Chapters 1-3

When they are marooned on a deserted island, a group of schoolboys attempts to form a new society.

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Explore the Words

definitions & notes only words
  1. proffer
    a proposal offered for acceptance or rejection
    The fat boy waited to be asked his name in turn but this proffer of acquaintance was not made; the fair boy called Ralph smiled vaguely, stood up, and began to make his way once more toward the lagoon.
  2. upheaval
    a violent disturbance
    The ground beneath them was a bank covered with coarse grass, torn everywhere by the upheavals of fallen trees, scattered with decaying coconuts and palm saplings.
  3. prominent
    having a quality that thrusts itself into attention
    He was old enough, twelve years and a few months, to have lost the prominent tummy of childhood and not yet old enough for adolescence to have made him awkward.
  4. apprehension
    fearful expectation or anticipation
    Piggy clasped his hands in apprehension.
  5. efflorescence
    the time and process of budding and unfolding of blossoms
    It was clear to the bottom and bright with the efflorescence of tropical weed and coral.
  6. specious
    deceptively pleasing
    Ralph had been deceived before now by the specious appearance of depth in a beach pool and he approached this one preparing to be disappointed.
  7. loll
    be lazy or idle
    Ralph lolled in the water.
  8. swathe
    wrap in or as if in strips of cloth
    Sleep enveloped him like the swathing mirages that were wrestling with the brilliance of the lagoon.
  9. effulgence
    the quality of being bright and sending out rays of light
    With that word the heat seemed to increase till it became a threatening weight and the lagoon attacked them with a blinding effulgence.
  10. enmity
    a state of deep-seated ill-will
    He trotted through the sand, enduring the sun's enmity, crossed the platform and found his scattered clothes.
  11. decorous
    characterized by propriety and dignity and good taste
    Suddenly Piggy was a-bubble with decorous excitement.
  12. interpose
    be or come between
    The shell was interesting and pretty and a worthy plaything; but the vivid phantoms of his day-dream still interposed between him and Piggy, who in this context was an irrelevance.
  13. emboss
    raise in a relief
    Between the point, worn away into a little hole, and the pink lips of the mouth, lay eighteen inches of shell with a slight spiral twist and covered with a delicate, embossed pattern.
  14. strident
    unpleasantly loud and harsh
    The note boomed again: and then at his firmer pressure, the note, fluking up an octave, became a strident blare more penetrating than before.
  15. incredulous
    not disposed or willing to believe; unbelieving
    They were twins, and the eye was shocked and incredulous at such cheery duplication.
  16. furtive
    secret and sly or sordid
    There was a slight, furtive boy whom no one knew, who kept to himself with an inner intensity of avoidance and secrecy.
  17. mortification
    strong feelings of embarrassment
    Even the choir applauded; and the freckles on Jack's face disappeared under a blush of mortification.
  18. pallor
    unnatural lack of color
    Now that the pallor of his faint was over, he was a skinny, vivid little boy, with a glance coming up from under a hut of straight hair that hung down, black and coarse.
  19. pliant
    capable of being shaped or bent or drawn out
    Here the roots and stems of creepers were in such tangles that the boys had to thread through them like pliant needles.
  20. immure
    lock up or confine, in or as in a jail
    Immured in these tangles, at perhaps their most difficult moment, Ralph turned with shining eyes to the others.
  21. contemptuously
    without respect; in a disdainful manner
    "Green candles," said Jack contemptuously.
  22. hiatus
    an interruption in the intensity or amount of something
    There came a pause, a hiatus, the pig continued to scream and the creepers to jerk, and the blade continued to flash at the end of a bony arm.
  23. errant
    straying from the right course or from accepted standards
    The noise of the errant assembly faded up the mountain.
  24. ebullience
    eager enjoyment or approval
    Then, with the martyred expression of a parent who has to keep up with the senseless ebullience of the children, he picked up the conch, turned toward the forest, and began to pick his way over the tumbled scar.
  25. officious
    intrusive in a meddling or offensive manner
    There was pushing and pulling and officious cries.
  26. recrimination
    mutual accusations
    His voice lifted into the whine of virtuous recrimination.
  27. festoon
    decorate with strings of flowers
    Smoke was rising here and there among the creepers that festooned the dead or dying trees.
  28. caper
    jump about playfully
    Beneath the capering boys a quarter of a mile square of forest was savage with smoke and flame.
  29. vicissitude
    a variation in circumstances or fortune
    Jack stood there, streaming with sweat, streaked with brown earth, stained by all the vicissitudes of a day's hunting.
  30. contrite
    feeling or expressing pain or sorrow for sins or offenses
    Simon's contrite face appeared in the hole.
  31. antagonism
    a state of deep-seated ill-will
    Now the antagonism was audible.
  32. rapt
    feeling great delight and interest
    Ralph gazed bewildered at his rapt face.
  33. tacit
    implied by or inferred from actions or statements
    Jack nodded, as much for the sake of agreeing as anything, and by tacit consent they left the shelter and went toward the bathing pool.
  34. susurration
    an indistinct sound, as of whispering or rustling
    The deep sea breaking miles away on the reef made an undertone less perceptible than the susurration of the blood.
  35. riotous
    produced or growing in extreme abundance
    With the fading of the light the riotous colors died and the heat and urgency cooled away.
Created on October 7, 2013 (updated August 24, 2018)

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