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330 terms

All the "a"s in Gruber's 2010 SAT guide

STUDY
PLAY
aback
surprised; startled.
abandon
to leave; to give up; to discontinue.
abase
to humiliate; to humble; to lower.
abash
ashamed; embarrassed.
abate
to lessen; to decrease.
abdicate
to yield; to give up.
abduct
To kidnap, carry off by force.
aberration
a state or condition markedly different from the norm; an abnormality.
abet
assist or encourage, usually in some wrongdoing.
abeyance
temporary cessation or suspension.
abhor
to detest; to hate strongly
abide
put up with something or somebody unpleasant.
abjure
to renounce certain rights; to repudiate under oath; to avoid rejection.
ablution
a washing; cleansing.
abominate
to detest; to dislike strongly.
aborigine
original inhabitant.
abortive
unsuccessful.
abound
to be abundant or plentiful.
aboveboard
without concealment or deception.
abrade
to wear away.
abridge
to shorten.
abrogate
revoke formally.
abscond
to leave secretly; to flee.
absolve
to clear from blame, responsibility, or guilt.
abstemious
moderate or sparing in eating or drinking.
abstinence
act or practice of refraining from indulging an appetite.
abstract
(two meanings) a summary; to remove.
abstruse
difficult to understand.
absurd
irrational; ridiculous.
abut
to border upon; to adjoin
abysmal
horrifying; extremely bad.
abyss
bottomless pit; anything infinite.
academic
(two meanings) pertaining to school; unrealistic.
accede
to agree or express agreement.
accelerate
to gain in speed; to quicken.
accessible
capable of being reached.
access
approach; admittance.
accessory
something additional.
acclaim
to greet with approval.
acclimate
to adapt; to get used to.
acclivity
an upwards incline.
accolade
honor; reward; approval.
accommodate
provide a service or favor for someone.
accomplice
a partner in crime.
accord
approval.
accost
to approach and speak to.
accoutrement
equipment; outfit.
accredit
to approve; to certify.
accretion
to increase.
accrue
to gather; to accumulate.
acerbic
to be bitter; nasty.
Achilles' heel
a weakness.
acknowledge
to admit to; to confess.
acme
the highest point; peak.
acoustics
the study of the physical properties of sound.
acquiesce
agreement.
acquit
NOT GUILTY
acrid
bitter in the taste of smell; sarcastic.
acrimonious
harshness of speech or behavior.
acronym
a word formed from the initial letters of a word.
acrophobia
fear of heights.
actuate
put in motion or move to act.
acumen
mental keenness; shrewdness.
acute
sharp;; keen.
ad infinitum
endlessly; forever.
ad lib
to act or speak to without preparation.
adage
a familiar saying.
adamant
stubborn; unyielding.
adapt
to adjust; to change.
addendum
something added as a supplement.
addled
confused
adduce
to give an example in proving something.
adept
highly skilled.
adherent
sticking fast to something; a follower or supporter.
adipose
a fatty
adjacent
up against something; nearby.
adjudicate
to judge
adjunct
(two meanings) an assistant; a part of something that is not essential.
admonish
to warn.
ado
fuss; trouble.
adonis
any handsome young man, derived from the Greek mythology character loved by Aphrodite.
adorn
to dress up; to decorate.
adroit
skillful; clever.
adulation
servile flattery; excessive praise.
adulterate
to violate; to make impure.
advent
the eve of a special event.
adventitious
accidental; nonessential.
adversary
an opponent; an enemy.
adversity
a misfortune; distress.
advocate
to recommend.
aegis
a shield; protection; sponsorship.
aesthetic
pertaining to beauty.
affable
friendly; agreeable.
affectation
a false attitude; insincerity.
affiliate
to associate or unite with.
affinity
an attraction to something.
affirmation
a confirmation; a statement of something true.
affix
to attach.
affliction
great suffering; hardship.
affluence
wealth
affront
an insult.
aftermath
result.
agape
open-mouthed; surprised.
agenda
a list of objectives for a program.
aggrandize
to enlarge or expand.
aggravate
to worsen something already bad; to anger someone even further.
aggregate
to gather together.
aghast
shocked; terrified.
agile
able to move quickly.
agitate
to upset; to stir something up.
agnostic
one who doubts the existence of God.
agoraphobia
fear of open places.
agrarian
pertaining to farmers and agriculture in general.
ague
fever; plague
alacrity
liveliness; willingness.
albatross
(two meanings) a large seabird; a burden
ableit
although
alchemy
chemistry of the Middle Ages.
alias
an assumed name aside from a real name.
alien
strange; foreign.
alienate
to estrange; to make others unfriendly towards someone.
alimentary
furnishing food or nourishment.
allay
to relieve or to calm.
alleged
so-called; supposed.
allegory
a visible symbol representing an abstract idea.
allegro
rapid; quick, as seen in music.
alleviate
provide physical relief, as from pain.
allocate
distribute according to a plan or set apart for a special purpose.
allude
to hint at.
alluring
tempting; fascinating; charming.
alluvial
pertaining to soil deposits left by running water.
aloft
up in the air; high.
aloof
reserved; cool; indifferent.
alter
to change.
altercation
an argument; disagreement.
altruism
unselfishness.
amalgamate
to combine; to unite; to blend.
amass
to collect or to gather.
amazon
tall, strong, warrior from the Brazilian Amazon forests.
ambidextrous
equally skilled with either the left hand or the right hand, especially in writing.
ambient
surrounding; on all sides
ambiguous
unclear; open to having more than one interpretation.
ambivalence
mixed feelings or emotions.
ambrosial
very nourishing; pleasing to taste and smell. Derived from the "food of the gods" in Greek mythology.
ambulatory
able to walk about.
ambuscade
hidden or secret attack.
ameliorate
to improve.
amenable
very agreeable; responsive.
amend
to change; to alter.
amenities
things providing comfort and convenience.
amiable
friendly; pleasant.
amicable
friendly; agreeable.
amiss
wrong; faulty; improper.
amity
friendship.
amnesty
official pardon for an offense.
amoral
having no positive or negative moral standing.
amorous
loving.
amorphous
having no shape.
amphibious
able to survive both on land and in water.
ample
roomy; abundant.
amplify
to make larger or greater.
amulet
ornament from "new age" faiths, worn as a charm against evil spirits.
anachronism
something out of place; not in coherence with the current time.
analgesic
pain killer.
analogy
similarity or comparison.
anarchy
total absence of government.
anathema
a curse; a person or thing to be avoided.
ancillary
helping; subordinate.
anecdote
short, entertaining story.
anent
regarding; concerning.
anguish
great suffering or grief.
anhydrous
without water; dehydrated.
animadversion
criticism.
animate
to give life to.
animosity
hatred; hostility.
animus
hostile feeling.
annal
yearly historical records.
anneal
to heat and then cool; to harden.
annihilate
to completely destroy.
annuity
specified payments; income from capital investment paid in a series of regular payments.
annul
to cancel; to do away with, as in the Catholic church for "Marriage Annulments".
anomalous
abnormal; inconsistent.
anon
soon
anoxia
lack of oxygen.
antecedent
that which goes before something, especially in noun-pronoun relationships.
antediluvian
old, to the point of belonging to a much earlier period of time.
anterior
located in the front or forward motion.
anteroom
a large entrance or reception room or area.
anthem
a song of praise (to God or to a saint or to a nation).
anthology
a collection of selected literary passages.
anthropoid
creature that resembles humans.
anthropomorphic
suggesting human characteristics for animals, object, etc.
antic
playful, silly act; prank.
anticlimax
a change from a serious subject to a disappointing one.
antidote
a remedy; counteractive, especially in the slowing or reversal of bodily poison.
antipathy
intense hostility.
antipodes
regions on the opposing sides of the world.
antiquated
obsolete, out of fashion, no longer usable.
antithesis
the direct opposite; a sharp contrast.
apathy
indifference; an absence of emotion or enthusiasm.
ape
(two meanings) suborder of large primates; to mimic.
aperture
a natural opening in something.
apex
the highest point; summit.
aphasia
loss of speech due to injury or illness.
aphorism
a brief, concise statement of a truth or principle.
apiary
a shed containing a number of beehives.
aplomb
great coolness and composure under strain.
apocryphal
of questionable authenticity.
apogee
farthest possible point from earth.
apoplexy
loss of consciousness; paralysis, as in a stroke.
apostate
one who renounces thier belief.
apothecary
druggist; pharmacist.
apothegm
brief instructive saying.
apotheosis
model of excellence or perfection of a kind.
appall
fill with apprehension or alarm; disgust.
apparel
clothing in general.
apparition
the appearance of a ghostlike figure.
appease
make peace with.
appellation
name; title.
append
(two meanings) state even further; attach.
apposite
being of striking appropriateness and pertinence.
apprehend
(two meanings) to seize; to understand
apprehensive
in fear or dread of possible evil or harm.
apprise
make aware of.
approbation
official recognition or approval.
appropriate
(two meanings) to take possession of; suitable.
appurtenance
a supplementary component that improves capability.
apropos
of an appropriate or pertinent nature.
aptitude
ability.
aquatic
pertaining to water.
aquiline
curved like an eagle's beak
arable
(of farmland) capable of being farmed productively.
arbiter
a judge who decides a disputed issue.
arbitrary
partial; biased.
arbor
a shaded area.
arcane
requiring secret or mysterious knowledge.
archaic
antiquated, old, out of use.
archeology
the study of the remains of past cultures.
archetype
an original model on which something is patterned.
archipelago
a group of many islands in a large body of water.
archives
a depository containing historical records and documents.
ardent
characterized by intense emotion.
arduous
difficult to accomplish.
aria
an elaborate song for solo voice in an opera.
arid
dry.
armistice
a temporary peace, halt in fighting.
aromatic
having a strong distinctive fragrance.
arraign
accuse of a wrong or an inadequacy.
arrant
notorious; downright.
array
an impressive display; an orderly arrangement.
arrears
(preceded by "in") in debt.
arrogant
overbearingly assuming; insolently proud.
arroyo
a deep ditch formed by rainwater
arson
malicious, illegal burning to destroy property.
artful
cunning; tricky; crafty.
articulate
to speak clearly.
artifact
a handmade object.
artifice
deception; trickery.
artisan
a skilled worker who practices some trade or handicraft.
ascendant
rising.
ascertain
to find out; to determine.
ascetic
one who practices self denial as spiritual discipline.
ascribe
attribute or credit to.
aseptic
preventing infection; having a cleansing effect.
asinine
stupid; silly.
askance
(preceded by "to look") sideways; suspiciously.
askew
crooked; out of position.
asperity
harshness of manner.
aspersion
a disparaging remark.
aspire
to desire; to have an ambition.
assail
to attack; to assault.
assay
to test; to try.
assent
to express agreement.
assertive
fiercely confident; positive.
assess
place a value on.
assiduity
constant or close attention to what one is doing.
assimilate
to absorb.
assuage
provide physical relief, as from pain.
asteroid
a very small planet.
astral
pertaining to the stars.
astray
in the wrong direction.
astringent
tending to draw together or constrict soft organic tissue.
astute
marked by practical hardheaded intelligence.
asunder
into parts or pieces.
asylum
a shelter from danger or hardship.
atavistic
reverting to past traits, esp. to traits absent for a long time.
atheist
one who denies God's existence.
atlas
a collection of maps in book form.
atone
to make up for, especially in repenting from sin.
atrocious
cruel; brutal.
atrophy
to waste away; to become useless.
attenuated
reduced in strength.
attest
to confirm; to declare to be correct.
attribute
(two meanings) to credit or assign to; a characteristic or trait.
attrition
a wearing down of something; a decline.
atypical
unusual; abnormal.
au courant
up-to-date; fully informed.
audacity
boldness; daring
audible
heard or perceptible by the ear.
audit
to examine accounts.
augment
to increase; to make greater.
augur
to predict.
august
profoundly honored; worthy of respect; impressive.
aura
a radiance; a glow.
aural
pertaining to the sense of hearing.
auroral
rosy; characteristic of the dawn.
auspicious
favorable
austere
of a stern or strict bearing or demeanor.
authenticate
establish the authenticity of something.
autocratic
despotic; unlimited in authority.
automaton
a mechanism that can move automatically.
autonomy
self-rule.
autumnal
mature; declining.
auxiliary
functioning in a subsidiary or supporting capacity.
avarice
greed; beyond envy.
avenge
take revenge for a perceived wrong.
aver
to declare or affirm solemnly and formally as true.
averse
strongly disinclined; unwilling.
aversion
firm dislike.
avert
prevent the occurrence of.
aviary
a building where birds are kept.
avid
marked by active interest and enthusiasm.
avocation
a hobby.
avoirdupois
excessive bodily weight.
avow
admit openly and bluntly.
avuncular
like an uncle in kindness or indulgence.
awe
(in "awe" of) great admiration or fear of.
awry
twisted to one side; in the wrong direction.
axiom
true statement; established principle.
azure
blue.