Class 9 ‘A Truly Beautiful Mind’ Lesson Word Meanings Explanation

CBSE Class 9 NCERT English ‘Beehive’ lesson 4 ‘A Truly Beautiful Mind’ Word Meanings paragraph wise are given here. The lesson provides glimpse into Einstein’s life and his career. Click here for more study materials.

Word Meanings: A Truly Beautiful Mind

Para 1

ALBERT Einstein was born on 14 March 1879 in the German city of Ulm, without any indication that he was destined for greatness. On the contrary, his mother thought Albert was a freak. To her, his head seemed much too large.


  • Albert Einstein: Albert Einstein was a renowned physicist who is considered one of the greatest scientists in history. He is best known for his theory of relativity and the equation E=mc^2, which describes the relationship between energy (E), mass (m), and the speed of light (c).
  • Without any indication: Means that there were no clear signs or evidence suggesting a particular outcome or destiny for Albert Einstein at the time of his birth.
  • Destined for greatness: Suggests that someone is meant to achieve remarkable or extraordinary things in their life, often with a sense of predetermined success or significance.
  • On the contrary: Indicates a contrast or opposite viewpoint to the previous statement. In this context, it means that despite lacking any indications of greatness, the statement that follows will present a different perspective.
  • Freak (अजीब ओर सनकी) : In this context, it refers to Albert Einstein being perceived as an odd or unusual person, often due to his appearance or behaviour.
  • Head seemed much too large: This phrase describes how Albert Einstein’s mother perceived his head as being unusually large, possibly contributing to her view of him as a “freak.”

Para 2

At the age of two-and-a-half, Einstein still wasn’t talking. When he finally did learn to speak, he uttered everything twice. Einstein did not know what to do with other children, and his playmates called him “Brother Boring.” So the youngster played by himself much of the time. He especially loved mechanical toys. Looking at his newborn sister, Maja, he is said to have said: “Fine, but where are her wheels?”


  • Uttered: The act of speaking or pronouncing words, often referring to the way someone vocalizes or articulates their speech.
  • Playmates: Refers to the other children with whom Albert Einstein would play or interact.
  • Brother Boring: This was a nickname given to Albert Einstein by his playmates, suggesting that they found him uninteresting or dull as a companion.
  • Played by himself: Indicates that Albert Einstein preferred to play alone rather than with other children.
  • Mechanical toys: Toys that involve moving parts or machinery, often providing a hands-on and interactive experience.
  • “Fine, but where are her wheels?”: This statement attributed to young Albert Einstein humorously reflects his fascination with mechanical toys. He wonders where the wheels are on his newborn sister, playfully comparing her to his beloved mechanical toys.

Otto Neugebauer, the historian of ancient mathematics, told a story about the boy Einstein that he characterises as a “legend”, but that seems fairly authentic. As he was a late talker, his parents were worried. At last, at the supper table one night, he broke his silence to say, “The soup is too hot.” Greatly relieved, his parents asked why he had never said a word before. Albert replied, “Because up to now everything was in order.”

  • Late talker: As a child, Einstein was a late talker, and this worried his parents.
  • Breaking his silence: Finally, one night at the supper table, Einstein broke his silence and spoke his first words, saying, “The soup is too hot.”
  • Great relief: Einstein’s parents were greatly relieved that he had spoken, as they were concerned about his delayed speech.
  • Reason for not speaking before: When asked why he had never said a word before, Einstein replied, “Because up to now everything was in order.” This response suggests that he saw no need to speak until something required his attention or comment.

This anecdote portrays a young Einstein as a thoughtful and observant child who chose to speak only when he felt it was necessary, which aligns with the idea of him being a late talker. While the story may be considered a “legend,” it offers an interesting glimpse into Einstein’s early development and personality.

Para 3

A headmaster once told his father that what Einstein chose as a profession wouldn’t matter, because “he’ll never make a success at anything.” Einstein began learning to play the violin at the age of six, because his mother wanted him to; he later became a gifted amateur violinist, maintaining this skill throughout his life.


  • Headmaster: The principal or chief administrator of a school or educational institution.
  • Profession: A paid occupation or vocation that someone engages in to earn a living, typically requiring specialized knowledge or skills.
  • Make a success: To achieve significant accomplishments or excel in a particular endeavour.
  • Learning to play the violin: The process of acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to play the violin, a stringed musical instrument.
  • Gifted amateur violinist: (gifted – ईश्वरप्रदत्त, amateur – शौकिया तौर ओर) Describes Einstein’s exceptional talent for playing the violin as a hobby or avocation rather than as a professional musician.
  • Maintaining this skill throughout his life: Indicates that Einstein continued to play the violin and keep his musical abilities alive and well throughout his entire life.

In this part of the text, it highlights Einstein’s early challenges with the headmaster’s negative prediction about his future success and the development of his passion for playing the violin, which remained an important part of his life.

Para 4

But Albert Einstein was not a bad pupil. He went to high school in Munich, where Einstein’s family had moved when he was 15 months old, and scored good marks in almost every subject. Einstein hated the school’s regimentation, and often clashed with his teachers. At the age of 15, Einstein felt so stifled there that he left the school for good.


  • Pupil: A student or learner
  • Munich: The capital city of Bavaria, Germany, where Einstein’s family moved when he was 15 months old.
  • Regimentation (कड़े, कठोर नियम ओर नियंत्रण या अनुसाशन): A strict and rigid system of organization and control, often applied in schools or institutions.
  • Clashed with his teachers: Indicates that Einstein had conflicts or disagreements with his teachers, possibly due to his independent thinking or dissatisfaction with the school’s approach.
  • Stifled: To feel restricted, suppressed, or suffocated, often referring to a sense of being held back or constrained.
  • Left the school for good: Means that Einstein made the decision to permanently withdraw from the high school, indicating his dissatisfaction and desire to pursue a different path in education or life.

This para describes Einstein’s academic performance in high school, his discomfort with the school’s strict rules, and his ultimate decision to leave the school at the age of 15 due to feeling stifled.

Para 5

The previous year, Albert’s parents had moved to Milan, and left their son with relatives. After prolonged discussion, Einstein got his wish to continue his education in German-speaking Switzerland, in a city which was more liberal than Munich.


  1. Milan: A city in northern Italy, where Albert Einstein’s parents had moved.
  2. German-speaking Switzerland: Refers to the region in Switzerland where the predominant language spoken is German.
  3. Liberal: In this context, it means open-minded, tolerant, and less strict or traditional in terms of rules and regulations.
  4. Prolonged discussion: Indicates that there were extended or lengthy talks or negotiations regarding Einstein’s education and where he would continue his studies.
  5. Continue his education: The act of pursuing further studies or formal learning after completing a certain level of education.
  6. City: The specific location in German-speaking Switzerland where Einstein would continue his education.

In para, it mentions the family’s move to Milan and their decision to leave Albert with relatives. It also states that after discussions, Einstein’s wish to continue his education in a more liberal city in German-speaking Switzerland was granted.

Para 6

Einstein was highly gifted in mathematics and interested in physics, and after finishing school, he decided to study at a university in Zurich. But science wasn’t the only thing that appealed to the dashing young man with the walrus moustache.


  1. Highly gifted: Indicates that Einstein possessed exceptional or outstanding abilities and talents in mathematics.
  2. Finishing school: Refers to the completion of Einstein’s formal education at the secondary level, typically high school.
  3. Study at a university in Zurich: Indicates Einstein’s decision to pursue higher education and attend a university located in Zurich, Switzerland.
  4. Science: In this context, it refers to the field of study that encompasses various scientific disciplines, including physics.
  5. Appealed to: Means that Einstein found something attractive, interesting, or fascinating.
  6. Dashing young man: Describes Einstein as a young man who was stylish, attractive, or charismatic.
  7. Walrus moustache: Refers to the specific style of facial hair, where the moustache is large, bushy, and drooping, resembling the appearance of a walrus.

This para describes Einstein’s academic and career choices, his interest in mathematics and physics, and the fact that he had other appealing qualities and interests as a young man.

Para 7

He also felt a special interest in a fellow student, Mileva Maric, whom he found to be a “clever creature.” This young Serb had come to Switzerland because the University in Zurich was one of the few in Europe where women could get degrees. Einstein saw in her an ally against the “philistines”— those people in his family and at the university with whom he was constantly at odds. The couple fell in love. Letters survive in which they put their affection into words, mixing science with tenderness. Wrote Einstein: “How happy and proud I shall be when we both have brought our work on relativity to a victorious conclusion.”


  1. Special interest: Refers to a particular fascination or attraction that Einstein felt towards Mileva Maric, a fellow student.
  2. Mileva Maric: A female student and Einstein’s fellow classmate at the University in Zurich.
  3. Clever creature: A term used by Einstein to describe Mileva Maric, suggesting that he found her to be intelligent and capable.
  4. Young Serb: Indicates that Mileva Maric was from Serbia.
  5. University in Zurich: Refers to the educational institution in Zurich, Switzerland, where both Einstein and Mileva Maric were studying.
  6. Women could get degrees: Implies that during that time, many universities in Europe did not grant degrees to women, but Zurich University was an exception, allowing women to pursue higher education and obtain degrees.
  7. Ally against the “philistines”: Einstein saw Mileva Maric as someone who shared his views and could support him in his disagreements with traditional or conservative people, both within his family and at the university.
  8. Fell in love: Indicates that Einstein and Mileva Maric developed romantic feelings for each other.
  9. Letters survive: Refers to the existence of preserved letters that Einstein and Mileva Maric exchanged, providing insights into their relationship.
  10. Mixing science with tenderness: Indicates that their letters contained expressions of love and affection, combined with discussions about scientific matters.
  11. Work on relativity: Refers to Einstein’s groundbreaking theory of relativity, which he and Mileva Maric were working on together.
  12. Victorious conclusion: Implies that they hoped to successfully complete their work on the theory of relativity and achieve significant results.

This para delves into Einstein’s relationship with Mileva Maric, their shared interest in science, and the emotional connection they had expressed through letters.

Para 8

In 1900, at the age of 21, Albert Einstein was a university graduate and unemployed. He worked as a teaching assistant, gave private lessons and finally secured a job in 1902 as a technical expert in the patent office in Bern. While he was supposed to be assessing other people’s inventions, Einstein was actually developing his own ideas in secret. He is said to have jokingly called his desk drawer at work the “bureau of theoretical physics.”


  1. University graduate: Refers to Albert Einstein completing his higher education and obtaining a degree from the university.
  2. Teaching assistant: A position in which a person assists a professor or teacher in conducting classes and other academic tasks.
  3. Private lessons: Refers to Einstein providing tutoring or educational instruction to individuals on a one-on-one basis.
  4. Technical expert: Describes the role Einstein secured in 1902 at the patent office in Bern, which involved providing expertise on technical matters related to patents and inventions.
  5. Patent office: A government agency responsible for granting patents to inventors, protecting their intellectual property rights.
  6. Bern: The capital city of Switzerland, where Einstein worked at the patent office.
  7. Assessing other people’s inventions: Einstein’s job at the patent office involved examining and evaluating patent applications submitted by inventors.
  8. Developing his own ideas in secret: Indicates that while working at the patent office, Einstein was privately working on his own scientific ideas and theories without publicizing them.
  9. Bureau: A writing desk without drawers, an office to collect or exchange information and news.
  10. Bureau of theoretical physics: Einstein humorously referred to his desk drawer at work as the “bureau of theoretical physics,” implying that he used it as a place to store and develop his theoretical physics ideas.

This para highlights Einstein’s early career, his job at the patent office, and his secret pursuit of theoretical physics while employed there.

Para 9

One of the famous papers of 1905 was Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, according to which time and distance are not absolute. Indeed, two perfectly accurate clocks will not continue to show the same time if they come together again after a journey if one of them has been moving very fast relative to the other. From this followed the world’s most famous formula which describes the relationship between mass and energy:


The text describes Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, a groundbreaking scientific paper he published in 1905. Here’s a breakdown of the important concepts mentioned in the passage:

  1. Special Theory of Relativity: One of Einstein’s famous papers published in 1905. This theory revolutionized our understanding of time, space, and motion, challenging the traditional notion of absolute time and distance.
  2. Time and distance are not absolute: According to the theory, time and distance are relative and can vary depending on the motion of the observer. This concept is fundamental to the theory of relativity.
  3. Two accurate clocks and time dilation: The theory introduced the concept of time dilation, which means that two clocks moving relative to each other will show different times when they come back together. The faster a clock moves relative to the other, the more time appears to have passed for the moving clock compared to the stationary one.
  4. The famous formula E=mc^2: This equation is the most iconic result of Einstein’s theory of relativity. It states that energy (E) is equal to the mass (m) of an object multiplied by the speed of light (c) squared. It shows the equivalence between mass and energy and demonstrates that a small amount of mass can be converted into a vast amount of energy.

this para highlights Einstein’s significant contribution to physics with his Special Theory of Relativity and introduces the famous equation E=mc^2, which has become synonymous with his groundbreaking work.

Para 10

While Einstein was solving the most difficult problems in physics, his private life was unravelling. Albert had wanted to marry Mileva right after finishing his studies, but his mother was against it. She thought Mileva, who was three years older than her son, was too old for him. She was also bothered by Mileva’s intelligence. “She is a book like you,” his mother said. Einstein put the wedding off.


The passage discusses Einstein’s private life and the challenges he faced in his personal relationships, particularly regarding his desire to marry Mileva Maric. Here’s a breakdown of the important points:

  1. unravelling: A relationship starting to fail (रिश्तों का टूटना-बिखरना)
  2. Private life unravelling: Indicates that Einstein faced difficulties and troubles in his personal life, possibly due to conflicts and decisions related to his romantic relationships.
  3. Mileva’s intelligence: Einstein’s mother was bothered by Mileva’s intelligence, possibly feeling that her intellectual pursuits and interests might not align with Einstein’s.
  4. Putting the wedding off: Due to his mother’s opposition and concerns, Einstein postponed the marriage with Mileva, delaying their plans to wed.

This para sheds light on the tension between Einstein’s desire to marry Mileva and his mother’s disapproval, which caused a delay in their marriage plans. It illustrates the complexities of Einstein’s private life, which contrasted with his significant achievements in physics.

Para 11

The pair finally married in January 1903, and had two sons. But a few years later, the marriage faltered. Mileva, meanwhile, was losing her intellectual ambition and becoming an unhappy housewife. After years of constant fighting, the couple finally divorced in 1919. Einstein married his cousin Elsa the same year.


The passage describes the trajectory of Albert Einstein’s personal life and his relationships with Mileva Maric and Elsa Einstein. Here’s a breakdown of the key points:

  1. faltered (लड़खड़ाना, डगमगाना): became weak and uncertain or unstable
  2. Marriage faltered: After a few years, their marriage encountered difficulties and problems.
  3. Mileva’s intellectual ambition: Initially, Mileva Maric was intellectually ambitious and driven, but over time, her aspirations seemed to diminish.
  4. Unhappy housewife: As their marriage faced challenges, Mileva’s happiness as a homemaker and wife was affected.

This para explores the complexities of Einstein’s personal life, with the ups and downs in his marriage with Mileva Maric, leading to their eventual divorce, and his subsequent marriage to Elsa Einstein. It showcases the contrasting aspects of Einstein’s life, both in his scientific achievements and his relationships.

Para 12

Einstein’s new personal chapter coincided with his rise to world fame. In 1915, he had published his General Theory of Relativity, which provided a new interpretation of gravity. An eclipse of the sun in 1919 brought proof that it was accurate. Einstein had correctly calculated in advance the extent to which the light from fixed stars would be deflected through the sun’s gravitational field. The newspapers proclaimed his work as “a scientific revolution.”


The passage highlights a significant period in Albert Einstein’s life, coinciding with his rise to world fame and his groundbreaking achievements in physics. Here’s a breakdown of the key points:

  1. New personal chapter: Refers to a turning point in Einstein’s personal life, likely indicating his marriage to Elsa Einstein and the start of a new phase in his life.
  2. General Theory of Relativity: In 1915, Einstein published his General Theory of Relativity, a revolutionary scientific theory that provided a new interpretation of gravity and its effects on the fabric of space and time.
  3. Eclipse of the sun in 1919: During a solar eclipse in 1919, scientists had the opportunity to observe stars whose light passes close to the sun, confirming Einstein’s theory’s predictions about the bending of light in the sun’s gravitational field.
  4. Accurate predictions: Einstein’s calculations about the deflection of light during the solar eclipse were confirmed, validating the accuracy of his General Theory of Relativity.
  5. Scientific revolution: The newspapers hailed Einstein’s work as “a scientific revolution,” emphasizing the groundbreaking nature of his theory and its significant impact on the field of physics.

This para highlights the pivotal moment in Einstein’s career when he gained worldwide recognition and acclaim for his General Theory of Relativity, solidifying his position as one of the most influential scientists in history.

Para 13

Einstein received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921. He was showered with honours and invitations from all over the world, and lauded by the press.


The passage acknowledges Albert Einstein’s recognition and acclaim for his contributions to physics. Here’s a breakdown of the key points:

  1. Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921: In 1921, Albert Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his significant discoveries and theoretical contributions to the field.
  2. Showered with honours and invitations: As a Nobel laureate and renowned physicist, Einstein received numerous honours and invitations from various organizations, institutions, and countries.
  3. Lauded by the press: The media praised and celebrated Einstein’s achievements, with newspapers and press outlets worldwide acknowledging his groundbreaking work and scientific contributions.

This para emphasizes the widespread recognition and appreciation Einstein received for his scientific achievements, solidifying his status as one of the most celebrated and respected scientists of his time.

Para 14

When the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, Einstein emigrated to the United States. Five years later, the discovery of nuclear fission in Berlin had American physicists in an uproar. Many of them had fled from Fascism, just as Einstein had, and now they were afraid the Nazis could build and use an atomic bomb.


The passage highlights important events in Albert Einstein’s life during the rise of the Nazis in Germany and the subsequent developments related to nuclear fission. Here’s a breakdown of the key points:

  1. Nazis came to power in 1933: In 1933, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party gained power in Germany, leading to a significant shift in the country’s political landscape.
  2. Einstein emigrated to the United States: In response to the rise of the Nazis and the increasing persecution of Jewish people, Albert Einstein decided to emigrate to the United States in 1933.
  3. Discovery of nuclear fission in Berlin: In 1938, nuclear fission, the splitting of atomic nuclei, was discovered by German physicists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann in Berlin.
  4. Uproar (हल्ला-गुल्ला, बवाल): A lot of noises and great talking
  5. American physicists in an uproar (upset and complaining): The discovery of nuclear fission caused concern and alarm among American physicists, many of whom had fled Europe to escape Fascism and persecution.
  6. Fear of Nazi atomic bomb: American physicists feared that the Nazis, who were still in power in Germany, could potentially develop and use an atomic bomb.

This para illustrates the impact of political events on the scientific community and how the discovery of nuclear fission raised serious concerns among scientists about the potential military applications of atomic energy. Einstein’s emigration to the United States was a significant move that allowed him to contribute to the Allied efforts during World War II and play a pivotal role in urging the U.S. government to develop nuclear weapons before the Nazis could.

Para 15

At the urging of a colleague, Einstein wrote a letter to the American President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, on 2 August 1939, in which he warned: “A single bomb of this type . . . exploded in a port, might very well destroy the whole port together with some of the surrounding territory.” His words did not fail to have an effect. The Americans developed the atomic bomb in a secret project of their own, and dropped it on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.


The passage reveals the significant role Albert Einstein played in urging the development of the atomic bomb during World War II. Here’s a breakdown of the key points:

  1. Letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt: In August 1939, at the urging of a colleague, Einstein wrote a letter to President Roosevelt, expressing his concerns about the potential destructive power of an atomic bomb.
  2. Warning about the bomb’s destructive capability: In the letter, Einstein warned that a single bomb of this type, detonated in a port, could cause massive destruction to both the port and the surrounding area.
  3. Effect of Einstein’s words: Einstein’s warning had a profound effect, leading the American government to take the potential threat seriously.
  4. American development of the atomic bomb: In response to Einstein’s letter, the United States initiated a secret project to develop the atomic bomb, known as the Manhattan Project.
  5. Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: In August 1945, during the final stages of World War II, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, leading to the end of the war.

This para highlights Einstein’s involvement in the early stages of the development of the atomic bomb and its eventual use in Japan. His letter to President Roosevelt played a crucial role in initiating the American effort to build the bomb, which ultimately had a profound impact on the course of history.

Para 16

Einstein was deeply shaken by the extent of the destruction. This time he wrote a public missive to the United Nations. In it he proposed the formation of a world government. Unlike the letter to Roosevelt, this one made no impact. But over the next decade, Einstein got ever more involved in politics — agitating for an end to the arms buildup and using his popularity to campaign for peace and democracy.


The passage sheds light on Albert Einstein’s response to the devastating consequences of the atomic bomb and his subsequent involvement in political and social matters. Here’s a breakdown of the key points:

  1. Deeply shaken by the destruction: The extent of the devastation caused by the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki deeply affected Einstein.
  2. Public missive (letter) to the United Nations: In response to the devastation, Einstein wrote a public letter to the United Nations, proposing the establishment of a world government as a means to promote global peace and prevent future conflicts.
  3. No impact on the world government proposal: Unlike his earlier letter to President Roosevelt that influenced the development of the atomic bomb, Einstein’s proposal for a world government did not have a significant impact.
  4. Increasing involvement in politics: Despite the lack of impact on the world government proposal, Einstein continued to engage in political activism and social causes.
  5. Agitating for an end to the arms buildup: Einstein actively advocated for the reduction of military armaments and weapons, expressing his desire for a world free from the threat of nuclear war.
  6. Campaigning for peace and democracy: Einstein used his popularity and influence to support campaigns for peace and democracy, seeking to promote values that would foster a more harmonious world.

This para illustrates how Einstein’s experiences with the atomic bomb led him to become more actively involved in political and social issues, using his platform to advocate for peace and global cooperation. While his world government proposal may not have gained immediate traction, his efforts to promote peace and democracy persisted throughout the following decade.

Para 17

When Einstein died in 1955 at the age of 76, he was celebrated as a visionary and world citizen as much as a scientific genius.


  1. Celebrated as a visionary: Einstein was recognized and honoured for his ability to envision and propose groundbreaking scientific theories, which had a profound impact on the world of physics and beyond.
  2. World citizen: In addition to his scientific contributions, Einstein was admired and celebrated as a global citizen who actively engaged in political and humanitarian causes, advocating for peace and international cooperation.
  3. Scientific genius: Einstein’s exceptional intellectual abilities and revolutionary theories in physics earned him the reputation of a scientific genius.

This para emphasizes the multifaceted legacy of Albert Einstein, highlighting his achievements as a visionary scientist and a global advocate for peace and understanding. His contributions to both science and humanity left a lasting impact and continue to be celebrated worldwide.

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