Class XI NCERT Hornbill Book Chapter wise difficult word meanings  

 
Here, the difficult words and their meanings  of all the Chapters of CBSE Class 11 English Hornbill Book have been compiled for the convenience of the students. This is an exhaustive list of the difficult words and meanings of all the Chapters from the Hornbill book for CBSE NCERT Class 11 English. The difficult words’ meanings have been explained in an easy language so that every student can understand easily.


 

 

 

Chapter 1 The Portrait of a Lady

  1. A veritable bedlam of chirrupings – refers to the noise and confusion caused by the chirrupings of the sparrows
  2. Absurd – Illogical
  3. Accepted her seclusion with resignation- the grandmother accepted a lonely life as she accepted the separation from her grandson without objection
  4. An expanse of pure white serenity – refers to the calm, relaxed and peaceful character of the author’s grandmother
  5. Beads – a small piece of glass or stone threaded with others to make a rosary or necklace
  6. Bedlam – confusion
  7. Blaze – a very large burning fire
  8. Bothered- to be concerned 
  9. Cherished – hold something dear
  10. Chirrupings – the noise of a small bird
  11. Clasped – hold tightly 
  12. Contentment – a state of happiness and satisfaction
  13. Corpse- dead body
  14. Courtyard- verandah
  15. Cremated – dispose of or burn a body after it is dead
  16. Criss- cross – a pattern of intersecting straight lines
  17. Crude – in a natural state, roughly made
  18. Customary – traditional
  19. Dilapidated – in a state of despair or ruin
  20. Distressed – suffer from extremely sorrow, anxiety or pain
  21. Earthen- made of baked or fired clay
  22. Fables- fictitious stories with a moral teaching
  23. Fetch – go for and then bring back something for someone
  24. Frivolous – not having any serious purpose, light-hearted
  25. Frivolous rebukes – light hearted scoldings
  26. Gentlefolk – People of noble birth
  27. Growling – making a low guttural sound in the throat 
  28. Harlots – Prostitutes
  29. Hobbled – walked in an awkward way
  30. Imprint – impression or stamp 
  31. Inaudible- unable to be heard
  32. Lewd Association – Indecent or Obscene
  33. Locks- hair
  34. Mantelpiece- a structure of wood, marble, or stone above and around a fireplace.
  35. Moist- wet
  36. Monotonous – dull and boring
  37. Omitted – leave out or exclude something
  38. Overstraining- overdoing something
  39. Pallor – an unhealthy pale appearance
  40. Perched – alight or rest on something
  41. Persuade – to talk someone into doing something, request
  42. Plastered- covered with a layer of plaster
  43. Portrait- painting or picture
  44. Prophets- saints
  45. Protested – express an objection against something or someone
  46. Puckered – a face contract into wrinkles
  47. Rebuke – disapproval of something or someone
  48. Revolting – unpleasant
  49. Rosary- a string of beads for keeping count of number of chants made of a religious prayer
  50. Sagging – sinking downwards
  51. Scattered – disorganized 
  52. Scriptures – the sacred writings of a religion 
  53. Seclusion – the state of being private and away from the people
  54. Sentimental – a feeling of nostaglia, sadness or tenderness; an emotional feeling
  55. Serenity – the state of being peaceful and calm
  56. Shooed – make a person or animal go away by shouting or saying ‘shoo’
  57. Shroud – a piece of cloth used to wrap a dead person
  58. Slate- a flat plate of slate formerly used for writing on in schools
  59. Snapped- break suddenly and completely 
  60. Spinning-wheel – a household machine with a wheel attached to it for spinning yarn
  61. spotless white – she wore clean, white coloured dresses
  62. Stale- no longer fresh and pleasant to eat; hard, musty, or dry.
  63. Stoop – bend one’s body forward
  64. The sagging skins of the dilapidated drum- The loose surface of the worn out drum
  65. The thought was almost revolting- it was very hard for the author to believe
  66. Thumped- hit
  67. Undignified- disrespectful
  68. Untidily – not neat
  69. Veritable – use to describe something which is very interesting or unusual
  70. Wrinkled- having lines or folds
  71. Years rolled by- time passed

 

 

 

Chapter 2  We’re Not Afraid to Die… If We Can All Be Together

  1. Abated – something unpleasant to become less intense
  2. Aft – near the stern of the ship
  3. Anchored – moor a ship to the sea bottom
  4. Ashore – on the shore of the land
  5. Atrocious – bad; of a very poor quality
  6. Auxiliary engine – small secondary engine used to board ships to operate a windlass in the ship
  7. Bashed – strike hard; hit
  8. Bleak – an area of land lacking vegetation
  9. Boom – pole that controls the angle and shape of the sail
  10. Bulged – swell
  11. Bunk – bed
  12. Canvas – a strong unbleached cloth
  13. Capsizing – be overturned in the water
  14. Caricatures – picture of a person; cartoon
  15. Crest – reach the top of a wave
  16. Debris – rubbish
  17. Deck – a floor of a ship
  18. Deflected: turned aside
  19. Deteriorate – get worse
  20. Dinghies – a small boat for recreation with mast or sail
  21. Donned – put on, wore
  22. Dozed off – went off to sleep 
  23. Enormous – a very large size
  24. Forestay – a rope to support ship’s foremast
  25. Frightful – very unpleasant or shocking
  26. Gales – A very strong wind
  27. Gigantic – huge; of a big size
  28. Hatch – door
  29. Heave to – to raise or lift with effort
  30. Honing – sharpen, improving
  31. Honing our seafaring skills – improving the skills required to travel by sea
  32. Hull – the framework of the vessel
  33. Hurled – throw with a great force
  34. Impending – about to happen
  35. Jib – a triangular staysail set forward the mast in a ship
  36. Keel – steel structure along the base of the ship
  37. Knots – a unit of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour, used especially of ships, aircraft, or winds
  38. Lashed – to hit with a lot of force
  39. Leisure – free time
  40. Loop – a shape produced that bends round and crosses; bent
  41. Mast – a tall upright structure on a boat or ship
  42. Mayday calls –words used to signal ships stuck in a disastrous situation through radio
  43. Mooring – the ropes, chains, or anchors by or to which a boat, ship, or buoy is moored
  44. Offshore – situated at the sea some distance from the shore
  45. Oilskins – heavy cotton cloth waterproofed with oil
  46. Ominous silence – unpleasant or threatening silence
  47. Optimistic – hopeful and confident
  48. Paraffin – colorless flammable oil liquid
  49. Pinpricks – a prick caused by a pin
  50. Pinpricks in the vast ocean – the two small islands in the vast ocean were very tiny like the prick caused by a pin
  51. Respite – a short period of rest
  52. Rigging – the ropes and wires supporting the structure of the ship
  53. Scrambled – climb; claw one’s way
  54. Seafaring – regularly traveling by sea
  55. Sextant – an instrument with graduated arc of 60 degrees for taking altitudes and navigation
  56. Shook – past tense of shake (vibrate)
  57. Sloshed – move through liquid with a splashing sound.
  58. Smashed – badly broken
  59. Smashed – shattered or violently broken
  60. Starboard – side of a ship which is on the right side when one is facing forward
  61. Stark – sharply defined
  62. Stern – the back part of a ship or a boat
  63. Taut – stretched or pulled tightly
  64. Timbers – wood board used in building of a ship
  65. Torrent – a fast moving stream of water
  66. Tousled head – disarranged hair of the narrator’s son, Jonathan
  67. Tremendous – very great in amount
  68. Voyage – a long journey by sea or space
  69. Wooden-hulled – a watertight body of a ship
  70. Wrenched – pull suddenly, removed

 

 

 

Chapter 3  Discovering Tut: The Saga Continues

  1. Adorned – decorated
  2. Adornments – ornaments
  3. Afterlife- life after death, based on the belief that the essential part of an individual’s identity continues to the next life after the death of the physical body
  4. Aftermath – after-effects of an unpleasant event
  5. Amulet – an ornament or small piece of jewellery thought to give protection against evil, danger, or disease.
  6. Anatomy – the branch of science which deals with the bodily structure of humans, animals or other living beings
  7. Antiquity – age, oldness
  8. Apron – a protective garment worn over the front of one’s clothes and tied at the back.
  9. Astonishing – amazing
  10. Blazing – very hot
  11. Budged – moved or shifted; a slight movement
  12. Burial – burying the dead
  13. Casket- a small ornamental box or chest for holding jewels, letters, or other valued objects.
  14. Casket grey – It means that the grey clouds were like a grey coloured casket which contained the stars. The stars are like jewels which are kept in a casket.
  15. Cemetery- a large burial ground
  16. Chiselled away – to cut something with a chisel
  17. Circumvented – find a way around; thieves would have found a way to tackle the guards and remove the gold from the tomb
  18. Computed Tomography – Also called a CT scan, it is a three-dimensional scan of a body with the help of hundreds of X-Rays in cross-section together
  19. Concealed- hid
  20. Cramped – very small to fit into
  21. Dark-bellied – dark in colour
  22. Death rattle – the gurgling sound produced in the throat of a person who is about to die
  23. Demise – death
  24. Descended – moved or gathered
  25. Eerie detail – strange image of Tut’s head as visible with the help of CT scan
  26. Forensic Reconstruction – the process of recreating the face of an individual
  27. Forensics – the application of the scientific method to investigate a crime
  28. Funerary Treasures – the valuable things with which the king was buried 
  29. Futile – pointless; incapable of producing the result of something
  30. Garlands of willow – a wreath of flowers and leaves
  31. Gazed – to look in surprise or in admiration
  32. Ghostly – eerie and unnatural; unreal
  33. Gilded – covered with a thin sheet or coating of gold 
  34. Glided – quite, continuous motion
  35. Hastily – fast; swiftly
  36. Heir – Inheritor, successor
  37. Hydraulic lift – a lift that uses a machine to lift or move heavy objects with a pressure
  38. Iconic – something or someone who is a symbol or it represents some other thing
  39. Inlaid – a decorative pattern on a surface
  40. Intervening – occur in the time between events
  41. Intriguing – to arouse one’s curiosity
  42. Laden – loaded
  43. Legitimate – reasonable
  44. Lingering – long-lasting
  45. Mummy- a body of a human being or animal that has been ceremonially preserved by removal of the internal organs, treatment with natron and resin, and wrapping in bandages.
  46. Murals – a painting or other artwork executed directly on the wall
  47. Pallbearers – a person who helps to escort a coffin at a funeral
  48. Pharaoh- a ruler in ancient Egypt
  49. Pixels – a pixel is a single point in a graphic image
  50. Pondering – think about something carefully
  51. Probe – to investigate, find out
  52. Ransacked – raid; go through a place to steal or damage something
  53. Resins – a sticky flammable substance that is insoluble in water
  54. Resting place- here, the grave
  55. Resurrection – restoration to life
  56. Ritual – here, the resins used in the ceremony of mummification
  57. Rock-cut – made in a rock by cutting it
  58. Scudded across – moving quickly; it refers to the movement of the dark-bellied clouds
  59. Sheaths – a close-fitting cover 
  60. Shrine – holy place
  61. Shroud – a length of cloth in which a dead person is wrapped
  62. Speculated- form a theory without evidence
  63. Sprinted – ran at a high speed
  64. Spun – to turn around
  65. Startling – unexpected or surprising
  66. Stirred – move or cause to move slightly
  67. Striking- prominent
  68. Swirling – to spin or twist
  69. Three nested coffin- three coffins placed one in another in order of decreasing size. The innermost coffin houses the body of the deceased.
  70. Tomb- an enclosure to bury the dead
  71. Veiling – to cover something
  72. Vertebrae – series of small bones which form a backbone
  73. Wacky –amusing in a slightly odd way
  74. Whisper- to speak in a low voice

 

 

 

Chapter 4 Landscape of the Soul

  1. Anecdote – a short interesting story of a real person
  2. Antwerp – a city of northern Belgium
  3. Apprentice – trainee; learner
  4. Astonished – greatly surprised or impressed
  5. Conceptual Space – relation with an abstract representation
  6. Conduit – channel; tube
  7. Daoism – a Chinese philosophy based on the writings of Lao-Tzu
  8. Delicate Realism – the quality of art that makes it seem real
  9. Disciple – a follower or a pupil of a leader, teacher
  10. Dwells – live; stay
  11. Figurative painting – metaphoric representation of an art
  12. Flanders – a medieval country in Western Europe  
  13. Illusionistic Likeness – an illusion created which resembles something
  14. Leisurely – unhurried or relaxed
  15. Lofty – tall or high
  16. Oppressed – burdened; worried
  17. Splendid – very impressive; superb
  18. Swat – hit or crush something
  19. Void – empty; vacant

 

 

 

Chapter 5 The Ailing Planet: The Green Movement’s Role

  1. Ailing – in poor health
  2. Anguish – pain; suffering
  3. Barren wastelands – barely inhabitable piece of land
  4. Beget – give life to
  5. Casteism – discrimination on the grounds of caste
  6. Catalogued – classify; characterise
  7. Catastrophic Depletion – a harmful reduction in a number of something
  8. Coercion – force
  9. Condemns – find guilty of something
  10. Dawned – begin
  11. Decimated – to reduce in number
  12. Decisively – clear and definitive
  13. Demise – death
  14. Deprives – prevent a person from using something
  15. Deteriorate – become progressively worse; decline
  16. Distorting – deform; disfigure
  17. Endeavour – trying hard to achieve something
  18. Ethical Obligation – when someone is required to do something based on a righteous standard of rules
  19. Felicitous – well-chosen
  20. Freehold – permanent tenure of land or property
  21. Green Movement – It is a movement which stresses people to follow environmentally friendly practices.
  22. Gripped – clutch; hold
  23. Holistic and Ecological View – It means a view for the preservation of the environment. It also refers to the understanding of importance of earth’s resources for the use of future generations
  24. Hutments – collection of huts
  25. Ignominious darkness – disgraced as no one has knowledge about them
  26. Impaired – weakened or damaged
  27. Impoverished – made poor
  28. Inter Alia – among other things
  29. Irrevocably – in a way that cannot be changed or reversed
  30. Languish – lose or lack of vitality of a person or plant or animal; grow weak
  31. Metabolic needs – needs of a living organism that enables them to have a chemical process that causes food to be used for growth and energy
  32. Patrimony – property inherited from father or ancestor
  33. Perpetuation – keep going
  34. Precede – come before in order or position
  35. Procure – obtain with care or effort
  36. Reckon – calculate
  37. Revolutionary – evolving a complete change
  38. Scorched – burn the surface with heat of fire
  39. Sterilised – make free from bacteria or other micro organisms
  40. Stewards – manage or to look after
  41. Sustainable Development – economic development without depletion of natural resources
  42. Synthetics – artificial substance
  43. Tenancy – possession of the land
  44. Transcending Concern – a concern that existed for a very long time and has passed down from one generation to another
  45. Ushered – guide someone somewhere
  46. Voluntary – done or given of one’s free will

 

 

 

Chapter 6 The Browning Version

  1. Aeschylus – he was an ancient Greek tragedian who is referred to as ‘Father of Tragedy’
  2. Agamemnon – he was the king of Mycenae in Greek mythology
  3. Chap – a man who you know and like
  4. Criterion – a standard by which something is judged
  5. Cut – stop doing something undesirable
  6. Envy – Jealousy
  7. Exaggerating – represent something as being worse than it really is
  8. Excerpt – a short extract from writing, movie or music
  9. Frantically – desperately
  10. Got carried away – to become overly excited or to take things too far
  11. Imitating – copying
  12. Indeed – Truly
  13. Infinitely – to a great extent
  14. Kept in – to make someone stay in a place, especially in school as a punishment
  15. Latter – denoting the second-mentioned person of the two people
  16. Muck – useless; which is of no good or use
  17. Pardon – the action of being forgiven for error or offense; forgiveness
  18. Remove – a division in British schools
  19. Sadist – a person who derives pleasure by giving pain or humiliation to others
  20. Shrivelled up – having no feelings
  21. Slackers – lazy students who are not motivated
  22. Strung together – to combine two different things into something useful

 

 

 

Chapter 7 The Adventure

  1. Amok – to behave uncontrollably
  2. Armour – shell
  3. Assertion – a confident statement of a fact
  4. Astute – smartness; quick-witted
  5. Avidly – with great interest
  6. Bifurcation – division
  7. Blow – by – blow account – a detailed account
  8. Catastrophe theory – it is a branch of mathematics concerned with systems displaying discontinuous changes
  9. Converged – met
  10. De facto – existing in fact with or without any lawful authority
  11. Determinism – a doctrine that all the events are caused by the external will
  12. Dismay – shock
  13. Disparity – difference
  14. Doctored accounts – manipulated accounts related to history
  15. Dumbfounded – amazed
  16. Emerged – developed; begin
  17. Expansionist – a follower of the policy of territorial or economic expansion
  18. Figurehead – a carving; image
  19. Flourishing – to grow successfully
  20. Frugal – less costly and simple
  21. Gave vent to – to express one’s feelings
  22. Grave – serious
  23. Hostile – unfriendly
  24. Ignoramus – an ignorant person
  25. Impetus – the force with which body moves
  26. Imposing – Impressive
  27. Inadvertently – unintentionally
  28. Manifestation – the action of showing something; demonstration
  29. Marshall – to gather something
  30. Melee – a confused fight
  31. Morale booster – anything which boosts self- confidence
  32. Outpost – a small military camp used as a guard
  33. Permits – authorize to do something
  34. Political acumen – political smartness
  35. Precise – error-free; correct
  36. Precise – exact; accurate
  37. Proclaimed – to announce something officially
  38. Quantum theory – a theory of matter and energy based on quantum mechanics.
  39. Relegated to – assigned to a lower rank
  40. Riddle – mystery or puzzle
  41. Roared – to move at a high speed while making a loud noise
  42. Rout – a defeat
  43. Sacrilege – disrespect
  44. Seldom – not often
  45. Shoved – to push someone roughly
  46. Smugly – to show excess satisfaction  
  47. Speculating – wondering
  48. Startling – surprising
  49. Stroll – to wander
  50. Suburban – residential area
  51. Supremacy – the condition of being superior to others
  52. Swarmed – move somewhere in a large number
  53. Throng – a large pack of crowd
  54. Townships – Towns or villages
  55. Trajectory – the path followed by a projectile flying
  56. Triumphant – Successful
  57. Triumphantly – to win a battle
  58. Valiantly – bravely
  59. Valour – great courage in battle
  60. Ventured – to say something that might be considered as an apology
  61. Viable – practical

 

 

 

Chapter 8 Silk Road

  1. Accumulated – gathered
  2. Arid – having little or no rain
  3. Ascent – climb on an upward slope
  4. Billowed – filled with air; swelled out
  5. Bounding – jump; hop; bounce
  6. Brackish – slightly salty water
  7. Brook – a small stream
  8. Cairn of rocks – the pile of stone on the top of the mountain, especially where someone is buried.
  9. Careered down – sinking the slope
  10. Cavernous – vast
  11. Clambered – move or climb in an awkward way
  12. Clung – hold tightly onto something
  13. Confinement – detention; captivity
  14. Cosmology – science about the origin and development of the universe
  15. Daubed – spread a thick sticky substance on a surface carelessly
  16. Derelict – ruined
  17. Devout – deep
  18. Drokba – Shepherd
  19. Ducking Back – going inside and then coming out
  20. En masse – in a group
  21. Encrusted – decorated with a hard surface layer
  22. Envisaged – predicted
  23. Evasive – slippery
  24. Ferocious – cruel or violent
  25. Festooned – decorated
  26. Filthy – dirty
  27. Flanks – sides
  28. Fling – throw
  29. Flocks – a group of birds
  30. Forge – put together; build-up
  31. Frown – to disapprove of something
  32. Galloping – progressing in an uncontrollable manner
  33. Gasping – breathlessness
  34. Gazelles – an African or Asian mammal with large eyes that moves quickly and hoofs
  35. Glinting – sparkle or twinkle  
  36. Grim – ugly or grey
  37. Heaps – loads
  38. Herd – a large group of animal
  39. Incongruous – strange
  40. Kora – meditation performed by Buddhist believers
  41. Laden – loaded
  42. Lichen – a slow-growing plant which grows on walls, trees or rocks
  43. Loaves – bread shaped and baked in one piece which is usually sliced before being eaten
  44. Lurching – listing
  45. Manoeuvres – military exercises
  46. Mastiffs – a dog who is a strong breed with dropping ears saggy ears
  47. Meanders – to follow a winding course of a river or road
  48. Nibbling – take a small bite from
  49. Nocturnal – night time
  50. Paraphernalia – miscellaneous articles
  51. Pastures – land covered with grass
  52. Pellets – shots
  53. Petered out – to diminish gradually and stop
  54. Plumes – Trails
  55. Pockmarked – disfigured with a scar
  56. Pondering – thinking
  57. Propping – to hold up
  58. Prostrating – lying down
  59. Rag – scrap cloth
  60. Rickety – unstable
  61. Rudimentary – basic or primary
  62. Salt flats – thatched roof covered with snow
  63. Sanctity – pure
  64. Shaggy – bushy or hairy
  65. Size me up – to look at someone attentively
  66. Slither – to move smoothly over a surface
  67. Solitary – private
  68. Solitary – private
  69. Stark – plain
  70. Stout – firm
  71. Swathe – a long strip of land
  72. Swerve – change direction suddenly
  73. Throb – pulsate
  74. Tiresome – dull and boring
  75. Transpired – leaked
  76. Veering – to change direction suddenly
  77. Venerated – respected
  78. Vestiges – a trace of something that is disappearing
  79. Well-trodden – much frequented by travellers
  80. Wild ass – an animal who have ears shorter than a horse and smaller in size
  81. Wilderness – wasteland
  82. Wisp – a small amount of something
  83. Wreathed – twisted