Vocabulary Words for Winning His Spurs
by G. A. Henty

Winning His Spurs by G. A. Henty is about the Third Crusade, which lasted from 1188-1192. This crusade was the attempt of the allied efforts of King Phillip of France, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa of the Holy Roman Empire, and King Richard of England to recapture Jerusalem from the Turkish ruler Saladin.

Here are vocabulary words for each chapter:

Chapter 1:

jerkin a tight sleeveless and collarless jacket (often made of leather) worn by men in former times
feu land held in feudal tenure
retainers a person working in the service of another
gossip close friend or confidant
jovial cheerful
enterprise undertaking
purport purpose
soused drenched
harry harass
don to put on
temperate calm, easy-going
mum quiet
portal doorway
ward a person who is under the protection or in the custody of another
cavalcade procession
liegeman a person who owes allegiance and service to a feudal lord
fiefs inheritable lands or revenue-producing property granted by a lord to a vassal in return for a form of allegiance
greensward land that is green with grass
malice ill feelings
surmise guess
ensconced settled comfortably
palfrey a small horse for women to ride


Chapter 2:

calamity disaster
recess alcove
marauders raiders
traversed traveled over or through
perpetrate to be responsible for
raze to demolish
rendezvous a prearranged meeting place
injunction command
stigmatized characterized or branded as disgraceful
rivulet a small brook or stream
impetuosity impulsiveness

For a link to a crossword puzzles for chapters 1 and 2, click here.

Chapter 3:

mason a craftsman who works with stone or brick
franklin a landowner who was free but not of noble birth
sortie a sudden attack on besiegers by troops from a defensive work
copse a dense growth of bushes
diversion distraction
commence begin
arras tapestry
mangonel catapult
cuirass a piece of armor worn to protect the chest; a breast-plate
feint pretense

Chapter 4:

rendered given
stigma shame
holy sepulcher the tomb in which Christ's body lay between burial and resurrection
infidel heathen
wrest seize forcibly
scourge plague
ambuscade ambush
capitulate surrender
vagrants one who has no permanent home or means of livelihood
chaplain a clergyman
eloquence powerful and effective language

Chapter 5:

sanctity holiness
tranquil calm
desecration an act of disrespect or impiety towards something considered sacred
harangued addressed forcefully
conquest success in mastering something difficult
gesticulations vigorous gestures
contingent a military unit
importunities constant pleading
picturesque pictorial
prowess aptitude
troubadour composer and performer
caparisoned clothed in finery

Chapter 6:

courtiers attendants at the court of a sovereign
dais a raised platform
unbridled not restrained or controlled
innuendos indirect suggestions, or implied meanings
aught nothing
casque an ornate helmet without a visor
wager bet
baulk resist: refuse to comply
antagonist adversary
paroxysm a sudden uncontrollable attack
pursuivant herald
accolade the ceremony by which one was dubbed a knight in medieval times

Chapter 7:

plaudits enthusiastic approval
doughty brave, courageous and stouthearted
confréres fellow-members
stringent strict
peremptory not allowing contradiction or refusal
pertinacity persistent determination
truculent defiantly aggressive
acolyte person who assists the priest at service
sacristan a person responsible for the ceremonial equipment in a church
stalwart hefty

Chapter 8:

largess a gift or money given either for service or out of benevolence
vocation calling
contingent a military unit
bulwarks a fence-like structure around a deck
subaltern a subordinate officer
purgatory in Catholicism, the stage of the afterlife where souls suffer for their sins before they can enter heaven
tempests storms
palpable obvious
cavalier a mounted soldier; a knight
ponderous weighty

Chapter 9:

crave to beg or plead for
fancies whims
poniard a dagger with a slender blade
brook put up with
whelps the young of a mammal
discredit damage the reputation of
reconnoiter explore
sagacity level-headedness
feign pretend
staunchly loyally

Chapter 10:

affianced betrothed
formidable fearsome
solicitation an entreaty addressed to someone of superior status
pennons flags
standard a distinctive flag
smote inflicted a heavy blow on
minaret the tall slender tower of an Islamic mosque
corsairs a swift pirate ship
ballista artillery weapon discharging arrows and stone balls
grapnel a tool consisting of several hooks for grasping and holding which is often thrown with a rope
strait distressing situation
alacrity eagerness

Chapter 11:

masquerading making a false outward show
stratagem trick
requisition an authoritative request or demand for official services
indemnity protection against future loss
effeminate having unsuitable feminine qualities
solemnized performed with proper ceremonies
entrenchments Trenches dug out of the earth with the dirt piled up into a mound in front which are used for defense
consternation dismay
sullied tarnished
stipulated predetermined
requisite necessary

Chapter 12:

discordant not in harmony
scimitars a sword with a curved blade
impetuosity rashness
onslaught attack
prodigies amazing examples of something
extricate remove
annihilation total destruction
mace a clublike armor-breaking weapon of war, often with a flanged or spiked metal head, used chiefly in the Middle Ages
punctilious extremely strict and meticulous
escutcheon a shield or shield-like surface on which a coat of arms is depicted

Chapter 13:

fray fight
adrift free
prodigious extraordinary
billmen a soldier armed with a bill or polearm
hough to hamstring a horse, making it useless
emir a prince, commander or other leader in an Islamic nation
imprecation a curse
talisman a charm
copious abundant
obeisance bow

Chapter 14:

connived schemed
inkling hint
burnous a long, hooded cloak
ingratiate working to please someone to gain their favor
repasts meals
aperture opening
precipitously abruptly
abstract to pilfer or steal
buoyancy water's ability to support weight
grotto cave

Chapter 15:

effected achieved
carousals noisy parties involving feasting and drinking
riotous uncontrolled
valise bag
effusions expressions of emotion
enterprise venture
bereaved in a state of having lost someone or something
parricide one who has murdered a close relative or parent
expiate to atone for
repose rest


Chapter 16:

accosted addressed or confronted
betaken taken
smote hit
superciliously in a sneering or condescending manner
derogation belittling or putting down
knight-errant a wandering knight searching for adventure and opportunities to display chivalry
embarkation the boarding of a ship
tarried hesitated
succor assistance in time of need
boon favor
sneeringly contemptuously

Chapter 17:

slight small
borne carried
plight dilemma
potentate ruler
scruples conscience
bestir to become active
nought nothing
plenteously abundantly
amphitheatre An open, outdoor theater with tiers of seats
gorget armor, usually made of steel or leather, to protect the neck
specters ghosts

Chapter 18:

entreaties earnest requests or begging
greaves a plate of armor that protects the legs below the knee
deluge an overwhelming downpour
phenomenon an unusual event
catastrophe disaster
indolence laziness
disabuse to free someone from a misguided notion
hostelry an inn
burghers a member of the middle class
expiate compensate, or make up for


Chapter 19:

audacious fearlessly daring
manifest apparent
strait difficult situation
provender food, usually for livestock
blithely merrily
pantomime to act out without using words
weasands throats
tidings news
allege claim
bruited rumored


Chapter 20:

recreant one who is cowardly or who has deserted a cause
rapacious greedy
prelate a senior member of the clergy
flagons a large pitcher used for drink
intriguing plotting
convenable suitable
embroil involve
stoup a drinking vessel
cognizance awareness
myrmidon one who carries out cruel orders without question


Chapter 21:

minion a fawning dependant
espousal marriage ceremony
usurper pretender
annul to revoke or declare invalid
dexterous skillful
sequestrated set apart from others
claimant one who claims a title
burgess freeman, or citizen
averments assertions
ruse trick
calumnious slanderous; falsely accusing
missive written message
succor help
potentate one in supreme power, such as a dictator


Chapter 22:

redress compensation
contumacious willful and disobedient
cognizance awareness
durance a long imprisonment
impost fine or tariff that is imposed
pursuivant a herald
hauteur haughtiness or arrogance
parley a discussion between enemies
perjured one guilty of giving false testimony
sortie a sudden attack on the besiegers by the besieged


Chapter 23:

portcullis a heavy wooden or metal gate, in the form of a grating, that closed an entrance to a castle
mercenaries professional soldiers hired by a foreign army
sardonically disdainfully
farce charade
casque an ornate, visorless helmet
fray fight
franklin a free landowner
acuteness intelligence
anathema loathing
vacillating wavering or irresolute


Chapter 24:

garrison a fortified post in which troops are stationed
encumbrance a burden
asunder apart; in different directions
quarter mercy from an opponent
cognizance awareness
mangonels a military engine used during the middle ages to hurl stones
bower a woman's private chamber in a castle
testudo a movable protective covering that provided protection from above
arbalest a very strong crossbow that had a mechanical winding system and a bow made out of steel


Chapter 25:

rapacity excessively greedy
renown fame
rendezvous meeting place
lays melodies
guise disguise
variance disagreement
repast meal
declivities downward slope
fortalices small fortresses
bivouacked camped


Chapter 26:

vicegerents someone appointed by a ruler to act as a deputy
adherents followers
prelate a high-ranking member of the clergy
retinue the group attending to someone of importance
envoy someone sent on a mission to represent the interests another
scourge something causing misery
mark a unit of currency
visages facial expression
probity honesty
adduced attested to