On this page you will find updated vocabulary for much of the
entire school year. It is divided according to chapter, thus
making it easier to fill in your vocabulary folders. You can find all of
these definitions in the glossary of your text book. Feel free to move ahead and
copy down as much as you wish, HOWEVER, remember that you will be
responsible for knowing each chapter's vocabulary as we are covering that
chapter. If you do not have your vocabulary done and in class the day it
is due, you will receive a zero (0 out of 10 possible points) for that chapter's
- prehistory: a long period of time
before people developed systems of writing and written language.
- archaeology: the study of past
cultures through the things that remain such as buildings, tools, or
- archaeologist: a scientist who
uncovers evidence, or proof, from the past.
- artifact: an object made by people
- migrate: to move from one place to
- glacier: a huge ice sheet.
- technology: the way in which humans
produce the items they use.
- domesticate: to tame.
- harvest: to gather.
- excavation site:
a site where archaeologists uncover artifacts.
- agriculture: the raising of plants or
animals for human use.
- surplus: an extra supply.
- nomad: a person who travels from place
to place without a permanent home.
- social division: a group that does a
certain type of work.
- climate: the average weather
conditions of a place over a long period of time.
- carbon dating: a method of estimating
the age of something after it has died.
- culture: the way in which individuals
and groups react with their environment, including their technology,
customs, beliefs, and art.
- anthropology: the study of how people
have developed and live in cultural groups.
- landform: a natural feature of Earth's
surface such as a valley, plain, hill, or mountain.
- geography: the study of the
relationship between physical features, climate, and people.
- diverse: different
a group of people who have a complex and organized society within a culture.
rich, as in soil.
an area of flat land.
an area of high, flat land.
a system of transporting water to crops.
a city that is an individual unit, complete with its own form of government
an area on Earth with common physical features.
a craftsperson such as a potter or weaver.
a huge, pyramid-shaped structure consisting of a series of stacked,
an organized community with established rules and traditions.
the worship of many gods.
a professional writer.
a form of wedge-shaped writing used in ancient times.
a large territory consisting of many different places under the control of a
a ruling family.
the defeat of another group.
the worship of only one God.
the practice of one person owning another person.
a person born later into the same family.
a Jewish place of worship.
to exchange one kind of good or service for another.
a triangular-shaped area at the mouth of some rivers.
a mixture of soil and small rocks.
a plant whose stems are used to make a kind of paper.
to unite, combine, or bring together.
in ancient Egypt, a god-King.
a form of writing based on pictures.
a large stone building to serve as a house for the dead.
a preserved dead body.
the way people use and manage resources.
- loess: a yellowish brown soil that
blows in from a desert.
- terrace: a platform of earth.
- levee: a dike used to control
- double cropping: a process in which
two crops are grown on the same land in the same year.
- pictograph: a picture that represents
- oracle bone: a bone commonly used
during the Shang dynasty in China to predict the future.
- province: a political division similar
to states in the United States.
- ancestor: a relative who lived longer
ago than a grandparent.
- civil service: the practice of using
skills and talents to work in the government.
- middleman: a person who goes between
buyers and sellers.
- nobility: a high-ranking social class.
a large area of land that is separated from other countries by water and
season: rainy season in monsoon climates in which winds blow from
the southwest for six months.
farming: the process of growing food mainly for self-consumption.
a priest who held the highest position in Aryan society.
a serf in Hindu society.
the Hindu belief that the spirit or soul goes from one life to the next.
in Hinduism, a lifelong social group into which one is born.
in Buddhism, a way of clearing the mind.
in Buddhism, a state of pure goodness, the goal of reincarnation.
land that is nearly surrounded by water.
natural wells on the Yucatán Peninsula.
a system of government in which the rulers are believed to represent the
will of the gods.
structures used to carry flowing water from a distance.
a folding-screen book containing information about predicting the future and
a hired soldier.
raised bridges made of land.
an agreement made between two or more groups or nations.
land that is covered with moist soil.
a place that has a distinct climate, plants, and animals.
land: an area of low-growing vegetation.
a close group of islands.
a knotted rope used by the Incas to keep records.
and range: a low area of land with a small mountain range.
a small stream that flows into a larger stream or river.
a cold, flat area where trees cannot grow.
an imprinted drawing of design.
house: a dwelling used by the Hohokam and made from digging a
hole in the ground and covering it with logs.
a structure of adobe brick.
a brick formed from mud and straw that is dried in the sun.
mound: a small hill of dirt built over the grave of a person.
a wall material made from branches and vines intertwined with logs.
a dome-shaped hut made of branches covered with animal skins or woven mats.
mound: hill of dirt built for ceremonies.
a house of snow blocks used by the Inuit.
house: a shelter made from blocks of earth.
house: a large, rectangular building used by the Iroquois that
housed many families.
an outdoor marketplace in ancient Greece.
valuables taken in war.
a traditional story that may include gods and goddesses and often tries to
explain events in nature.
to live forever.
a government controlled by a few wealthy people.
a government by the people.
the longest race in the Olympics, a footrace of about 26 miles.
a person who studies truth and knowledge.
an epidemic of an often fatal disease.
a hired soldier.
- patrician: a wealthy, powerful citizen
of ancient Rome.
- plebeian: a common citizen of ancient
- republic: a form of government in
which citizens have the right to choose their leaders.
- representative: a person elected to
represent the people.
- Senate: a governing body in which
ancient Roman representatives served.
- consul: in ancient Rome, one of two
officials who managed the government and the army.
- dictator: a person who has total
control over the people.
- tribune: in ancient Rome, men who were
appointed to protect the rights of plebeians.
- patriotism: a sense of pride in one's
- caesar: an ancient Roman emperor.
- emperor: the ruler of an empire.
- gladiator: in ancient Rome, a
- catacomb: an underground room used as
a burial site.
- synagogue: a Jewish place of worship.
- disciple: one of a small group of
people who followed Jesus.
- persecute: to punish.
- auction: to sell something to the
- pope: the leader of the Roman Catholic
- pillage: to rob.
- vandal: a person who destroys
an ancient Greek stadium used for horse and chariot racing.
a large, important Christian church.
a religious image.
a journey to a place of religious importance.
a group of people and animals traveling together.
a Muslim place of worship.
an instrument used by navigators to determine latitude.
- aristocrat: a person who is a member
of a high social class.
- samurai: a member of the Japanese
- typhoon: a tropical storm with heavy
winds and rough seas.
- daimyo: a powerful samurai who
controlled many other samurai and governed large areas of farmland in Japan.
- shogun: a high-ranking military
commander in Japan.
- savanna: a short grassy plain.
- griot: a professional storyteller from
- Swahili: a culture and language that
combines African and Arabic cultures and languages.
- oba: a king of Benin.
- monk: a man who devotes his life to
religion and lives in a monastery.
- nun: a woman who devotes her life to
religion and lives in a convent.
- monastery: a community where monks
live, study, and pray.
- convent: a community of nuns.
- missionary: a person who teaches a
religion to people with different beliefs.
- monarch: a king or queen who is a
- serf: a person who lived on and farmed
- knight: a feudal warrior trained and
prepared to fight on horseback.
- chivalry: a knight's code of behavior.
- guild: a group of craftspeople or
merchants who are united by a common interest.
- lady: a woman of nobility.
- epidemic: a disease that spreads
- commerce: the buying and selling of a
large quantity of goods.
- indulgence: in the Roman Catholic
Church, a pardon for sin.
- excommunicate: to expel from a church.
- circumnavigate: to travel around the
- conquistador: a Spanish conqueror.
- colony: a settlement far from the
country that governs it.
- mercantilism: a system in which a
country uses its colonies to obtain raw materials, makes products from the
raw materials, and then sells the goods back to the colonists.
- legislature: a group of elected people
who make laws.
- massacre: the killing of many helpless
- monarchy: government in which a king,
queen, or emperor has supreme power.
- textile: cloth that is either woven or
- factory: a building that houses many
- tenement: an overcrowded slum
- corporation: a business organization.
- reformer: a person who tries to change
or improve something.
- strike: the refusal to work until
demands are met.
- nationalism: a strong devotion to
- imperialism: a system of building an
empire by conquering lands around the world.
- imperialist: a person who promotes
- treaty port: Asian port cities that
were open to trade with Western countries.
- compound: a set-aside area.
- modernization: the process of bringing
ways and standards to those of the present.
- dominion: a self-governing nation with
strong ties to a ruling empire.
- parliament: an elected legislature.
- mobilization: the preparations nations
make before sending their armies into battle.
- neutral: one that does not take sides.
- casualty: a wounded or killed soldier.
- trench warfare: the use of deep
ditches to shelter troops in battle.
- armistice: a cease-fire.
- holocaust: a mass killing.
- reparations: a payment for war losses.
- inflation: a rapid increase in prices.
- depression: a period of sharp economic
- fascism: a form of government that
stresses the nation above individuals.
- Nazis: the National Socialists,
Germany's former fascist party.
- propaganda: the planned spread of
- aggression: a policy of launching
attacks on the territory of others.
- annex: to attach or to add.
- appeasement: to preserve peace by
meeting the demands of an aggressor.
- collective: farms that are grouped
together and run by the government.
- refugee: a person who leaves his or
her homeland for a safer place.
- concentration camp: a place that holds
imprisoned people of a particular ethnic group for their political or
- charter: a constitution.
- nuclear: atomic.
- containment: a policy of preventing
Soviet communism from spreading into new countries or states.
- proletarian: of, or belonging to, the
- guerilla: a hit-and-run fighter.
- détente: a relaxation of tensions,
especially between nations.
- decolonization: the process of
replacing colonial rule with self-rule.
- coup d'état: the overthrow of a
- segregate: to separate.
- apartheid: a system of laws in South
Africa, which kept blacks and whites separate.
- sanction: a penalty placed against a
country to force it to change its ways or policies.
- civil disobedience: the refusal to
obey or cooperate with unjust laws.
- Zionism: a movement that began in the
1800s to set up a Jewish state in Palestine.
- dissident: a protester against a
"restructuring"; a reform movement introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev
to restructure the Soviet economy.
- glasnost: "openness", a
policy introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985 to allow the Soviet people
some freedom of speech.
- gross domestic product (GNP): a
measure of a country's wealth.
- trading bloc: a group of nations that
agrees to trade under favorable conditions.
- euro: the money of the European Union.
- trade agreement: an agreement with
rules about the exchange of goods between countries.
- ethnicity: a group of people with the
same language, customs, and culture.
- multiethnic nation: a nation with
different ethnic groups living together.
- ethnic cleansing: to drive out or kill
people who do not share the same ethnicity or identity.
- repressive: something that restrains.
- terrorism: the use of violence and
fear to achieve political goals.
- millennium: a period of 1,000 years.
- megacity: a city region with more than
10 million people.
- demographer: a person who studies
- immigration: to leave a home country
and go to another country to stay permanently.
- zero population growth: the balance
between new babies born and people lost due to death.
- global warming: a gradual increase in
the temperature of Earth's surface.
- carbon dioxide: a gas produced by the
burning of gasoline.
- greenhouse effect: the process by
which carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere traps heat from the sun, raising
the temperature of Earth's surface.
- pesticide: a chemical that is used to
kill insects or other pests.
- environmentalist: a person who tries
to solve environmental problems.
- endangered species: an animal or plant
that is in danger of dying out completely.
- deforestation: the clearing of land,
which causes loss of forests and less fertile land.
- desertification: the drying up of land
along a desert.
- pollution: the process of making the
- conservation: the use of resources
carefully and wisely.
- fossil fuel: a fuel formed long ago
deep in the earth from prehistoric plants and animals.
- nonrenewable resource: a resource that
cannot be replaced.
- renewable resource: a natural resource
that can be replaced.
- hydroelectric energy: electricity
produced by using the energy of flowing water.
- geothermal energy: energy that is
produced from super-hot, underground water.
- space station: a large, orbiting
scientific base used by humans in space.
- satellite: an object that is sent into
space and orbits Earth.