Study Help Full Glossary for Death of a Salesman


Adonis any very handsome young man.

anemia a condition in which there is a reduction of the number, or volume, of red blood corpuscles or of the total amount of hemoglobin in the bloodstream, resulting in paleness, generalized weakness.

babble to make incoherent sounds, as a baby does; to prattle or talk too much or foolishly.

bastard a slang term for a person regarded with contempt, hatred, pity, resentment, and so on.

blow [Informal] to brag; boast.

buck up [Informal]to cheer up.

buckle down to apply oneself energetically; set to work with effort.

build to form a sequence according to suit, number, etc.

caliber degree of worth or value of a person or thing; quality or ability.

chippie [Slang] a promiscuous young woman or a prostitute.

contemptuous full of contempt; scornful or disdainful.

crack to hit or strike with a sudden, sharp blow or impact.

cut and dried an expression meaning "strictly business" without time for or need of pleasantries.

dime a dozen an expression used to imply that something is available in large quantities. The fact that the item is not rare suggests that it is not of great value.

exhibitions public shows or displays, as of art, industrial products, athletic feats, and so on.

Hercules in Greek and Roman myth, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, renowned for his strength and courage, especially, as shown in his performance of twelve labors imposed on him.

Ignoramus an ignorant and stupid person.

immerse to absorb deeply; engross.

incipient in the first stage of existence; just beginning to exist or to come to notice.

initiative the action of taking the first step or move; responsibility for beginning or originating.

insinuate to introduce or work into gradually, indirectly, and artfully.

liable subject to the possibility of; likely.

lick to overcome, vanquish, or control.

like here the meaning is closer to likeable, having qualities that inspire liking; easy to like because attractive, pleasant, genial, and so on.

louse [Slang] a person regarded as mean, contemptible, etc.

massacre to kill indiscriminately and mercilessly and in large numbers.

mutt a mixed-breed dog; an insult if applied to an individual.

open sesame any unfailing means of gaining admission or achieving some other end; these words were spoken to open the door of the thieves' den in the story of Ali Baba in The Arabian Nights.

philander to engage lightly in passing love affairs; make love insincerely.

requiem a Mass for one or more deceased persons; any musical service, hymn, or dirge for the dead.

ruddiness a red or reddish color or complexion.

ruin to deprive (a woman) of chastity.

saccharine a sugar substitute in diabetic diets.

self-centered occupied or concerned only with one's own affairs; egocentric; selfish.

self-reliance reliance on one's own judgment, abilities, etc.

simonize to wax and polish a car.

spewing throwing up (something) from or as from the stomach; vomiting.

spite a mean or evil feeling toward another, characterized by the inclination to hurt, humiliate, annoy, frustrate, and so on; ill will; malice.

strudel a kind of pastry; here the term refers to a prostitute.

surly bad-tempered; sullenly rude; hostile and uncivil.

temporary for a time only; not permanent.

thunderstruck struck with amazement.

tired to the death an expression meaning exhausted. Here, the phrase can also be interpreted literally because Willy has attempted suicide several times and is planning to try again.

undercurrent an underlying tendency, opinion, etc., usually one that is kept hidden and not expressed openly.

worm an abject, wretched, or contemptible person.

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