English 6 Vocabulary List for Chapter One of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee Ms. Conn/Mr. Sipkin



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English 6 Vocabulary List for Chapter One of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

Ms. Conn/Mr. Sipkin


  1. avarice (noun; pg 1): excessive desire for wealth or gain; really greedy. The Occupy Wall Street protestors were often complaining about the avarice of the big banks, whom they said only wanted more money.

  2. bequeath (verb; pg 1): to give or leave by will: to hand down. Lois and Peter were surprised when her wealthy aunt bequeathed Cherrywood Manor to them as part of her will.

  3. decorous (adjective; pg 1): marked my good taste or that which is proper, such as decorous behavior. The children were expected to behave decorously at the formal dinner party.

  4. discourse (noun; pg 1): a verbal interchange of ideas, or, more commonly, a conversation. Today the class is involved in a discourse about vocabulary words. In math class, the discourse was about geometry.

  5. oppression (noun; pg 1): unjust or cruel use of power and authority. Thousands of people were murdered under the oppression of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship in Iraq.

  6. tractable (adjective; pg 1): capable of being easily led, taught or controlled. The Native Americans were very peaceful and docile, which made them very tractable to the oppressive invaders.

  7. heathen (noun; pg 2): a member of a group or organization who does not acknowledge any god or religion. Religious officials regularly are aghast by heathens, and then try to convert those non-believers.

  8. horde (noun; pg 2): an overflowing crowd or swarm of people. A horde of students gathered outside the classroom when Ms. Conn was having a pizza party. Hordes of photographers surrounded the celebrity trying to get the best shot. Horde is different from hoard, like the show about not throwing things away.

  9. subtle (adjective; pg 2): difficult to understand or perceive; very keen or acute. Mr. Sipkin is colorblind, so it is almost impossible for him to notice subtle hints of red or green in clothing patterns.

  10. vacillate (verb; pg 2): to fluctuate or waver in feeling; hesitate or change decisions. Many people do not like when politicians vacillate on their opinions about the issues; they’d like to see more decisive action.

  11. cultivate (verb; pg 3): to foster the growth of something; to raise; to enhance. Such as crops or a personal relationship. Neolithic farmers learned to cultivate the soil and grow their own food. Sam chose to cultivate a solid friendship with Talia before asking her out on a date.

  12. inhabitant (noun; pg 4): one who regularly occupies a space or place for a period of time. The leisurely tourists don’t move around quite as fast as do the inhabitants of New York City.

  13. cede (verb; pg 5): to yield or give up, as with a position or possession. Without much power to protect themselves, the Native Americans ceded their land to the white man.

  14. subordinate (adjective or noun; pg 5): The adjective form is to be inferior, or to hold a lower position than someone else. The noun form is to actually be an inferior or lower-ranking person. Students are subordinate to the teachers, who are subordinate to the principal.

  15. garrison (noun or verb; pg 6): The noun - a military post or station. The verb – to station soldiers or place them at a post.

  16. obliterate (verb; pg 6): To remove from existence, to destroy all traces of something. Global thermonuclear war would likely obliterate the human race. Or using it non-violently, the March snowstorm obliterated our hopes for an early Spring.

  17. exodus (noun; pg 7): a mass departure. As soon as the bell rings, the students make a mass exodus from the classroom.

  18. remnant (noun; pg 7): a small part or trace of something; still remaining. The boxes and plates were remnants of the classroom pizza party. Or…few remnants of the Native American race still survive on reservations.

  19. squander (verb; pg 7): to spend foolishly; to lose because of negligence or inaction. Instead of saving her money, Ellen squandered her salary on expensive clothes and jewelry.

  20. breach (noun; pg 7): an infraction or violation of law. A break or gap in something. Cheating on someone is a breach (pg 9): of the trust in that relationship. Invading another country is a breach of international law.

  21. capitulate (verb; pg 9): to surrender, to cease resisting. The Native Americans eventually capitulated to the will and strength of the white armies, and agreed to the terms of relocation.

  22. inevitable (adjective; pg 9): incapable of being avoided; something that is definitely going to happen. Driving down the deserted road with just a little bit of gas, it was inevitable Fred and George would end up stranded.

  23. respite (noun; pg 9): a period of rest or delay. We ran into the nearest Stabucks to get a brief respite from the rain.

  24. contemporary (adjective; pg 11): marked by the present or modern time, being part of the same period. The Russell is a contemporary hotel, with all the rooms having an internet connection and flat screen TV.

  25. stalwart (adjective; pg 11): marked by outstanding strength of mind, body and spirit. The Native Americans were stalwart warriors, fighting long and hard before capitulating to the superior white military forces.

  26. tenacious (adjective; pg 11): persistently pursuing something of value or desire. Mandy studies tenaciously, hitting the books each day for at least three hours after school.

  27. vigorous (adjective; pg 11): full of mental or physical strength. Mr. Costanza said he felt vigorous after working out with a dumbbell. Marked by a lot of energy or strength.

  28. guerilla (adjective; pg 12): engaging in irregular warfare especially as a member of an independent unit carrying out harassment and sabotage. The guerilla fighters often hid out in the mountains and would conduct their attacks by very unusual means.


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