muzzle n. the open end of the barrel of a firearm temple n. the flat area on either side of the forehead
Only when I pressed the cold muzzle of the revolver to his temple did he at last understand that resistance was vain.
tide waiter n. a customs inspector at a seaportmonger n. someone who purchases and maintains an inventory of goods to be sold
Your morning letters, if I remember right, were from a fish monger and a tide waiter.
woo v. seek someone's favordeprive v. take away possessions from someone
After all the trouble of wooing and wedding, you found yourself deprived in an instant of wife and of fortune.
frenzy n. a state or period of uncontrolled excitement or wild behaviortirade n. a long, angry speech of criticism or accusation
He would whip them into a frenzy with tirades against blacks and their traitorous white sympathizers.
gibe n. being compatible, similar or consistentsneer n. a contemptuous or scornful remark
Henever spoke of the softer passions with a gibe and a sneer.
socialite n. a person who is well known in fashionable society and is fond of social activitiesdilettante n. a person who cultivates an area of interest, such as the arts, without real knowledge
After distinguished service in World War II, he married a New York socialite and reacquired his reputation as a hard-partying dilettante.
grudge n. a persistent feeling of ill will or resentmenthanded-down a. passed on to a later generation or age
The visible manifestation of how real a century-old conflict was in places where time passed slowly, grudges died hard, and handed-down memories hung on and on.
hairdo n. style of a person's haircrew cut n. a very short haircut for men and boys
He had a ducktail hairdo, crew cut on top, long hair greased back on the sides.
in full swing ad. in full operation, at the highest level of activityhomeroom n. a classroom in which a group of students assembles daily with the same teacher
In September 1960, the presidential campaign was in full swing; my homeroom and English teacher was also from Hope and, like me, a Democrat.
illusion n. a thing that is or is likely to be wrongly perceived or interpretedbite the dust v. fall so that your body hits the ground heavily, die, end in failure
I always thought I was good at math until I had to give up helping Chelsea with her homework when she was in ninth grade; an illusion bites the dust.
shackle n. something that confines the legs or armssegregation n. action or state of setting someone or something apart from others
In that late summer of 1957, they helped to set all of us, white and black alike, free from the dark shackles of segregation and discrimination.
obscene n. offensive or disgusting by accepted standards of morality and decency