RtR – Big Book dictionary

The following definitions have been adapted for clarity from a 1935 edition of the Oxford English Dictionary

(please email us any other words you would like added) 

Forward to the First Edition

Recovered: to regain, to repossess oneself. To come back to consciousness, life, health.

Authentication:  the act of establishing the truth or credibility of; to verify the authorship of.

Anonymous: nameless, having no name attached.

Avocation: the condition of being called away, diversion, distraction; a minor employment or vocation.

Omit: to leave out, not to include.

Forward to the First Edition

Precisely: Accurate, exact, strictly observant of rule

Designating: To point out, to specify by a distinctive mark or name, to cause to be known

Denomination: A particular (religious) body or sect

Sect: A body of persons who have separated from a larger body (particularly an established church). The body of adherents to a particular of a particular philosopher or school of thought.


The Doctors Opinion

Hopeless: destitute of hope, despairing, affording no hope, desperate.

Epoch: a fixed point from which succeeding years are numbered, a memorable date, a period characterized by momentous events.

Annals: a narrative of events arranged in years.

Remedy: that which cures a disease; medicine, healing treatment.

Altruistic: the principle or practice of unselfish concern for the
welfare of others.

Befogged: to obscure, to confuse

Addiction: ,to apply habitually, to devote oneself to, to make oneself a slave to a vice

Craving: to ask for earnestly and submissively,  to beg, to long for, to require

Phenomenon: that which appears or is perceived by observation or experiment, a remarkable or unusual appearance.

Impunity: exception from punishment, penalty, injury, damage or loss

Spree: a lively frolic especially with drinking

Remorseful: the pain caused by a sense of guilt, bitter repentance, reluctance to commit wrong or act cruelly

Psychic: pertaining to the human soul, spirit or mind

Abstinence:  to keep oneself away, to refrain from intoxicating liquors

Precipitates: to throw headlong, to urge on with eager haste or violence

Scoff: an expression of contempt, derision or mockery

Paramount: Supreme, above all others, pre-eminent, superior

Allergy: This word does not feature in a fairly substantial 1930’s dictionary. As is turns out, the notion of an ‘allergy’ would have been pretty radical at the time, as the word only entered the English language in 1906:  The concept "allergy" was originally introduced in 1906 by the Viennese pediatrician Clemens von Pirquet, after he noted that some of his patients were hypersensitive to normally innocuous entities such as dust, pollen, or certain foods. Pirquet called this phenomenon "allergy" from the Greek words allos meaning "other" and ergon meaning "work".

Manifestation: To show clearly, to display, to be evidence of, to reveal its presence

Testimony: A solemn declaration or statement, evidence, proof

Rehabilitation: To restore to a former rank, position or office. To reinstate in public esteem or respect. To work over again or re-model.

Succumb: Cease to resist, to submit, to die

Ideal: Standard of perfection


Bill's Story

Ominous: of evil

Remonstrances: a protest

Pending: depending, awaiting settlement

Debauch: to corrupt, to pervert to deprave

Morass: a swamp, a bog

Futility: useless, of no effect, worthless

Essential: necessary to the existence of a thing

Imperative: Expressive of command, authoritative, urgent 


There is a Solution

Democracy: The form of government in which the sovereign power is in the hands of the people.

Annihilation: To reduce to nothing. To blot out of existence. To destroy organized existence.

Deportment: Conduct, demeanor, manners and carriage (the way one carries oneself).

Vocation: A divine call to undertake a particular occupation.

Illness: Sickness, depravity, badness.

Specifically: A detailed statement of particulars, esp. work to be undertaken.

Mind: The intellectual powers of man, his understanding. The soul. One’s opinion or disposition.

Humble (humility): To be submissive. Deferential.

Appendix: Spiritual Experience

Manifested: Not concealed, plainly apparent, clear, obvious.

Erroneous: Mistaken, incorrect, straying from the right path.

Revolution: A radical change or reversal of circumstances, conditions or relations. A fundamental change.

Resource: A means of aid, support and safety.

Belligerent: Hostile and inclined to be aggressive.

More about Alcoholism

Demoralization: to subvert and corrupt the morals and principals of

Mental: pertaining to the mind

Concede: To yield, to give up, to surrender.

Incomprehensible: Impossible or very difficult to understand.

Crux: The basic, central, or critical point or feature.

Divine: Emanating from God.


We Agnostics

Agnostic: one who denies that man has any knowledge except of phenomena

Atheist: one who denies the existence of god

Moral: pertaining to character and conduct as regards the distinction between right and wrong

Prejudice: to judge in advance, before a case is fully heard

Prosaic: dull, commonplace

Faith: the assent of the mind to what is stated or put forward by another; firm and earnest belief;conviction, complete reliance, trust

Vicissitude: a change of condition, circumstances


How it Works

Wrest: to twist, turn about with a violent effort, to distort or deflect from its natural meaning

Protestation: a declaration of dissent; a vow a promise

Ideal: a conception of something that is perfect. A highly desirable and possible state of affairs.

Inventory: a detailed list

Restore: to bring back to a former state, to repair


Into Action

Humbled: having or showing a sense of lowliness or inferiority

Omitted: to have let out

Cranny: a crevice, a chink, a corner a hole

Servile: slavish, mean, cringing, menial, dependant

Faculties: a natural power of the mind, capacity for any natural action


Working with Others

Immunity: freedom or exemption from any obligation, duty or office

Protege: under the protection, care or patronage of another

Emphatic: bearing emphasis or special stress

Dictates: to lay down with authority, to give orders

Vicarious: acting on behalf of another: performed, done or suffered on behalf of or for another

To Wives

Dissensions: disagreement of opinion


The Family Afterward

Cessation: the act of ceasing, pause, rest

Reproached: to find fault with something done, to disgrace. An object of scorn.

Apathy: absence of feeling or passion, indifference

Fallacy: an unsound argument, anything that misleads or deceives the mind


To Employers

Dividends: the share of the interest or profit that belongs to each shareholder in the company

Emphatic: bearing emphasis or special force

Attitude: expressing action or passion


A Vision for You

Denizens: a citizen, an inhabitant, a dweller

Substitute: to put in the place of another person or thing

Uncanny: not canny, weird, mysterious

Destiny: the purpose or end to which any thing or person is appointed; invincible necessity the power which presides over the fortunes of men

Trudge: to travel on foot, especially with labour and fatigue. To walk
with purpose and direction