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160 terms

SAT Terms

Words that will appear on the SAT & CAHSEE.
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abhor
(verb)
to hate very much, to detest utterly
EX:The Booker boys abhorred doing chores.
abominate
(verb)
extreme hatred, loathing
EX:I abominate bombs.
abridge
(verb)
to shorten; to condense; to diminish; to curtail
EX:[This is] an abridged bridge.
abstruse
(adjective)
hard to understand
EX:His friends consider Mike, the moose, to be very abstruse.
abut
(verb)
to border upon; to adjoin
EX:[Here are] abutting butts.
abyss
(noun)
bottomless pit; a yawning gulf; a profound depth or void
EX:The diver missed the ledge and sank deep into the abyss.
accolade
(noun)
an award, an honor; approval, praise
EX:Jane and Jack received accolades for their lemonade.
adjunct
(noun)
something connected or added to another in a subordinate position; an assistant
EX:The tank driver added junk as an adjunct to his tank.
affidavit
(noun)
a sworn written statement
EX:After David slew Goliath, he made out an affidavit not to further hurt any big guys.
affinity
(noun)
a natural attraction; kinship; similarity
EX:The Chinese have an affinity for shark fin soup and shark fin tea.
aftermath
(noun)
events following some occurrence; a consequence of
EX:After doing the Math for calculating the atomic bomb, Einstein would live to see the resulting aftermath.
aggrandize
(verb)
to increase in size; to enlarge, to cause to appear greater in power, influence
EX:Ladies acquire grand eyes with mascara and false eyelashes to aggrandize their eyes.
ajar
(noun)
partially open
EX:Hey, the jar's ajar; we're out of here.
alienate
(verb)
to make hostile; to cause to feel unwelcome or estranged
EX:The chief alien ate all the ice cream and alienated his crew.
alleviate
(verb)
to make less severe; to relieve, to lessen
EX:The natives believed if they ate the leaves of some trees it would alleviate many illnesses.
allure
(verb or noun)
to entice with something desirable; tempt; power of attraction
EX:Not all fish lures allure all fish.
aloof
(adjective)
distant, reserved in manner; uninvolved
EX:The cat is so aloof, when guests come she hides on the roof.
also-ran
(noun)
one who is defeated in a race, election, or other competition; loser
EX:The tortoise was an also-ran until he strapped on an awesome fan.
altercation
(noun)
a heated quarrel
EX:There was an altercation at the wedding altar.
alternative
(noun)
the choice between two mutually exclusive possibilities, a situation presenting such a choice
EX:It's an alternative life style; he turned native.
ambiance
(noun)
mood, feeling; general atmosphere
EX:George did not enjoy the ambiance in the ambulance.
amenable
(adjective)
agreeable, responsible to authority, pleasant, willing to give in to the wishes of another
EX:The matador tried to be amenable to the mean bull.
amplify
(verb)
to make larger, louder, or more powerful
EX:Dr. Frankie amplified the ants and flies to a monstrous proportion.
antecedent
(noun)
going before; preceding; an occurrence or event preceding another
EX:The hand that plants the seed is the antecedent to the hand that picks the flower.
anterior
(adjective)
situated in front
EX:The anterior position of a deer's antlers comes in very handy.
appalling
(adjective)
filling with dismay; causing horror or consternation; shock
EX:Sue had an appalling dream that she was falling.
aptitude
(noun)
capacity for learning; natural ability
EX:Birds have an aptitude for altitude.
archaic
(adjective)
belonging to an earlier time, ancient; outdated
EX:[Here is] an archaic cake.
arduous
(adjective)
hard, difficult, tiresome
EX:The arduous snow-covered trail is hard on us.
artisan
(noun)
a worker skilled in a craft
EX:Little Jimmy was a sand castle artisan.
askew
(adjective)
to one side; crooked; awry; a sidelong look of contempt
EX:Curly's pool cue had become askew.
aspire
(verb)
to seek, attain, or achieve a goal
EX:Jim aspired to retire early and become a man of leisure.
assuage
(verb)
to soothe; to make less severe; to satisfy, ease, lessen
EX:A good massage is known to assuage sore muscles and relieve uptight feelings.
astute
(adjective)
quick in discernment; shrewd, clever, keen
EX:Larry thought a new suit would make him appear more astute for his job interview.
asunder
(adjective)
in separate parts; apart from each other in position
EX:The lightning and thunder tore the young lovers asunder.
atrophy
(verb)
to wither away
EX:Once a trophy champion, Jim's muscles atrophied due to a chronic illness.
atypical
(adjective)
not typical, abnormal
EX:Uncle Jeff's old bicycle is not typical of bikes today, it is atypical.
austere
(adjective)
stern, as in manner; without excess, unadorned, severely simple and plain
EX:An austere steer is no fun at a party.
badger
(verb)
to tease, annoy, harass persistently
EX:[This is] a badgering badger.
ballistics
(noun)
the study of the dynamics or flight characteristics of projectiles
EX:[She is wearing] ballistic lipstick.
balm
(adjective or noun)
something that heals or comforts; soothing; an oil or ointment
EX:There's nothing like a balmy breeze whispering through palm trees.
beget
(verb)
to give birth to; to create
EX:The old lady who lived in the shoe begat so many children she would forget who was who.
beleaguer
(verb)
to besiege; beset, surround, harass
EX:The little leaguers beleaguered the big leaguers.
bereave
(verb or adjective)
suffering the death of a loved one; left alone
EX:He was bereaved when his fish had to leave.
beset
(verb)
to harass; to surround
EX:The angry bees sat on his face and beset the beekeeper.
bizarre
(adjective)
extremely unconventional or far-fetched
EX:You see some bizarre things for sale at a bazaar.
blather
(verb)
to talk nonsensically
EX:Karen and Allison blathered until their mouths lathered.
bleak
(adjective)
depressing, discouraging, harsh, cold, barren, raw
EX:Sometimes a simple leak can lead to bleak consequences.
bludgeon
(verb or noun)
to hit or attack with heavy impact; a short, heavy thick club that has one end larger than the other
EX:Why do you suppose they have all these bludgeons in this dungeon?
bucolic
(adjective)
rural or rustic in nature, country-like
EX:Bulls frolic when a farm is bucolic.
bulwark
(noun)
a defensive wall; something serving as a principal defense
EX:Bulls work building a bulwark.
cache
(noun)
a hiding place, or the objects hidden in a hiding place
EX:Escaped prisoner #5447 recovered the cash from his cache.
cacophony
(noun)
harsh sounds
EX:[There was] a cacophony of coughing.
cajole
(verb)
to wheedle, coax, or persuade someone to do something they didn't want to
EX:Jimmy the Greek tried to cajole the warden into giving him parole.
callous
(adjective)
unfeeling, insensitive
EX:Jack was so callous, he called attention to Mike's calluses.
callow
(adjective)
immature and inexperienced
EX:Our dad was so callow he made his first dive in our shallow kiddie pool.
candor
(noun)
truthfulness, sincere honesty
EX:[There was] a condor with candor.
capacious
(adjective)
roomy, able to hold much
EX:A spacious cap is capacious.
castigate
(verb)
to criticize harshly, usually with the intention of correcting wrongdoing
EX:The gate attendant castigated Herman for passing the gate.
catapult
(verb or noun)
to launch; a device for hurling objects, a slingshot
EX:[They were] testing the first cat catapult.
catharsis
(noun)
an emotional or psychological cleansing that brings relief or renewal
EX:[This is a] cat and horse catharsis.
caucus
(noun or verb)
a meeting of the members of a political party to make decisions; to assemble in or hold a caucus
EX:[There was] a cactus caucus.
cerebral
(adjective)
of or relating to the brain; an intellectual person
EX:Eat your cereal so you'll grow up and be cerebral like your father.
certify
(verb)
to confirm formally; verify
EX:George Washington never told a lie, and he would certify that he never hurt a fly.
chasm
(noun)
a deep opening in the earth's surface; a gorge; differences in opinion, interests, loyalties
EX:[There was] a spasm above the chasm.
chattel
(noun)
an item of personal, movable property; slave
EX:Tex's cattle were his chattel.
chide
(verb)
to scold; to voice disapproval
EX:The good fairy chided Pinocchio because he lied.
chronic
(adjective)
continuing for a long time; continuous
EX:Ron's hiccups were chronic.
circa
(noun)
about; an estimated historical time period
EX:The first known circus took place circa 200,000 BC.
citadel
(noun)
a fortress overlooking a city; a stronghold
EX:It pays to sit well on the edge of a citadel.
claimant
(noun)
a person making a claim
EX:A claimant claiming ants.
cloister
(noun)
a tranquil, secluded place
EX:An oyster in his cloister.
commodious
(adjective)
spacious, roomy, capacious
EX:[This is] a commodious commode.
comprise
(verb)
to consist of; to include, to contain, to be made up of
EX:It was not a pleasant surprise when the pirates discovered their treasure was comprised only of party favors.
congenial
(adjective)
pleasant to be around; social, agreeable
EX:Folks in jeans are very congenial.
connoisseur
(noun)
an expert, particularly in matters of art and taste
EX:The King of the Sewer is a connoisseur of garbage.
consensus
(noun)
general agreement
EX:We are in consensus, this guy sends us.
coterie
(noun)
a circle of close associates or friends
EX:The maestro and his coterie [are] in a coat for three.
countenance
(noun)
a person's face, especially the expression
EX:By their facial countenance alone it was easy to count the nuts.
coup
(noun)
the violent overthrow of a government by a small group; a victorious accomplishment
EX:In a midnight coup, the mutinous crew of "The Bounty" threw Captain Bligh off his ship.
couture
(noun)
fashion designers; clothes created by fashion designers
EX:That's what we'll be wearing, the couture of the future.
cower
(verb)
to cringe in fear; to shrink away
EX:Bessie, the cowering cow, never could stand the sight of her own milk.
cranny
(noun)
a small opening as in a wall or rock face
EX:Granny got stuck in the cranny.
craven
(adjective)
lacking the least bit of courage; cowardly
EX:[He was] a craven raven on the ru
creditor
(noun)
a person or entity to whom money is owed
EX:Beware [of] the creditor who is a predator.
criterion
(noun)
a standard or rule by which something can be judged; a basis for judgment
EX:A criterion for any librarian is that she must know how to read.
cubism
(noun)
a style of art in which the subject matter is portrayed by geometric forms, especially cubes
EX:By the look of these cubes, you are an artist of the school of cubism.
curtail
(verb)
to truncate or abridge; to lessen, usually by cutting away from
EX:Rex readies himself to curtail the cat's tail.
curvilinear
(adjective)
formed, bound or characterized by curved lines
EX:The skater's curvy lines outlined her curvilinear skating program.
damper
(noun)
one that depresses or restrains; a dulling or deadening influence
EX:A damp paw can put a damper on a good time.
dauntless
(adjective)
fearless; unintimidated
EX:The dauntless ghostbusters render a haunted house hauntless.
dearth
(noun)
scarcity; lack
EX:There is a dearth of earth in the middle of the ocean.
debacle
(noun)
a sudden calamitous downfall; collapse or failure
EX:When the buckle broke, Shakespeare's Hamlet became a debacle.
debase
(verb)
to lower in quality, character, or value
EX:Big Bertha easily debased the base.
decree
(noun)
an order having the force of law
EX:The governor decreed that all the prisoners be set free.
deduce
(verb)
to come to a conclusion by reasoning from the evidence
EX:Marvin the moose wondered why Elsie the cow couldn't deduce that he was a moose.
defame
(verb)
to libel or slander; take away a good name
EX:When the good name of William Bonney was defamed, reporters renamed him "Billy the Kid."
deft
(adjective)
skillful, dexterous
EX:The deaf are deft at reading lips.
demagogue
(noun)
a leader who obtains power by appealing to the emotions and prejudices of the people
EX:Them dogs, Hitler and Mussolini, were infamous demagogues.
demonic
(adjective)
one who works devilishly (a demon for work), having persistent force or drive; fiendish
EX:Professor Luke E. Fer was a demonic demon when it came time for his final exams.
doldrums
(noun)
a period or condition of depression or inactivity; a part of the ocean near the equator abounding in calms and squalls
EX:All covered with dust, the doll drums were in the doldrums.
domain
(noun)
a territory over which one rules, has influence or powers
EX:Lions have domain over the plains of Africa.
dormant
(adjective)
asleep or inactive
EX:Boys! Boys! Fido may be dormant, but he is not a door mat.
draconian
(adjective)
hard, severe, cruel
EX:Count Dracula often behaved in a draconian manner.
dromedary
(noun)
a one-humped domesticated camel
EX:On the Arabian deserts, a mother dromedary is a roaming dairy.
dulcet
(adjective)
melodious, soft, soothing; pleasing to the ear
EX:If you don't like opera, even the most dulcet tones of the finest sopranos make for a dull sit.
duress
(noun)
hardship, restraint, confinement
RE:During interrogation, the suspect was under duress to confess.
edifice
(noun)
a building, especially one of imposing appearance or size
EX:The Great Kong ate the north face of the edifice.
efface
(verb)
to rub away
EX:[This is] how to efface a face by erasing it.
egalitarian
(adjective)
Advocating the doctrine of equal rights for all citizens
EX:The gal I'm marryin' is an egalitarian.
elapse
(verb)
to pass or go by (said of time)
EX:Ted ran the mile in the elapsed time of three minutes, forty-seven seconds, and then collapsed.
elfin
(adjective)
small and sprightly; mischievous, fairylike
EX:An elfin elephant is a strange sight to see.
embellish
(verb)
to beautify by adding ornaments; to add fanciful or fictitious details to
EX:Belly dancers embellish their belly buttons with jewels.
embody
(verb)
to give bodily form to; to personify; to make part of a system
EX:Jimmy sculpted a statue with the likeness of his face, but which embodied a body he'd never possess.
emit
(verb)
to send or give out; to express, utter
EX:Uncle Otto sure could emit a lot of chewing tobacco spit.
emulate
(verb)
to attempt to equal or surpass; especially through imitation
EX:Jimmy emulates his dad by imitating him.
endure
(verb)
to carry on through despite hardships; to put up with
EX:Cowboys endure a lot of manure.
engulf
(verb)
to surround or enclose completely
EX:The Gulf of Mexico engulfs many deserted islands.
enrage
(verb)
to put in a rage; infuriate, anger
EX:[He is] an enraged farmer discovering a fox in the hen cage.
enrapture
(verb)
to delight, to thrill or give pleasure
EX:The head-hunters were enraptured when they captured Mr. and Mrs. Cranium.
ensemble
(Noun)
A coordinated outfit or costume; a musical group
EX:"James Bond was a handsome devil in his spy ensemble."
entice
(Verb)
To lure, to attract, to tempt in a pleasing fashion
EX:"Fido uses mice to entice cats."
entomb
(Verb)
To place in or as if in a tomb, or a grave
EX:"Ahmed, you fool, you have entombed us in the burial room."
entomology
(Noun)
The scientific study of insects
EX:"An entomologist making his apology to the insects he must study."
entreat
(Verb)
To ask earnestly; to implore, plead, beg
EX:"What is more common than a child entreating a parent for a treat of candy or ice cream."
erudite
(Adjective)
Deeply learned, scholarly
EX:"Knowing that his case was airtight, the defense attorney became confident and erudite."
euphonious
(Adjective)
Pleasing to the ear
EX:"You must be beautiful because you sound so euphonious when you phone us."
evade
(Verb)
To elude or avoid by cunning; to flee from a pursuer
EX:"A magician's secret for evading blades."
evoke
(Verb)
To summon forth, call to mind, awaken, produce, suggest
EX:"Sometimes a song, a picture, even a Coke, can evoke the most poignant of youthful memories."
exhume
(Verb)
To dig up from a grave; to bring to light, uncover
EX:"Archeologists like to exhume tombs."
expunge
(verb)
to remove; to delete; to erase
EX:"A SPONGE EXPUNGING a spill."
facilitate
(verb)
to make easier, to help bring about
EX:"You're lucky to have a CELL MATE who FACILITATES a homey atmosphere."
fathom
(verb)
to understand fully; to penetrate the meaning of
EX:"Doctors could never FATHOM the reason for Larry's FAT THUMB."
fawn
(verb)
to show affection
EX:"A FAWN FAWNING over his mother."
feign
(verb)
to give a false appearance; to pretend
EX:"The prisoner FEIGNED INSANITY as a defense to his crime."
fester
(verb)
to generate pus; to become a source of resentment or irritation
EX:"UNCLE FESTER likes to pick his scabs and watch the FESTER."
fetish
(noun)
any thing or activity to which one is irrationally devoted
EX:"The BRITISH, they say, have an absolute FETISH for tea."
fickle
(adjective)
often changing for no reason; not loyal or consistent
EX:"Pregnant women are very FICKLE; one moment they want ice cream, the next, PICKLES."
fjord
(noun)
a long narrow inlet from the sea between steep cliffs or hills
EX:"FORDS in a FJORD."
fleece
(verb/noun)
to defraud, swindle; also the wool of a sheep or similar animal
EX:"FLEEING with the FLEECE."
forage
(Verb)
To search or hunt for food and provisions
EX:"Wild animals FORAGING for food in the FOREST."
forbear
(Verb)
To do without; to leave alone; to refrain from; to abstain
EX:"Please FORBEAR feeding the FOUR BEARS."
forsake
(Verb)
To abandon, to give up, to renounce
EX:"The Higgins family wisely decided to FORSAKE their campsite in favor of FOUR SNAKES."
fortuitous
(Noun)
Good fortune occurring by accident or chance
EX:"A FORTUITOUS FORTUNE FOR THE TWO OF US"
fraught
(Noun)
Teeming with; laden; full; involving; accompanied by
EX:"Eric CAUGHT a boatload in a lake FRAUGHT with fish."
gamin
(Noun)
A neglected boy left to run about in the streets
EX:"A JAMMIN' GAMIN."
gazebo
(Noun)
An outdoor structure with a roof and open sides
EX:"A ZEBRA GAZEBO on the Mari Mari Plains of Kenya, East Africa."
generalize
(Verb)
General rather than specific; to form a general CONCLUSION
EX:"To say that all GENERAL'S EYES are the same is to GENERALIZE."
giddy
(Adj.)
A light-headed sensation; dizzy; lightheartedly silly
EX:"Farmer John gets a little GIDDY every time he goes to the CITY."
gird
(Verb)
To encircle as with a belt; to prepare as for action
EX:"Curly GIRDED the HERD with his trusty lasso."
girth
(Noun)
The distance around something; to encircle; to secure with a band that encircles the body of an animal
EX:"Before giving BIRTH, ladies are quite large in GIRTH."
gloat
(Verb)
To brag greatly
EX:"And I got this award for receiving so many awards," said the GLOATING GOAT.
glutton
(Noun)
One who eats or consumes a great deal; having capacity to receive or withstand something
EX:"If you're a GLUTTON, your GUT could weigh a TON."
gossamer
(noun/adj.)
Delicate floating cobwebs; a sheer gauzy fabric; something delicate, light, flimsy
EX:"The spider's GOSSAMER captured many unhappy CUSTOMERS."
grandiloquent
(Adj.)
Attempting to impress with big words or grand gestures
EX:"The GRAND ELEPHANT made a GRANDILOQUENT speech."
grandiose
(Adj.)
Grand and impressive, especially flashy and showy
EX:"The GRANDIOSE Alaskan Pipeline resembles nothing more than a GRAND HOSE."
guile
(Noun)
Cunning, deceitfulness; artfulness
EX:"Nobody could sat Billy didn't use GUILE when running the MILE."
guise
(Noun)
Appearance, semblance
EX:"A master of DISGUISE, Sherlock Holmes concealed his real GUISE."
harangue
(Verb)
To lecture, berate; a long bombastic speech
EX:"The mayor's HARANGUE that women should stay home more was met with MERINGUE pies."
harrowing
(Adj.)
Extremely distressing; disturbing or frightening
EX:"A HARROWING experience for a HARE ROWING."