"The Crucible" -- Vocabulary from Act 1

Learn these 30 words from Act 1 of Arthur Miller’s 1953 "The Crucible" -- a play that dramatized the late 17th century Salem witch trials and served as an allegory of McCarthyism. Here are the links to the word lists for all four acts of “The Crucible”:
Act 1,
Act 2,
Act 3, and
Act 4.

Read more...

Start learning with an activity...

  • Practice

    Answer a few questions on each word. Get one wrong? We'll ask some follow-up questions. Use it to prep for your next quiz!

  • Spelling Bee

    Test your spelling acumen. See the definition, listen to the word, then try to spell it correctly. Beat your last streak, or best your overall time. Spellers of the world, untie!

  • Vocabulary Jam

    Compete head-to-head in real-time to see which team can answer the most questions correctly. Start a Jam and invite your friends and classmates to join!

Explore the Words


definitions & notes
only words

  1. persecute

    cause to suffer
    He believed he was being
    persecuted wherever he went, despite his best efforts to win people and God to his side.
  2. province

    the territory in an administrative district of a nation
    Salem had been established hardly forty years before> To the European world the whole
    province wasa a barbaric frontier inhabited by a sect of fanatics who, nevertheless were shipping out products of slowly increasing quantity and value.
  3. inhabit

    live in; be a resident of
    Salem had been established hardly forty years before> To the European world the whole province wasa a barbaric frontier
    inhabited by a sect of fanatics who, nevertheless were shipping out products of slowly increasing quantity and value.
  4. creed

    any system of principles or beliefs
    Their
    creed forbade anything resembling a theater or “vain enjoyment.”
  5. somber

    grave or even gloomy in character
    Which is not to say that nothing broke into this strict and
    somber way of life.
  6. indicate

    give evidence of
    That there were some jokers, however, is
    indicated by the practice of appointing a two-man patrol whose duty was to “walk forth in the time of God’s worship to take notice of such as either lye about the meeting hous, without attending to the word and ordinances, or that lye at home or in the fields without giving good account thereof, and to take the names of such persons and to present them to the magistrates, whereby they may be accordingly proceeded against.”
  7. ordinance

    an authoritative rule
    That there were some jokers, however, is indicated by the practice of appointing a two-man patrol whose duty was to “walk forth in the time of God’s worship to take notice of such as either lye about the meeting hous, without attending to the word and
    ordinances, or that lye at home or in the fields without giving good account thereof, and to take the names of such persons and to present them to the magistrates, whereby they may be accordingly proceeded against.”
  8. predilection

    a strong liking
    This
    predilection for minding other people’s business was time-honored among the people of Salem, and it undoubtedly created many of the suspicions which were to feed the coming madness.
  9. maraud

    raid and rove in search of plunder
    It stood, dark and threatening, over their shoulders night and day, for out of it Indian tribes
    marauded from time to time and Reverend Parris had parishioners who had lost relatives to these heathen.
  10. heathen

    a person who does not acknowledge your god
    It stood, dark and threatening, over their shoulders night and day, for out of it Indian tribes marauded from time to time and Reverend Parris had parishioners who had lost relatives to these
    heathen.
  11. conjure

    summon into action or bring into existence
    Abigail: But we never
    conjured spirits.
  12. faction

    a clique that seeks power usually through intrigue
    Parris: There is a
    faction that is sworn to drive me from my pulpit?
  13. abomination

    an action that arouses disgust or abhorrence
    Abominations are done in the forest –
  14. deference

    courteous regard for people's feelings
    A certain
    deference springs into him., although his worry remains.]
  15. conviction

    an unshakable belief in something without need for proof
    Parris, with dwindling
    conviction now: A precaution only.
  16. corruption

    use of a position of trust for dishonest gain
    They will howl me out of Salem for such
    corruption in my house.
  17. hysterical

    characterized by a state of violent mental agitation
    Mary Warren, with
    hysterical fright: What’s got her?
  18. partisan

    a fervent and even militant proponent of something
    He need not have been a
    partisan of any faction in the town, but there is evidence to suggest that he had a sharp and biting way with hypocrites.
  19. calumny

    a false accusation of an offense
    In Proctor’s presence a fool felt his foolishness instantly – and a Proctor is always marked for
    calumny therefore.
  20. pretense

    the act of giving a false appearance
    I never knew what
    pretense Salem was, I never knew the lying lessons I was taught by all these Christian women and their covenanted men!
  21. exude

    make apparent by one's mood or behavior
    Gentleness
    exudes from her.
  22. defer

    yield to another's wish or opinion
    He
    defers to her.
  23. abide

    put up with something or somebody unpleasant
    Parris: It is agreed, sir – it is agreed – we will
    abide by your judgement.
  24. pursuit

    a diversion that occupies one's time and thoughts
    Hale, with a tasty love of intellectual
    pursuit: Here is the invisible world, caught, defined, and calculated.
  25. calculated

    carefully thought out in advance
    Hale, with a tasty love of intellectual pursuit: Here is the invisible world, caught, defined, and
    calculated.
  26. afflict

    cause physical pain or suffering in
    Does someone
    afflict you, child?
  27. evade

    avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing
    Hale: You cannot
    evade me, Abigail.
  28. exaltation

    the elevation of a person, as to the status of a god
    Hale, with rising
    exaltation: You are God’s instrument put in our hands to discover the Devil’s agents among us.
  29. enrapture

    hold spellbound
    She is
    enraptured, and though in a pearly light.
Created on October 28, 2012
(updated October 30, 2013)