SparkNotes' 250 Most Difficult SAT Words

250 terms by tiscaleb

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In this set you will find two-hundred and fifty of the grimiest, gnarliest, most challenging words to grace the famed SAT test. Good luck. (For sentences with vocabulary included, visit SparkNotes and download the PDF)

abjure

(v.) to reject, renounce

abrogate

(v.) to abolish, usually by authority

acerbic

(adj.) biting, bitter in tone or taste

acrimony

(n.) bitterness, discord

acumen

(n.) keen insight

adumbrate

(v.) to sketch out in a vague way

alacrity

(n.) eagerness, speed

anathema

(n.) a cursed, detested person

antipathy

(n.) a strong dislike, repugnance

approbation

(n.) praise

arrogate

(v.) to take without justification

ascetic

(adj.) practicing restraint as a means of self-discipline, usually religious

aspersion

(n.) a curse, expression of ill-will

assiduous

(adj.) hard-working, diligent

blandish

(v.) to coax by using flattery

boon

(n.) a gift or blessing

brusque

(adj.) short, abrupt, dismissive

buffet

1. (v.) to strike with force; 2. (n.) an arrangement of food set out on a table

burnish

(v.) to polish, shine

buttress

1. (v.) to support, hold up; 2. (n.) something that offers support

cacophony

(n.) tremendous noise, disharmonious sound

cajole

(v.) to urge, coax

calumny

(n.) an attempt to spoil someone else's reputation by spreading lies

capricious

(adj.) subject to whim, fickle

clemency

(n.) mercy

cogent

(adj.) intellectually convincing

concomitant

(adj.) accompanying in a subordinate fashion

conflagration

(n.) great fire

contrite

(adj.) penitent, eager to be forgiven

conundrum

(n.) puzzle, problem

credulity

(n.) readiness to believe

cupidity

(n.) greed, strong desire

cursory

(adj.) brief to the point of being superficial

decry

(v.) to criticize openly

defile

(v.) to make unclean, impure

deleterious

(adj.) harmful

demure

(adj.) quiet, modest, reserved

deprecate

(v.) to belittle, depreciate

deride

(v.) to laugh at mockingly, scorn

desecrate

(v.) to violate the sacredness of a thing or place

desiccated

(adj.) dried up, dehydrated

diaphanous

(adj.) light, airy, transparent

diffident

(adj.) shy, quiet, modest

discursive

(adj.) rambling, lacking order

dissemble

(v.) to conceal, fake

dither

(v.) to be indecisive

ebullient

(adj.) extremely lively, enthusiastic

effrontery

(n.) impudence, nerve, insolence

effulgent

(adj.) radiant, splendorous

egregious

(adj.) extremely bad

enervate

(v.) to weaken, exhaust

ephemeral

(adj.) short-lived, fleeting

eschew

(v.) to shun, avoid

evanescent

(adj.) fleeting, momentary

evince

(v.) to show, reveal

exculpate

(v.) to free from guilt or blame, exonerate

execrable

(adj.) loathsome, detestable

exigent

(adj.) urgent, critical

expiate

(v.) to make amends for, atone

expunge

(v.) to obliterate, eradicate

extant

(adj.) existing, not destroyed or lost

extol

(v.) to praise, revere

fallacious

(adj.) incorrect, misleading

fastidious

(adj.) meticulous, demanding, having high and often unattainable standards

fatuous

(adj.) silly, foolish

fecund

(adj.) fruitful, fertile

feral

(adj.) wild, savage

fetid

(adj.) having a foul odor

florid

(adj.) flowery, ornate

fractious

(adj.) troublesome or irritable

garrulous

(adj.) talkative, wordy

grandiloquence

(n.) lofty, pompous language

gregarious

(adj.) drawn to the company of others, sociable

hackneyed

(adj.) unoriginal, trite

hapless

(adj.) unlucky

harangue

1. (n.) a ranting speech; 2. (v.) to give such a speech

hegemony

(n.) domination over others

iconoclast

(n.) one who attacks common beliefs or institutions

ignominious

(adj.) humiliating, disgracing

impassive

(adj.) stoic, not susceptible to suffering

imperious

(adj.) commanding, domineering

impertinent

(adj.) rude, insolent

impervious

(adj.) impenetrable, incapable of being affected

impetuous

(adj.) rash; hastily done

impinge

1. (v.) to impact, affect, make an impression; 2. (v.) to encroach, infringe

implacable

(adj.) incapable of being appeased or mitigated

impudent

(adj.) casually rude, insolent, impertinent

inchoate

(adj.) unformed or formless, in a beginning stage

incontrovertible

(adj.) indisputable

indefatigable

(adj.) incapable of defeat, failure, decay

ineffable

(adj.) unspeakable, incapable of being expressed through words

inexorable

(adj.) incapable of being persuaded or placated

ingenuous

(adj.) not devious; innocent and candid

inimical

(adj.) hostile

iniquity

(n.) wickedness or sin

insidious

(adj.) appealing but imperceptibly harmful, seductive

intransigent

(adj.) refusing to compromise, often on an extreme opinion

inure

(v.) to cause someone or something to become accustomed to a situation

invective

(n.) an angry verbal attack

inveterate

(adj.) stubbornly established by habit

jubilant

(adj.) extremely joyful, happy

juxtaposition

(n.) the act of placing two things next to each other for implicit comparison

laconic

(adj.) terse in speech or writing

languid

(adj.) sluggish from fatigue or weakness

largess

(n.) the generous giving of lavish gifts

latent

(adj.) hidden, but capable of being exposed

legerdemain

(n.) deception, slight-of-hand

licentious

(adj.) displaying a lack of moral or legal restraints

limpid

(adj.) clear, transparent

maelstrom

(n.) a destructive whirlpool which rapidly sucks in objects

magnanimous

(adj.) noble, generous

malediction

(n.) a curse

malevolent

(adj.) wanting harm to befall others

manifold

(adj.) diverse, varied

maudlin

(adj.) weakly sentimental

mawkish

(adj.) characterized by sick sentimentality

mendacious

(adj.) having a lying, false character

mercurial

(adj.) characterized by rapid change or temperamentality

modicum

(n.) a small amount of something

morass

(n.) a wet swampy bog; figuratively, something that traps and confuses

multifarious

(adj.) having great diversity or variety

munificence

(n.) generosity in giving

myriad

(adj.) consisting of a very great number

nadir

(n.) the lowest point of something

nascent

(adj.) in the process of being born or coming into existence

nefarious

(adj.) heinously villainous

neophyte

(n.) someone who is young or inexperienced

obdurate

(adj.) unyielding to persuasion or moral influences

obfuscate

(v.) to render incomprehensible

oblique

(adj.) diverging from a straight line or course, not straightforward

obsequious

(adj.) excessively compliant or submissive

obstreperous

(adj.) noisy, unruly

obtuse

(adj.) lacking quickness of sensibility or intellect

odious

(adj.) instilling hatred or intense displeasure

officious

(adj.) offering one's services when they are neither wanted nor needed

opulent

(adj.) characterized by rich abundance verging on ostentation

ostensible

(adj.) appearing as such, seemingly

palliate

(v.) to reduce the severity of

pallid

(adj.) lacking color

panacea

(n.) a remedy for all ills or difficulties

paragon

(n.) a model of excellence or perfection

pariah

(n.) an outcast

parsimony

(n.) frugality, stinginess

pathos

(n.) an emotion of sympathy

paucity

(adj.) small in quantity

pejorative

(adj.) derogatory, uncomplimentary

pellucid

(adj.) easily intelligible, clear

penurious

(adj.) miserly, stingy

perfidious

(adj.) disloyal, unfaithful

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