SAT Vocabulary

285 SAT Words You Absolutely Must Know

eccentric -off center, hence a bit odd, weird, peculiar
elusive - out of reach, hard to catch, evasive
eminent - outstanding, illustrious, very prominent, notable
exorbitant - literally out of orbit, hence unreasonable
expound - to elaborate, to explain in great detail
extricate - to get out of an entanglement or difficulty
extrovert - an outgoing personality
amorphous - having no form or shape
anarchy - having no government, hence great disorder, chaos
anomaly - not following the norm, hence an exception to a rule
atheist - person who does not believe in God
redundant - to repeat something over and over again
refurbish - to make new again, renovate
rejuvenate - to feel young again
repatriate - to return to one's country of origin
resilient - to bounce back from adversity or change
revitalize - to regain energy
revoke - to take back
immutable - unchanging
impartial -unbiased, treating all equally
impious - lacking reverence, disrespectful
inauspicious - not favorable
incorporeal - without material form or substance
incorrigible - incapable of being reformed
indefatigable - incapable of being fatigued, having great stamina
insatiable - incapable of being satisfied
intrepid - having no fear, dauntless
inviolable - secure and thus cannot be violated
unfazed; unflappable - calm, not disturbed; not easily upset, calm
unfettered - free from restraints, liberated
unfounded - groundless, without substance, false
unorthodox - not following established ways of thinking
unparalleled - having no parallel, hence unequaled
unremitting - unrelieved, relentless, ceaseless
unscathed - unhurt, unharmed
unsubstantiated; unwarranted - not proven; lacking justification
untenable - that which cannot be defended
abdicate - give up, resign, as to abdicate a throne
aberration - a departure from what is normal or typical
abhor - to dislike intensely, loathe, despise
benediction - to say or speak well of, hence a blessing
benefactor - one who has given help, especially financial
benevolent - an inclination to do good, kindliness
benign - good natured, kindly, favorable, not malignant
malefactor; malignant - not evildoer or criminal; having an evil influence, very harmful
malediction; malevolent; malicious - a curse; wishing evil or harm to others; to cause pain or distress
supercilious - thinking you are above others, arrogant, haughty
supersede - replace, take the place of
misanthrope - a person who hates or distrusts mankind
miscreant - one who behaves criminally, an evildoer, a malefactor
misnomer - wrong name
amicable; amity; amiable - pleasant; peaceful; friendly, affable
gregarious - enjoying the company of groups, affable
segregate - separating into different groups
egregious - out of the group, outstandingly bad
antipathy; empathy - feeling against someone or something; feeling the same as everyone else
diffident - lack of faith in oneself, lack of confidence
fidelity; infidelity - loyalty, faithfulness; unfaithfulness
perfidious - treacherous, untrustworthy
elucidate; lucid - to make clear, clarify; clear, readily understood
pellucid; translucent - very clear, transparent; permitting the passage of light
acrid - unpleasantly pungent in taste or odor
acrimonious - full of spite, bitter, nasty
acuity; acumen - keenness of perception; mental sharpness
acute - a sharp angle, very keen
exacerbate - to sharpen or aggravate a conflict, inflame
affluent - to flow in abundance, wealthy
confluence - to flow together, convergence
superfluous - to flow above, hence exceeding what is necessary
complacent - to be so calm as to be self-satisfied, smug
implacable - incapable of being calmed, relentless
placate - to calm the anger of
placid - to be outwardly calm, composed
anachronism - something that is not happening in its proper time
chronological - arranged in the order of occurrence
synchronize - to occur at the same time, simultaneous
circumspect - to look around and thus be cautious
perspicacity - having keen vision, as in being perceptive, astute
specious - seemingly fair or true, but actually not so, deceptive
impugn - to challenge the accuracy or honesty of something
pugnacious - combative, quick to fight
repugnant - offensive, very distasteful, repulsive
ecstatic, exultant - elated, exhilarated, exuberant
elated, exhilarated, exuberant - ecstatic, exultant
despondent, dejected - disconsolate, dispirited
disconsolate, dispirited - despondent, dejected
dogged, obdurate, recalcitrant - intractable, intransigent, obstinate
intractable, intransigent, obstinate - dogged, obdurate, recalcitrant
clandestine, furtive - covert, stealthy, surreptitious
covert, stealthy, surreptitious - clandestine, furtive
allay, alleviate, assuage - appease, mitigate mollify
appease, mitigate, mollify - soothe, calm, relieve
banal, hackneyed, trite - commonplace, trivial or made common and worn out by overuse
overture; prelude; prologue - an introduction to a musical; performance; poem or play
preamble; preface - introduction to legal document; introductory statement to book, article, speech
coda; epilogue - a concluding musical section; a concluding section of a literary work
addendum; postscript - and addition to a book; a not appended to a completed letter
adjourn; hiatus - to suspend until a later time; a temporary gap, moratorium, respite
moratorium; respite - a temporary pause; adjournment, hiatus
impetuous; impulsive - done on the spur of the moment; done on first impulse, without thought
impromptu; rash - done on the spur of the moment; without careful thought
garrulous, loquacious, verbose - overly talkative
laconic, reticent - succinct, taciturn, keeping brief and to the point
fleeting, transient - temporary
ephemeral, evanescent - fleeting, transient
absolve, vindicate - to free from blame, prove guiltless
exculpate, exonerate - absolve, to free from blame, prove guiltless
abhorrent, appalling, despicable - heinous, repulsive, horrible in an extreme way
apprehension, foreboding, premonition - uneasy feeling about the future
enervated, languid, wan - indolent, phlegmatic, lethargic, exhausted and lacking energy
lethargic, listless - languid, exhausted and lacking energy
diatribe, harangue, tirade - a long abusive speech or lecture
braggart - a person known for bragging
brigand - a person known for living by plunder, a bandit
chauvinist - a person known for excessive nationalism, a jingoist
cynic - a person known for distrusting human nature
debunker - a person known for exposing falsehoods
demagogue - a person known for using popular prejudices and false claims to gain power
egoist - a person known for using popular prejudices and false claims to gain power
glutton - a person known for having a huge, insatiable appetite for food and drink
hedonist - a person known for seeking pleasure
hypocrite - a person known for saying one thing and doing another, insincere
iconoclast - a person known for attacking settled beliefs
laggard - a person known for being habitually tardy, dilatory
loafer; loiterer - a person known for being habitually lazy; a person known for idleness
magnate - a person known for having great power
malingerer - a person who pretends illness so as to avoid work
martinet - a person known as a strict disciplinarian
miser; skinflint - a person known for being stingy; a person known for excessive thrift, a miser
optimist - a person known for having a hopeful outlook on life
pacifist - a person known for opposing war and violence
pessimist - a person known for having a gloomy outlook on life
philanthropist - a person known for generosity, a humanitarian
pragmatist - a person known for using a practical approach to solving problems
quack - a person who pretends to have skill or knowledge he/she does not have, a charlatan
raconteur - a person known for telling witty stories and anecdotes
renegade - a person known for rejecting lawful or conventional behavior
reprobate - a person known for being morally corrupt, depraved
rogue - a person known for being mischievous
sage - a person known for wisdom
spendthrift - a person known for spending money unwisely
stalwart - a person known for being very loyal to a cause
stickler - a person known for insisting on exact standards
virtuoso - a person known for excelling in the technique of an art
zealot - a person known for excessive loyalty to a cause
acquit - to clear of a charge
alias - an assumed name, a false name or pseudonym
bequest - something left to an heir in a will
codicil - an addition to a will
embezzlement - to illegally take another's property
heir - a person who inherits another's property or title
injunction - a court order requiring or prohibiting an action
jurisprudence - the science of law
perjury - to give false testimony
deify - to worship as a god, to show great respect
devout - very religious
heretical - holding an opinion opposed to official or established beliefs
orthodox - conforming to established beliefs, conventional
sanctimonious - pretending to be pious and devout, false piety
appreciate; depreciate - to rise in value; to fall in value
dearth; duty; remuneration - an inadequate supply; a tax on imports, payment due for a service
belligerent - at war, engaging in hostilities
coerce - to compel, to use force to achieve one's goals
covenant - a solemn and binding agreement
demarcation - the settling or making of boundaries or limits
dissolution - to dissolve, fall apart
dominion - to have supreme authority over
mandate - an authoritative command requiring someone to do something
sedition - to incite resistance against lawful authority
olfactory - connected with a sense of smell
palatable - agreeable to the taste, hence acceptable
savory - appetizing to the taste or smell
tactile - connected with the sense of touch
unpalatable - not agreeable to the taste, hence unacceptable
unsavory - distasteful, disagreeable
abstruse - difficult to understand, very abstract
aesthetics - the study of beauty
affable - pleasant, friendly
ameliorate - to make better, improve
amenable - willing to agree, responsive, cooperative
approbation - approval
appropriated - to take or make use of without authority or right
arduous - long and difficult and thus hard to accomplish
audacious - very bold
blanch - to drain of color, become pale
bombastic - pretentious, inflated speech or writing, lacking in humility
brandish - to shake or wave in a menacing manner
brusque - rough and abrupt in manner or speech, curt
burgeon - to grow rapidly
cantankerous - difficult or irritating to deal with
capacious - spacious, roomy
circuitous - following a circular or winding path, indirect
circumscribe - to draw a line around, hence to restrict or limit
compendium - a concise list or summary
consensus - a general agreement, common consent
corroborate - to support with evidence, confirm a claim
decorum - conformity to accepted norms of behavior
defile - to make unclear or impure, desecrate
demonstrative - an open display of feelings
demystify - to make clear and thus less baffling
desolate - lonely, uninhabited
desultory - marked by a lack of a plan or purpose, lacking direction
dilatory - tending to delay or procrastinate
disabuse - to rid of false ideas, enlighten, free from error
disdain - to look on with scorn
disingenuous - giving a false appearance of simple frankness, hence calculating and crafty
disparage - to run down, belittle, speak poorly of
diversion - something that diverts or amuses
divulge - to make known, reveal
docile - easy to manage, malleable
dogmatic - very stubborn adherence to beliefs
eclectic - selecting from a wide variety of sources, methods, or styles
effervescent - to give off bubbles and thus be bubbly, exuberant
emulate - to imitate, copy
enamor - fill with love
equanimity - evenness of mind, especially under stress
espouse - to give support to
exasperate - to cause irritation or annoyance
exigency - great urgency, requiring immediate attention
fallible - prone to making errors
fastidious - exacting, meticulous, hard to please
fathom - figure out, comprehend, probe the depth of
feasible - possible
fervor - intense feelings; great passion
flaunt - to violate conventions, treat with contempt
garish - excessively vivid colors
gingerly - very cautious, careful
gratuitous - not called for by the circumstances, as a gratuitous insult
gullible - easily fooled or duped
hubris - excessive pride, arrogance
idiosyncrasy - any personal peculiarity, eccentricity
incandescent - giving off light, gleaming, brilliantly shining
incantation - use of spells or verbal charms spoken as part of a magical ritual
incipient - in the early stages, just beginning, embryonic
incontrovertible - cannot be disproved
indelicate - lacking a sensitivity for the feelings of others, tactless
indiscreet - an action marked by a lack of decorum, hence tasteless
indomitable - incapable of being subdued, unconquerable
ineffable - incapable of being expressed, indescribable
innate - present in an individual from birth
insipid - without flavor, tasteless, not exciting, dull
insolent - disrespectful in speech or conduct, haughty
insuperable - something incapable of being overcome
irrevocable - not possible to revoke, unalterable, unable to be called back
legion - a very large number
levity - light-hearted humor
limpid -transparent, perfectly clear
linchpin - the key element in something
machinations - scheming or crafty actions intended to accomplish an evil end
mercurial - rapid and unpredictable changes in mood
milestone - a significant or important turning point
munificent - very generous
nuance - a subtle distinction or shade of difference
ominous - threatening evil or disaster, inauspicious
ostentatious - fond of conspicuous display, pompous, pretentious
paragon - a model of excellence
paramount - of supreme importance
patronizing - to act superior toward, to adopt an air of condescension
perfunctory - done in a routine manner
polemic - involving a dispute, very argumentative
precipitous - acting with undue haste
predilection - a liking or preference for something
quixotic - idealistic in an impractical way
ransack - to search closely and carefully, to turn upside down
raucous - harsh, jarring sound, blaring
rebuke - to criticize sharply, reprimand, berate
rectitude - great integrity, moral uprightness, honesty
redoubtable - formidable, worthy of respect
reprehensible - conduct deserving criticism or censure
skulk - to move in a stealthy or furtive manner
specious - tempting but false, untrue, spurious
sporadic - occurring occasionally, infrequently, not regular
spurious - falsified, fake, and thus not genuine
staid - marked by self-restraint, sober, grave
stanch - to stop the flow of blood from a wound
strident - loud, harsh sound
suffuse - to spread over or through, to diffuse
talisman - an object held to act as a charm to avert evil and bring good fortune
torpor - a lack of energy, lethargy
ubiquitous - present everywhere, pervasive
usurp - to illegally seize power, property, or position
vacuous - empty, having or showing a lack of intelligence or insight
venal - capable of being bought or influenced by money, corrupt
wan - lacking vitality
watershed - a very important event
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