworthy indifference.

4. Inclined; sloping.

su·pinely adv.        su·pineness n.


satiety, 86 (s-t-t) n. The condition of being full or gratified beyond the point of satisfaction; surfeit.


decorum, 98 (d-kôrm, -kr-) n. 1. Appropriateness of behavior or conduct; propriety: "In the Ireland of the 1940's ... the stolidity of a long, empty, grave face was thought to be the height of decorum and profundity" John McGahern. 2. decorums The conventions or requirements of polite behavior: the formalities and decorums of a military funeral. 3. The appropriateness of an element of an artistic or literary work, such as style or tone, to its particular circumstance or to the composition as a whole.


inexorable, 102 (n-ksr--bl) adj. Not capable of being persuaded by entreaty; relentless: an inexorable opponent; a feeling of inexorable doom.

in·exo·ra·bili·ty, in·exo·ra·ble·ness n.       in·exo·ra·bly adv.




precipice, 108 (prs-ps) n. 1. An overhanging or extremely steep mass of rock, such as a crag or the face of a cliff. 2. The brink of a dangerous or disastrous situation: on the precipice of defeat.


unorthodox, 111 (n-ôrth-dks) adj. Breaking with convention or tradition; not orthodox.

un·ortho·doxly adv.          un·ortho·doxy n.


plait, 116 (plt, plt) n. 1. A braid, especially of hair. 2. A pleat. tr.v. plait·ed, plait·ing, plaits

1. To braid. 2. To pleat. 3. To make by braiding.

plaiter n.


incredulous, 118 (n-krj-ls) adj. 1. Skeptical; disbelieving: incredulous of stories about flying saucers.

2. Expressive of disbelief: an incredulous stare.

in·credu·lous·ly adv.          in·credu·lous·ness n.


lecherous, 133 (lchr-s) adj. Given to, characterized by, or eliciting lechery.

lecher·ous·ly adv.              lecher·ous·ness n.


heretical, 149 (h-rt-kl) adj. 1. Of or relating to heresy or heretics.2. Characterized by, revealing, or approaching departure from established beliefs or standards.

he·reti·cal·ly adv.               he·reti·cal·ness n.


scatology, 151 (sk-tl-j, sk-) n. pl. sca·tol·o·gies 1. The study of fecal excrement, as in medicine, paleontology, or biology. 2. a. An obsession with excrement or excretory functions. b. The psychiatric study of such an obsession. 3. Obscene language or literature, especially that dealing pruriently or humorously with excrement and excretory functions.

scato·logi·cal (sktl-j-kl), scato·logic (-k) adj.        sca·tolo·gist n.


tête-à-tête, 169 (tt-tt, tt-tt) adv. & adj. Without the intrusion of a third person; in intimate privacy: talk tête-à-tête; a tête-à-tête supper. 

n. 1. A private conversation between two persons. 2. A sofa for two, especially an S-shaped one allowing the occupants to face each other.


magnanimous, 180 (mg-nn-ms) adj. 1. Courageously noble in mind and heart.

2. Generous in forgiving; eschewing resentment or revenge; unselfish.

mag·nani·mous·ly adv.                  mag·nani·mous·ness n.


wanton, 213 (wntn) adj. 1. Immoral or unchaste; lewd. 2. a. Gratuitously cruel; merciless.

b. Marked by unprovoked, gratuitous maliciousness; capricious and unjust: wanton destruction.

3. Unrestrainedly excessive: wanton extravagance; wanton depletion of oil reserves. 4. Luxuriant; overabundant: wanton tresses. 5. Frolicsome; playful. 6. Undisciplined; spoiled. 7. Obsolete Rebellious; refractory.

v. wan·toned, wan·ton·ing, wan·tons

v.intr. To act, grow, or move in a wanton manner; be wanton. To waste or squander extravagantly.

n. 1. One who is immoral, lewd, or licentious. 2. One that is playful or frolicsome. 3. One that is undisciplined or spoiled.

wanton·ly adv.                   wanton·ness n.


paroxysm, 226 (prk-szm) n. 1. A sudden outburst of emotion or action: a paroxysm of laughter.

2. a. A sudden attack, recurrence, or intensification of a disease.b. A spasm or fit; a convulsion.

parox·ysmal (-k-szml) adj.      parox·ysmal·ly adv.


superfluous, 233 (s-pûrfl-s) adj. Being beyond what is required or sufficient.

su·perflu·ous·ly adv.                      su·perflu·ous·ness n.