362 terms

SAT High-Frequency Word List (Barron's)

Words have appeared from 8 - 40 times on SATs published in the last 2 decades
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abridge
condense or shorten
abstemious
sparing in eating and drinking; temperate
abstract
theoretical; not concrete; nonrepresentational
abstruse
obscure; profound; difficult to understand
accessible
easy to approach; obtainable
acclaim
applaud; announce with great approval
acknowledge
recognize; admit
adulation
flattery; admiration
adversary
opponent
adversity
unfavorable fortune; hardship; a calamitous event
advocate
urge; plead for
aesthetic
artistic; dealing with or capable of appreciation of the beautiful
affable
easily approachable; warmly friendly
affirmation
positive assertion; confirmation; solemn pledge by one who refuses to take an oath
alleviate
relieve
aloof
apart; reserved
altruistic
unselfishly generous; concerned for others
ambiguous
unclear or doubtful in meaning
ambivalence
the state of having contradictory or conflicting emotional attitudes
analogous
comparable
anarchist
person who seeks to overturn the established government; advocate of abolishing authority
anecdote
short account of an amusing or interesting event
animosity
active enmity
antagonism
hostility; active resistance
antidote
medicine to counteract a poison or disease
antiquated
old-fashioned; obsolete
apathy
lack of caring; indifference
appease
pacify or sooth; relieve
apprehension
fear
arbitrary
capricious; randomly chosen; tyrannical
archaic
antiquated
arrogance
pride; haughtiness
articulate
effective; distinct
artifact
object made by human beings, either handmade or mass-produced
artisan
manually skilled worker; craftsman, as opposed to artist
ascendancy
controlling influence; domination
ascetic
practicing self-denial; austere
aspire
seek to attain; long for
astute
wise; shrewd; keen
attribute
ascribe; explain
augment
increase; add to
austere
forbiddingly stern; severely simple and unornamented
authoritarian
subordinating the individual to the state; completely dominating another's will
autonomous
self-governing
aversion
firm dislike
belie
contradict; give a false impression
benevolent
generous; charitable
bolster
support; reinforce
braggart
boaster
brevity
conciseness
cajole
coax; wheedle
calculated
deliberately planned; likely
candor
frankness; open honesty
capricious
unpredictable; fickle; fanciful
censorious
critical
censure
blame; criticize
coercion
use of force to get someone to obey
commemorate
honor the memory of
compile
assemble; gather; accumulate
complacency
self-satisfaction; smugness
compliance
readiness to yield, conformity in fulfilling requirements
composure
mental calmness
comprehensive
thorough; inclusive
concede
admit; yield
conciliatory
reconciling; soothing
concise
brief and compact
concur
agree
condone
overlook; forgive; give tacit approval; excuse
conflagration
great fire
confound
confuse; puzzle
consensus
general agreement
constraint
compulsion; repression of feelings
contend
struggle; compete; assert earnestly
contentious
quarrelsome
contract
compress or shrink; make a pledge; catch a disease
conviction
judgement that someone is guilty of a crime; strongly held belief
cordial
gracious; heartfelt
corroborate
confirm; support
credulity
belief on slight evidence; gullibility; naivete
criterion
standard used in judging
cryptic
mysterious; hidden; secret
cursory
casual; hastily done
curtail
shorten; reduce
decorum
propriety; orderliness and good taste in manners
deference
courteous regard for another's wish
degradation
humiliation; debasement; degeneration
delineate
portray; depict; sketch
denounce
condemn; criticize
deplore
regret; disapprove of
depravity
extreme corruption; wickedness
deprecate
express disapproval of; protest against; belittle
deride
ridicule; make fun of
derivative
unoriginal; derived from another source
despondent
depressed; gloomy
detached
emotionally removed; calm and objective; physically unconnected
deterrent
something that discourages; hindrance
detrimental
harmful; damaging
devious
roundabout; erratic; not straightforward
devise
think up; invent; plan
diffuse
wordy; rambling; spread out (like a gas)
digression
wandering away from the subject
diligence
steadiness of effort; persistent hard work
diminution
lessening; reduction in size
discerning
mentally quick and observant; having insight
disclose
reveal
discordant
not harmonious; conflicting
discount
disregard; dismiss
discrepancy
lack of consistency; difference
discriminating
able to see differences; prejudiced
disdain
view with scorn or contempt
disinclination
unwillingness
dismiss
put away from consideration; reject
disparage
belittle
disparity
difference; condition of inequality
disperse
scatter
disputatious
argumentative; fond of arguing
disseminate
distribute; spread; scatter
dissent
disagree
divergent
differing; deviating
doctrine
teachings, in general; particular principle (religious, legal, etc.) taught
document
provide written evidence
dogmatic
opinionated; arbitrary; doctrinal
dubious
questionable; filled with doubt
duplicity
double-dealing; hypocrisy
eclectic
composed of elements drawn from disparate sources
egoism
excessive interest in one's self; belief that one should be interested in one's self rather than in others
elated
overjoyed; in high spirits
eloquence
expressiveness; persuasive speech
elusive
evasive; baffling; hard to grasp
embellish
adorn; ornament
emulate
imitate; rival
endorse
approve; support
enhance
increase; improve
enigma
puzzle; mystery
enmity
ill will; hatred
ephemeral
short-lived; fleeting
equivocal
ambiguous; intentionally misleading
erroneous
mistaken; wrong
erudite
learned; scholarly
esoteric
hard to understand; known only to the chosen few
eulogy
expression of praise, often on the occasion of someone's death
euphemism
mild expression in place of an unpleasant one
exacerbate
worsen; embitter
exalt
raise in rank or dignity; praise
execute
put into effect; carry out
exemplary
serving as a model; outstanding
exemplify
serve as an example of; embody
exhaustive
thorough; comprehensive
exhilarating
invigorating and refreshing; cheering
exonerate
acquit; exculpate
expedient
suitable; practical; politic
expedite
hasten
explicit
totally clear; definite; outspoken
exploit
make use of, sometimes unjustly
extol
praise; glorify
extraneous
not essential; superfluous
extricate
free; disentangle
exuberance
overflowing abundance; joyful enthusiasm; flamboyance; lavishness
facilitate
help bring about; make less difficult
fallacious
false; misleading
fanaticism
excessive zeal; extreme devotion to a belief or cause
fastidious
difficult to please; squeamish
feasible
practical
fervor
glowing ardor; intensity of feeling
flagrant
conspicuously wicked; blatant
frivolous
lacking in seriousness; self-indulgently carefree; relatively unimportant
frugality
thrift; economy
furtive
stealthy; sneaky
garrulous
loquacious; wordy; talkative
glutton
someone who eats too much
gratify
please
gratuitous
given freely; unwarranted; uncalled for
gravity
seriousness
gregarious
sociable
guile
deceit; duplicity
gullible
easily deceived
hamper
obstruct
hardy
sturdy; robust; able to stand inclement weather
haughtiness
pride; arrogance
hedonist
one who believes that pleasure is the sole aim in life
heresy
opinion contrary to popular belief; opinion contrary to accepted religion
hierarchy
arrangements by rank or standing; authoritarian body divided into ranks
homogeneous
of the same kind
hypocritical
pretending to be virtuous; deceiving
hypothetical
based on assumptions or hypotheses; supposed
idiosyncrasy
individual trait, usually odd in nature; eccentricity
illusory
deceptive; not real
immutable
unchangeable
impair
injure; hurt
impeccable
faultless
impede
hinder; block; delay
implausible
unlikely; unbelievable
implement
put into effect; supply with tools
impudence
impertinence; insolence
inadvertent
unintentional; by oversight; careless
inane
silly; senseless
incisive
cutting; sharp
incite
arouse to action; goad; motivate; induce to exist
inclusive
tending to include all
incongruous
not fitting; absurd
inconsequential
insignificant; unimportant
incorrigible
not correctable
indict
charge
indifferent
unmoved or unconcerned by; mediocre
indiscriminate
choosing at random; confused
induce
persuade; bring about
inert
inactive; lacking power to move
ingenious
clever; resourceful
inherent
firmly established by nature or habit
innate
inborn
innocuous
harmless
innovation
change; introduction of something new
insipid
lacking in flavor; dull
instigate
urge; start; provoke
insularity
narrow-mindedness; isolation
integrity
uprightness; wholeness
intervene
come between
intimidate
frighten
intrepid
fearless
inundate
overwhelm; flood; submerge
invert
turn upside down or inside out
ironic
resulting in an unexpected and contrary outcome
lament
grieve; express sorrow
laud
praise
lavish
generous; openhanded; extravagant; wasteful
lethargic
drowsy; dull
levity
lack of seriousness; lightness
linger
loiter or dawdle; continue or persist
listless
lacking in spirit or energy
lofty
very high
malicious
hateful; spiteful
marred
damaged; disfigured
materialism
preoccupation with physical comforts and things
methodical
systematic
meticulous
excessively careful; painstaking; scrupulous
miserly
stingy; mean
mitigate
appease; moderate
morose
ill-humored; sullen; melancholy
mundane
worldly as opposed to spiritual; everyday
negate
cancel out; nullify; deny
nonchalance
indifference; lack of concern; composure
notoriety
disrepute; ill fame
novelty
something new; newness
nurture
nourish; educate; foster
obliterate
destroy completely
oblivion
obscurity; forgetfulness
obscure
darken; make unclear
obstinate
stubborn; hard to control or treat
ominous
threatening
opaque
dark; not transparent
opportunist
individual who sacrifices principles for expediency by taking advantage of circumstances
optimist
person who looks on the good side
opulence
extreme wealth; luxuriousness; abundance
orator
public speaker
ostentatious
showy; pretentious; trying to attract attention
pacifist
one opposed to force; anti-militarist
partisan
one-sided; prejudiced; committed to a party
peripheral
marginal; outer
perpetuate
make something last; preserve from extinction
pervasive
pervading; spread throughout every part
pessimism
belief that life is basically bad or evil; gloominess
phenomena
observable facts; subjects of scientific investigation
philanthropist
lover of mankind; doer of good
piety
religious devotion; godliness
placate
pacify; conciliate
ponderous
weighty; unwieldy
pragmatic
practical (as opposed to idealistic); concerned with the practical worth or impact of something
preclude
make impossible; eliminate
precocious
advanced in development
predator
creature that seizes and devours another animal; person who robs or exploits others
predecessor
former occupant of a post
presumptuous
overconfident; impertinently bold; taking liberties
pretentious
ostentatious; pompous; making unjustified claims; overly ambitious
prevalent
widespread; generally accepted
prodigal
wasteful; reckless with money
profane
violate; desecrate; treat unworthily
profound
deep; not superficial; complete
profusion
overabundance; lavish expenditure; excess
proliferation
rapid growth; spread; multiplication
prolific
abundantly fruitful
provincial
pertaining to a province; limited in outlook; unsophisticated
proximity
nearness
prudent
cautious; careful
qualified
limited; restricted
quandary
dilemma
ramble
wander aimlessly (physically or mentally)
rancor
bitterness; hatred
ratify
approve formally; confirm; verify
rebuttal
refutation; response with contrary evidence
recluse
hermit; loner
recount
narrate or tell; count over again
rectify
set right; correct
redundant
superfluous; repetitious; excessively wordy
refute
disprove
relegate
banish to an inferior position; delegate; assign
remorse
guilt; self-reproach
renounce
abandon; disown; repudiate
repel
drive away; disgust
reprehensible
deserving blame
reprimand
reprove severely; rebuke
reprove
censure; rebuke
repudiate
disown; disavow
reserve
self-control; formal but distant manner
resigned
accepting one's fate; unresisting; patiently submissive
resolution
determination; resolve
resolve
determination; firmness of purpose
restraint
moderation of self-control; controlling force; restriction
reticence
reserve; uncommunicativeness; inclination to silence
retract
withdraw; take back
reverent
respectful; worshipful
rhetorical
pertaining to effective communication; insincere in language
rigor
severity
robust
vigorous; strong
sage
person celebrated for wisdom
sanction
approve; ratify
satirical
mocking
scanty
meager; insufficient
scrupulous
conscientious; extremely thorough
scrutinize
examine closely and critically
seclusion
isolation; solitude
servile
slavish; cringing
skeptic
doubter; person who suspends judgment until the evidence supporting a point of view has been examined
sluggish
slow; lazy; lethargic
somber
gloomy; depressing; dark; drab
sporadic
occurring irregularly
squander
waste
stagnant
motionless; stale; dull
static
unchanging; lacking development
submissive
yielding; timid
subordinate
occupying a lower rank; inferior; submissive
subside
settle down; descend; grow quiet
substantiate
establish by evidence; verify; support
succinct
brief; tense; compact
superficial
trivial; shallow
superfluous
unnecessary; excessive; overabundant
susceptible
impressionable; easily influenced; having little resistance, as to a disease; receptive to
sustain
experience; support; nourish
sycophant
servile flatterer; bootlicker; yes man
taciturn
habitually silent; talking little
temper
moderate; tone down or restrain; toughen (steel)
tentative
hesitant; not fully worked out or developed; experimental; not definite or positive
terse
concise; abrupt; pithy
thrive
prosper; flourish
tranquility
calmness; peace
transient
momentary; temporary; staying for a short time
trite
hackneyed; commonplace
turbulence
state of violent agitation
turmoil
great commotion and confusion
undermine
weaken; sap
uniformity
sameness; monotony
unwarranted
unjustified; groundless; undeserved
usurp
seize another power or rank
vacillate
waver; fluctuate
venerate
revere
verbose
wordy
vigor
active strength
vilify
slander
vindicate
clear from blame; exonerate; justify or support
virtuoso
highly skilled artist
volatile
changeable; explosive; evaporating rapidly
whimsical
capricious; fanciful
zealot
fanatic; person who shows excessive zeal