Lord of the Flies Vocabulary Words

Instructor: Evan Peterson

Evan has taught college composition since 2006, college creative writing since 2011, and college literature since 2015. He has an MFA in creative writing from FSU.

In this lesson, we'll go over some of the more uncommon and advanced vocabulary words from William Golding's classic 1954 novel, 'Lord of the Flies', which explores the brutality of children.

Vocabulary in Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies, William Golding's 1954 novel, is an allegorical tale of the fall of humankind (from Eden, etc.), and a brutal look at childhood and innocence. There are plenty of vocabulary words that many readers won't know at first, some due to the era in which the book was written.

As always, use context clues from the sentences around the words to help you figure out the meanings, then double check here or in a reputable dictionary for better understanding.

book cover

Words and Definitions

The following words and definitions are grouped together by the type of word they are. The first type is a noun, which is a person, place or thing. Next you'll find verbs, which are action words that usually describe some kind of motion.

The next two kinds of words help to describe, modify or qualify nouns and verbs, respectively. Adjectives are attributes that modify nouns so the reader can learn more about that noun. Like in the phrase 'shy child', 'shy' is the adjective that tells us about the the noun, 'child'.

Finally, adverbs are words that further describe a verb. If you were to say that someone quietly ran, the verb is 'ran' and the adverb is 'quietly' which clarifies that the running was done in a way that suggests the runner wanted to avoid detection.


  • efflorescence - A quality of blooming with flowers
  • chorister - A singer in a choir
  • bastion - A fortress
  • ebullience - Energetic enjoyment or eager approval
  • recrimination - An act of opposing one accusation with another
  • tumult - Noisy or confused activity
  • vicissitudes - Changes, especially unexpected ones, in the course of life or fortune
  • declivities - Areas that slope downward, such as on a hill
  • jeer - A sound of mockery or extreme dislike
  • leviathan - Something huge, especially if it's from the sea
  • clamor - An outcry or loud statement of discontent, especially in a group
  • myopia - Quality of being nearsighted, either literally in vision or figuratively in forethought
  • cordon - An assembled line of guards
  • epaulettes - Fringed straps worn on the shoulders, especially on military uniforms


  • glowered - Stared with great emotion
  • rebuke - To speak against sharply
  • sauntered - Walked slowly and calmly
  • quavered - Shook or spoke in a trembling way
  • parried - Avoided or deflected a hit

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