Book One: Chapters 1-4

In the first part of The Lord of the Rings, nine representatives of different races band together for a dangerous quest to destroy the Ring of Power and save Middle-earth from the Dark Lord.

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definitions & notes only words
  1. outlandish
    noticeably or extremely unconventional or unusual
    ‘He’s often away from home. And look at the outlandish folk that visit him: dwarves coming at night, and that old wandering conjuror, Gandalf, and all. You can say what you like, Gaffer, but Bag End’s a queer place, and its folk are queerer.’
  2. provision
    a store or supply of something
    There might have been some grumbling about ‘dealing locally’, but that very week orders began to pour out of Bag End for every kind of provision, commodity, or luxury that could be obtained in Hobbiton or Bywater or anywhere in the neighbourhood.
  3. sundry
    consisting of a haphazard assortment of different kinds
    He gave away presents to all and sundry — the latter were those who went out again by a back way and came in again by the gate.
  4. scintillating
    having brief brilliant points or flashes of light
    There were rockets like a flight of scintillating birds singing with sweet voices.
  5. phalanx
    a body of troops in close array
    There were fountains of butterflies that flew glittering into the trees; there were pillars of coloured fires that rose and turned into eagles, or sailing ships, or a phalanx of flying swans; there was a red thunderstorm and a shower of yellow rain; there was a forest of silver spears that sprang suddenly into the air with a yell like an embattled army, and came down again into the Water with a hiss like a hundred hot snakes.
  6. prostrate
    stretched out and lying at full length along the ground
    The pain and alarm vanished at once, and the prostrate hobbits leaped to their feet.
  7. provender
    a stock or supply of foods
    Many young hobbits were included, and present by parental permission; for hobbits were easy-going with their children in the matter of sitting up late, especially when there was a chance of getting them a free meal. Bringing up young hobbits took a lot of provender.
  8. ensuing
    following immediately and as a result of what went before
    The purchase of provisions fell almost to nothing throughout the district in the ensuing weeks; but as Bilbo’s catering had depleted the stocks of most stores, cellars and warehouses for miles around, that did not matter much.
  9. perfunctory
    as a formality only
    Some perfunctory clapping by the elders; and some loud shouts of ‘Frodo! Frodo! Jolly old Frodo,’ from the juniors.
  10. badger
    annoy persistently
    ’You are always badgering me about my ring; but you have never bothered me about the other things that I got on my journey.’
  11. obstinate
    marked by tenacious unwillingness to yield
    ‘I’ll do as I choose and go as I please,’ said Bilbo obstinately.
  12. ruefully
    in a manner expressing pain or sorrow for sins or offenses
    Then he shrugged his shoulders, and smiled rather ruefully.
  13. indisposed
    somewhat ill or prone to illness
    He looked indisposed — to see Sackville-Bagginses at any rate; and he stood up, fidgeting with something in his pocket.
  14. wayfarer
    a traveler going on a trip
    He took to wandering further afield and more often by himself; and Merry and his other friends watched him anxiously. Often he was seen walking and talking with the strange wayfarers that began at this time to appear in the Shire.
  15. rustic
    characteristic of the fields or country
    Sam Gamgee was sitting in one corner near the fire, and opposite him was Ted Sandyman, the miller’s son; and there were various other rustic hobbits listening to their talk.
  16. essay
    a tentative attempt
    The lesser rings were only essays in the craft before it was full-grown, and to the Elven-smiths they were but trifles — yet still to my mind dangerous for mortals.
  17. trifle
    something of small importance
    The lesser rings were only essays in the craft before it was full-grown, and to the Elven-smiths they were but trifles — yet still to my mind dangerous for mortals.
  18. tidings
    information about recent and important events
    Even in the light of morning he felt the dark shadow of the tidings that Gandalf had brought.
  19. allay
    lessen the intensity of or calm
    He said and did things then that filled me with a fear that no words of Saruman could allay. I knew at last that something dark and deadly was at work.
  20. obscure
    marked by difficulty of style or expression
    Among the Wise I am the only one that goes in for hobbit-lore: an obscure branch of knowledge, but full of surprises.
  21. hitherto
    up to this point; until the present time
    I believe that hithertohitherto, mark you — he has entirely overlooked the existence of hobbits. You should be thankful. But your safety has passed.
  22. respite
    a pause from doing something
    Always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again.
  23. ensnare
    take or catch as if in a trap
    Nine he gave to Mortal Men, proud and great, and so ensnared them. Long ago they fell under the dominion of the One, and they became Ringwraiths, shadows under his great Shadow, his most terrible servants.
  24. waylay
    wait in hiding to attack
    For Isildur was marching north along the east banks of the River, and near the Gladden Fields he was waylaid by the Orcs of the Mountains, and almost all his folk were slain.
  25. inquisitive
    showing curiosity
    The most inquisitive and curious-minded of that family was called Sméagol.
  26. furtive
    secret and sly or sordid
    ‘All the “great secrets” under the mountains had turned out to be just empty night: there was nothing more to find out, nothing worth doing, only nasty furtive eating and resentful remembering. He was altogether wretched. He hated the dark, and he hated light more: he hated everything, and the Ring most of all.’
  27. ken
    range of what one can know or understand
    It wandered off southwards and passed out of the Wood-elves’ ken, and was lost.
  28. profound
    situated at or extending to great depth
    Frodo gazed fixedly at the red embers on the hearth, until they filled all his vision, and he seemed to be looking down into profound wells of fire.
  29. dither
    be undecided or uncertain
    ‘Well, sir,’ said Sam dithering a little. ‘I heard a deal that I didn’t rightly understand, about an enemy, and rings, and Mr. Bilbo, sir, and dragons, and a fiery mountain, and — and Elves, sir. I listened because I couldn’t help myself, if you know what I mean...'
  30. proceeds
    the income or profit arising from a transaction
    A few held the theory — supported by the nods and hints of Mr. Baggins himself — that Frodo’s money was running out: he was going to leave Hobbiton and live in a quiet way on the proceeds of the sale down in Buckland among his Brandybuck relations.
  31. frugal
    avoiding waste
    They ate a very frugal supper (for hobbits), and then went on again.
  32. tributary
    a branch that flows into the main stream
    He used often to say there was only one Road; that it was like a great river: its springs were at every doorstep, and every path was its tributary.
  33. elusive
    difficult to detect or grasp by the mind or analyze
    From inside the hood came a noise as of someone sniffing to catch an elusive scent; the head turned from side to side of the road.
  34. abreast
    alongside each other, facing in the same direction
    They went abreast and in step, to keep up their spirits.
  35. disquiet
    a feeling of mild anxiety about possible developments
    After a time, as the stars grew thicker and brighter, the feeling of disquiet left them, and they no longer listened for the sound of hoofs.
  36. draught
    a serving of drink (usually alcoholic) drawn from a keg
    But he remembered that there was bread, surpassing the savour of a fair white loaf to one who is starving; and fruits sweet as wildberries and richer than the tended fruits of gardens; he drained a cup that was filled with a fragrant draught, cool as a clear fountain, golden as a summer afternoon.
  37. ominous
    threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
    The tidings were mostly sad and ominous: of gathering darkness, the wars of Men, and the flight of the Elves.
  38. subtle
    difficult to detect or grasp by the mind or analyze
    But it is said: Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.
  39. evasive
    deliberately vague or ambiguous
    ‘Did you find out anything about them from Gildor?’
    ‘Not much — only hints and riddles,’ said Frodo evasively.
  40. swathe
    wrap in or as if in strips of cloth
    He was riding a pony, and a scarf was swathed round his neck and over his chin to keep out the fog.
Created on January 26, 2018 (updated February 20, 2018)

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