Study Help Full Glossary for The Lord of the Rings


bandy to exchange back and forth.

bane a curse, the cause of destruction.

barrow an ancient grave formed of a mound of earth and stones.

the Black Land Mordor.

the Blessed Realm the land to which all the elves may sail, leaving Middle-earth and its troubles; also called the Undying Lands.

blown blossomed.

bollards wooden posts used to secure ropes, as in tying up a boat.

brakes an area of rough, overgrown land; a thicket.

brands flaming sticks or torches.

buckler a small shield.

butteries pantries or storerooms.

cairn a heap of stones, intended as a marker.

carrion dead meat or flesh.

charnel associated with dead bodies or bones.

clemency mercy.

close secretive.

cloud-wrack remnants of clouds.

copper a large boiler for heating water or cooking.

cordial a stimulating drink.

dark lantern a lantern that can be closed to block the light.

doom fate or destiny.

dotard a senile person.

doughty brave.

dryad a nature spirit or wood nymph.

elanor a small yellow flower growing in Lothlórien.

elevenses British term for a midmorning snack.

ells a measurement of just under four feet.

embrasure an opening in a wall or parapet to allow the firing of missiles.

embroiled involved in conflict.

Eorlingas the warriors of Rohan.

esquire a candidate for knighthood or knight in training.

eyot a small island.

eyries a cliff-top nest.

fathom six feet; used for measuring depth.

fawn to behave abjectly in order to receive favor.

fell fierce or terrible, sinister, deadly.

fen a swamp or bog.

fey marked for death; also marked by otherworldliness.

flaxen pale yellow, similar to flax.

the Four Farthings divisions of the Shire, similar to counties.

gaffer old man.

gainsaid contradicted.

Galadrim the elves of Lothlórien.

gangrels vagrants.

garner to collect or gather; also what has been collected.

ghylls a deep, rocky ravine; gully.

gibbet gallows; scaffolding for hanging criminals.

glede a hot coal or ember.

goblin another word for orc; a race of evil creatures who live underground and fear the daylight.

gorse a spiny shrub with yellow flowers.

the Great River the river Anduin; largest river in Middle-earth.

halfling another term for hobbit.

haywards local officials in charge of pastures and fences.

headstall part of bridle which goes around the head.

hemlock-umbels umbrella-shaped flower clusters of the hemlock tree.

hollow a small valley.

holm-oak an evergreen oak tree.

huorn a partially awake tree.

ilexes a holm-oak or holly tree.

ironmongery something made of metal, such as armor.

kerb restraint.

kine cattle.

laved washed.

league a distance of roughly three miles.

livery the uniform of the servants of a nobleman.

loth reluctant.

malediction curse.

mallorn a tree unique to Lothlórien; its leaves turn gold in the fall but do not drop until spring, when the tree puts on yellow flowers.

the Mark another term for the country of Rohan.

mathom hobbit term for an old item that no one remembers the use of, but no one wants to throw away.

mead meadow.

Mearas the horses of Rohan, an especially intelligent breed.

mere a lake or pool.

moot an assembly convened for discussion and decision making.

mould rich, crumbling soil.

necromancer an evil wizard specializing in death magic.

niggard stingy.

the Nine the Nazgûl, most powerful servants of Sauron; also refers to the rings of men, which enslaved them.

oast a kiln for drying hops.

oliphaunt a large predecessor to an elephant.

ostler a groom or stableman at an inn.

palantìr one of eight crystal balls, linked to each other, that enable communication across great distances.

penthouse a small shed attached to a building.

phial alternate spelling of vial; a small bottle.

pipeweed a dried plant similar to tobacco.

portage carrying boats around an obstacle, such as rapids.

proffered to present or offer.

quailed cowered or shrank in fear.

queer strange or odd.

railing scolding.

rowan an ash tree.

the Seven the rings of the Dwarves, cursed by Sauron.

sloe the purple fruit of the blackthorn tree, similar to a plum.

slot the trail of an animal.

sluice an artificial watercourse, or the gate that regulates it.

smials tunnels.

smote attacked, especially to kill or severely injure.

sortie a raid or foray, particularly of troops coming out from a defensive position.

spinney a small woodland.

stonecrop a creeping evergreen sedum with yellow flowers.

stud a male breeding horse.

sword-thain a military retainer or servant.

tamarisk a narrow-leaved desert shrub or tree.

terebinth a small tree that yields turpentine.

the Third Age the time of the story, beginning with the Isildur's defeat of Sauron and ending with the destruction of the One Ring.

the Three the rings of the elves, never touched by Sauron.

tilth cultivated land.

tor hill.

trowels hand tools for spreading mortar.

turves plural of turf; pieces of sod grass.

unsullied unsoiled, clean, pure.

Uruk-hai name of the orcs of Saruman; they have human blood, are especially large, and can endure daylight.

wains wagons.

warg a large, intelligent, evil wolf.

waxing moon the growing moon during the second quarter of its phases, between half and full.

waybread a nutritious and filling bread made for traveling.

weapontake muster, or assemblage of armed men.

weskit waistcoat, vest.

whortleberry European blueberry.

wight a supernatural creature, usually applied here to the ghost haunting a barrow.

will-o'-the-wisp a flickering light that leads travelers astray.

withy-path a winding path lined with willow trees.

wold hilly countryside.

wont habit.

wraith a phantom or ghost; an undead specter.