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Headless - Vocabulary
NB: the meaning given for each word is contextual meaning, that is to say it is the
specific meaning of the word within the context of the story. Some of these words have
other meanings not shown here.

Part of
Word Contextual Meaning Example Sentence
The waitress didn't
approaches of a sexual appreciate the advances
advances noun
nature from the men in the bachelor
The taxi driver amicably
amicably adverb in a friendly way offered the poor lady a free
The couple that met on the
amorous adjective full of passion beach had an amorous
relationship for one week.
Even though they are
identical twins, Joe and John
antithesis noun the complete opposite
are the antithesis of each
The astute fisherman had
astute adjective crafty, clever the hole in the boat patched
before it sunk.
It was an atrocity when
very cruel happening or George's friends locked him
atrocity noun
treatment outside in the snow with no
shoes or socks.
It was so bizarre when the
clown at the party knelt
bizarre adjective very strange
down and asked Judy to
marry him.
I couldn't believe that
bleak adjective discouraging, unappealing homeless people were living
in that bleak alley.
Sandy got on the blower
blower the telephone with her sister as soon as she
heard the juicy gossip.

"Can you brief me on the

give me the background
brief me verb condition of the patient?" the
information/details I need
doctor asked the nurse.

The woman brusquely

brusquely adverb quickly, abruptly pointed out the thief in the
line up of criminals.
people who beg or I gave the buskers a few
buskers noun entertain for money on the dollars to play my favourite
street song.
The police found cannabis
cannabis noun drug from a hemp plant in the house where the
thieves were living.
The young children were
past unable to stop looking at
captivated captivated by the fireworks
participle something
found in the middle of I caught my aunt and uncle
caught in the
idiom doing something (here, in the act in our basement
having sex) when I was a child.
Chihuahuas have huge eyes
Chihuahua noun tiny breed of Mexican dog
for such little dogs.
I asked Becky if she was a
people who claim they are clairvoyant because she
clairvoyants noun
able to see the future always knows when I am
dating someone new.
I tried to sleep in the attic,
claustrophobic adjective afraid of small spaces but I was too
Can I coax you into buying
coax verb persuade gently
some chocolates for charity?
The couple's financial
come to a point where you
problems came to a head
come to a head verb can't ignore something any
when Nancy became
resident caretaker for I asked the concierge to call
concierge noun
apartments or hotel a taxi for room 101.
a meeting to discuss The bride often goes for a
consultation noun possible future action or hair consultation before her
business big day in the salon.
The shipmates buried the
corpse noun dead body
corpse at sea.
It was so cramped on the
cramped adjective having no spare room bus that we had to sit on our
My sister craved peaches
through her whole
craved verb - past wanted badly (often food)

My uncle was cursing as the

verb -
cursing using bad or rude language Christmas lights fell off the

a person who doesn't I never vote because I'm a

cynic noun believe another is being cynic when it comes to
sincere politicians.
Long ago, prisoners were
decapitated had one's head cut off decapitated after
committing serious crimes.
My holiday time was
past deferred because our
deferred put off until later
participle company was so busy this
I always deflect phone calls
deflect verb turn away from people trying to sell me
The demoralized cyclist put
his damaged bike on his
demoralized adjective having lost hope
shoulders and walked to the
finish line.
Amanda despaired because
despaired verb - past very worried her husband was more than
three hours late from work.
I despondently called for
despondently adverb without hope help but I knew there was
nobody home.
I transferred my American
German currency (pre
Deutschmarks noun savings into Deutschmarks
before I went to Germany.
My grandmother stared at
without respect, with my new boyfriend
disdainfully adverb
dislike disdainfully because of his
long hair.
The children stared dismally
dismally adverb gloomily, without hope out the window until the sun
finally came out.
Rebecca was full of dismay
dismay noun consternation, distress when we jumped out from
behind the couch.
There was quite a disparity
between Anne and George's
disparity noun big difference
accounts of why their
marriage failed.

The police dog team was

past sent to do something (often dispatched to an area in the
participle emergency services) woods where the criminal
had been spotted.

Since I was five years old

subject of interest or
domain noun dancing has been my
We don't use our duvet on
heavy quilt filled with
duvet noun the bed in the summer; we
just use a sheet.
Eileen had never known true
great pleasure (often
ecstasy noun ecstasy before she started
dating Charles.
The mouse finally emerged
emerge verb come out from somewhere
from under the fridge.
The minister wished the
enduring adjective lasting a long time newlyweds enduring
happiness and love.
I envisage my first home as
envisage verb imagine
an old farm in the country.
All of the water in the frog's
past tank had evaporated by the
evaporated disappeared
participle time we got home from our
weekend away.
There was an exodus of
exodus noun mass departure young people on the Monday
of Spring break.
The queen looked exquisite
exquisite verb very beautiful, wonderful
in her royal gown.
They will extricate the
extricate verb to let free prisoner if he is found not
The hotel was festooned
festooned verb - past decorated with streamers and balloons
to welcome the celebrities.
If you want the dog to fetch
fetch verb run and get the bone you have to throw it
into the ocean.
Ben fiddled around with the
did casual work using one's
fiddled around verb - past wires until he got the
computer working again.
The children flocked to the
flocked verb - past went as a group
ice cream truck.

The forensic evidence

forensic scientific proof at a crime
noun proved that the murderer was
evidence scene (for example: blood)
The people grew frantic as
frantic adjective wild and scared the tornado got closer to the
When I watched the car
frisson noun shiver accident on the news it sent a
frisson up my back.
The baby fruitlessly pulled
fruitlessly adverb unsuccessfully
at the top of the jar of candy.
The children gazed at the
gazed verb - past stared at with wide eyes
field of sunflowers.
At the germane moment the
father walked in and heard
germane adjective related to the situation
the baby saying "Dad" for
the first time.
I glowered at the bus driver
glowered verb - past stared angrily who closed his doors just as
I arrived at the stop.
The couple had grandiose
grandiose adjective large and impressive dreams about winning the
Police use graphology to tell
graphology noun the study of handwriting
if a suspect is nervous.
The students showed their
gratitude noun thankfulness gratitude by sending their
retired teacher flowers.
The horror movie was so
grotesque adjective disgusting, hard to look at grotesque I had to walk out
of the theatre.
The child grudgingly took
grudgingly adverb without wanting to
the garbage out for his mom.
We packed so hastily that I
hastily adverb quickly with little thought
forgot my bathing suit.
I bought this necklace from
people who sell goods on
hawkers noun some hawkers in
the street
Annie cries so much I think
head-shrink noun psychiatrist she might need a head-
People who use heroin often
strong narcotic drug
heroin noun need help getting over their
derived from morphine

noun It was like hocus pocus

hocus pocus magic
(slang) when the door shut by itself.
The police were extremely
concerned, because the
homicidal adjective likely to kill someone
criminal that got away was
When painting, artists often
hue noun shades of colour
blend many hues.
Smokers often speak with a
huskiness noun rough and dry voice
distinct huskiness.
It is imperative that you
imperative adjective very important wear your seat belt during
We took an impromptu
impromptu adjective without being planned vacation to Hawaii at
The only female felt the
quality of being out of incongruity as the men
incongruity noun
place stared at her during her
something, especially a
sexual relationship, that His indiscretion cost him
indiscretion noun
might be embarrassing or his marriage.
morally wrong
The front seat passengers
insulated protected were insulated by the car's
air bags.
We watched intently as
intently adverb eagerly, with interest Monica jumped from the
The two highways
intersected verb - past crossed paths in the middle intersected at the downtown
I'm always irritable when
irritable adjective grumpy
it's this hot outside.
tired or lacking enthusiasm The jaded playboy had
jaded adjective after having too much of completely lost interest in
something women.
Mark got stung after he
lashed verb - past hit violently
lashed at the bee in his hair.
We don't have any leads
except that the thief is
leads noun clues to solving a crime
driving a brown car.

The photocopy of my
legible adjective readable print driver's license is barely
a route on a subway or I took the wrong subway line
line noun
metro so I was late for my date.
The lovelorn man wrote 100
sad because one is not
lovelorn adjective letters to his sweetheart but
loved back by another
never got one in return.
The mahogany bookshelf
mahogany adjective reddish coloured wood doesn't go with the maple
My manicured nails would
manicured adjective well kept fingernails get ruined if we didn't have a
things you buy that remind
They sell lots of 1950's
you of somewhere (for
memorabilia noun memorabilia in the front
example: hats, postcards,
lobby of the diner.
My father is meticulous
meticulous adjective precise, perfect when it comes to balancing
his finances.
My science teacher is so
monotone noun voice with only one sound boring because he speaks in
a monotone.
Most parenting books tell
noun you a bunch of mumbo-
mumbo-jumbo nonsense
(slang) jumbo about how you
should raise your kids.
The driver was pretty
nonchalant about the
nonchalant adjective casual
accident even though his car
was destroyed.
There is just a nominal fee
(of money) small amount, a
nominal adjective to cover the cost of coffee
and sandwiches.
Migel was living in America
immigration forms that
noun without his papers so he
papers legalize a person to work or
(informal) wasn't able to find legal
stay in another country
The drivers were piqued by
piqued irritated the way the cyclist slowed
down the traffic.
The placid woman sang a
placid adjective calm song in the elevator until the
power was restored.

a flat ornament on which

Each member on the
celebratory or
plaque noun baseball team got a plaque
memorializing words are
for coming in second place.
The movie was so poignant
poignant adjective emotionally moving
I cried at the end.
Janice paints her nails with
precision noun perfect accuracy such precision it looks like
she gets them done
It was preposterous that the
ridiculous, impossible to be
preposterous adjective fourteen year old needed a
The thief was prowling
verb -
prowling searching secretly through our jewellery box
when we got home.
small piece of paper
My publicity card has my
(business card) that
publicity card noun picture and my company's
advertises your career or
email address on it.
I have a good rapport with
rapport noun relationship my boss, so I'm not afraid to
ask for vacation time.
I can't help but recoil when
recoil verb move back in fear they show operations on
I reconciled my loans and
settled or reorganized
reconciled verb - past savings accounts after
getting my inheritance.
The president of the
company gave his
resignation noun the giving up of a job resignation after he found
out his illness was very
Our New Year's Eve
revelries kept the
revelries noun good times, festivities
neighbours awake until 5:00
Leslie ridiculed her brother
ridiculed verb - past made fun of for always wearing
mismatching socks.

The sanctity of the church

sanctity noun holiness, purity was questioned after the
minister was arrested.

All of the girls at the party

were wearing dresses save
save for preposition except for
for Andrea, who always
wears jeans.
The severing of his own arm
severing noun the cutting off of was what saved the climber's
a place dedicated to a
My aunt's bedroom is like an
shrine noun religious or important
Elvis Presleyshrine.
verb - We were all sobbing at
sobbing crying loudly
progressive Angelica's farewell party.
The woman's arms were
splayed verb - past spread wide apart splayed out as her husband
stepped off the plane.
My grandfather was so stern
that we had to eat every
stern adjective strict crumb on our dinner plate
before we got up from the
The child stirred when the
moved in one's sleep, woke
stirred verb - past phone rang but thankfully
went back to sleep.
When I went travelling, I
straddled verb - past stood on both sides often straddled borders for
I was stunned when my best
past friend told me she was
stunned surprised
participle moving to the other side of
the world.
The succulent watermelon
succulent adjective thick/juicy was exactly what we needed
on such a hot summer day.
The dog stood sullenly
sullenly adverb sulkily, unhappily beside our suitcases before
we left for our vacation.
The bus was sweltering
sweltering adjective very hot because there was no air

The hostess was wearing a

tawdry pearl necklace that
tawdry adjective cheap, of fake appearance
looked like it came out of a
cereal box.

Our salon is in a tenement

divided into separate suites
tenement adjective building until we can buy
or residences
our own place.
I tried to terminate my
magazine subscription but
terminate verb put an end to
they keep sending me new
Eric thrust Mia into the pool
thrust verb push or give forcibly because she was taking so
long to go in.

I can't stand talking to the

tolerable adjective just barely able to handle man next door, but his wife
is tolerable.

The touts on the street

people who bother you to
touts noun pressured us to buy their
buy something
perfumes and colognes.
This year's Christmas bonus
trifle noun a very small amount was a trifle compared to last
Everyone is quitting because
turmoil noun great trouble there is so much turmoil
with our new boss.
entrance with revolving You pay for the subway at
turnstile noun
metal arms the turnstiles.
It was uncanny how much
uncanny adjective difficult to explain the child looked like his
adopted mother.
Mrs. Jones divorced her
not keeping a promise to
husband when she learned
unfaithful adjective only have one sexual
that he was being unfaithful
to her.
My grandfather's
upholstered adjective covered with thick material upholstered chair needs to
be vacuumed.
I vaguely remember meeting
vaguely adverb unclearly
you many years ago.
The papers said the parade
veritable adjective rightly called was a veritable disaster
because of the poor weather.
There were many virile
competitors in the body-
virile adjective masculine, manly
building event.

I was filled with a sense of

vitality noun energy, life vitality following the
graduation ceremony.
I was so mad when I saw my
a practice which involves
boyfriend with another
sticking pins in dolls in
voodoo adjective woman that I actually
order to cause pain to
thought about making a
human figures
voodoo doll of her.
verb - The sink was welling with
welling filling with liquid
progressive soap and about to overflow.
prostitutes; women who The whores stand on the
whores noun have sexual relations with street and wait for men to
strangers for money pick them up.
I am at my wits' end trying
wits' end idiom no longer able to tolerate to keep these ants out of the
The woman wrung her
wrung verb - past clasped, squeezed tightly hands while the policeman
wrote up her speeding ticket.
said with a grin to show "Adam got caught trying to
wryly adverb that an unfortunate steal another car," his ex-
situation is humorous girlfriend said wryly.
My parents tell everyone
yearn for verb want intensely how much they yearn for

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