Ultimate SAT Vocabulary List

Jun 29, 2013 in , , , , , , , , ,

As promised, I am hereby uploading the vocabulary list that I used to study for the SAT. I started compiling this early last year, and the words (and their meanings) are from many sources. A large number of them are from practice tests in the Official SAT Study Guide (the "Blue Book"), and some are from the Kaplan guide, as well as online SAT vocabulary lists (I've mixed them all together, so it's hard to say which ones). There are a few "extra" words that I added in because I found them interesting.

I used my own definitions with the words so they would be easier to understand and remember - mostly I defined them with synonyms or short phrases - so please note that my definitions may not match the tense of the word. The general meaning, however, is there, and with the SAT, that's really the most important thing.

There are 229 words in total, and I hope that this is helpful for those who are studying for the SAT, or who just want to improve their vocabulary in general (do remember that the spellings are all American though).

Aberration - deviating from normal
Abjure - to reject/renounce
Abscond - leave; escape
Abstruse - hard to comprehend
Acrid - pungent
Acrimony - bitterness/discord
Acquiesce - to agree; give in
Adumbrate - suggest vaguely
Aerie/eyrie - large nest
Alacrity - eagerness
Alleviate - make [problem] less severe
Ambivalence - unclear; mixed feelings
Ambulatory - moving from place to place
Amorphously - without definite shape
Anathema - detested person
Anomalous - odd
Antiquated - outdated
Aplomb - calm self-confidence
Approbation - praise
Arcane - mysterious; known only to the initiated
Archetype - classic example of
Arrogate - take without justification
Aspersion - negative feeling; damaging remark
Assiduous - persistent; hard-working
Audacious - bold
Augment - to intensify
Avarice - greed
Aver - declare to be the case; affirm

Baroque - flamboyance
Bastion - fortress; stronghold
Beatific - blissful happiness; joy and calmness
Becloud - cause to become obscure
Belie - contradict
Belligerence - aggression; the quality of being warlike
Benevolent - friendly; helpful
Bigot - narrow-minded person
Bilious - bad-tempered; nauseous; sickly; ill-humored
Boorish - ill-mannered
Burgeon - grow, flourish
Burnish - polish by rubbing; shine

Calumny - false, damaging statement about someone
Cantankerous - disagreeable
Capricious - fickle
Carnal - pertaining to the flesh
Castigate - punish
Caucus - meeting of policy-making committee; group of people who share same concerns
Celerity - speed
Censure - criticize harshly
Cessation - stop
Choleric - easily angered
Circuitous - longer than most direct way; roundabout
Circumlocution - evasion in speech
Clemency - mercy
Cogent - persuasive
Colloquial - not formal
Complicity - involvement as an accomplice in crime
Confluence - joining
Consecrate - delicate
Contiguous - sharing a border; next in sequence
Convoluted - complicated
Contrite - sorry

Dearth - scarcity
Debonair - archaic
Decorous - good behavior
Deleterious - harmful
Demagogue - political leader who appeals to desires of public
Despotic - acting like a tyrant
Detritus - rubbish
Diaphanous - very thin and transparent
Dictum - often-used saying
Diorama - model of a scene
Disparaged - speak of as of little worth
Dotard - foolish old man
Duplicitous - not truthful
Duplicity – deceitfulness

Ebullient - enthusiastic
Eclectic - taking things from different sources
Effigy - model of a person
Egalitarian - equal
Egregious - obviously bad
Elucidate - make clear
Enervating - weakening; tiring
Ephemeral - momentary
Evanescent - short-lived
Epochal - period of history; significant or momentous
Equanimity - calmness even under stress
Equivocate - speak vaguely
Extenuating - excusing; mitigating [factors]
Eschew - avoid
Esoteric – arcane (able to be understood only be specialists)
Exponent - person who does things skillfully; one who advocates or speaks for
Extraneous - irrelevant

Febrile - over-active; showing symptoms of fever
Fecund - fertile
Filibuster - prolonged speaking which obstructs progress in law-making assembly; delay through speech making
Florid - flushed; gaudy; ornate
Fulsome - excessively flattering

Gauche - socially awkward; unsophisticated
Germane - relevant
Germinal - not developed; immature
Guileless - frank

Hackneyed - cliched; ordinary
Hegemony - dominance of one group over another
Heresy - against norms
Histrionics - excessively dramatic
Hubris - excessive pride/self confidence

Iconoclast - person who goes against accepted authority
Illusory - not real, but seems to be
Impassive - not feeling or showing emotion
Impecunious - having no money
Imperious - expecting to be obeyed without question
Implacable - unwilling to stop being hostile; unstoppable; impossible to please/satisfy
Importune - very persistent
Impute - to attribute an action to particular person/group
Incarnadine - flesh or blood colored
Inchoate - not fully formed; just begun
Indolent - lazy
Inebriation - intoxication
Ingenue - naive, unsophisticated person
Ingratiate - gain favor with flattery; seek good graces of another
Inimical - hostile
Insensate - unfeeling; unconscious; lacking awareness
Insidious - treacherous, seductive, subtle
Interregnum - period between regimes when normal government is suspended
Intransigent - refusing to change views, behavior; extreme; uncompromising
Intrepid - fearless; adventurous
Irascible - easily angered
Ire - anger
Itinerant - nomadic

Jaundiced - cynical; pessimistic

Kismet - fate

Lachrymose - tearful
Laconic - tending not to speak much
Licentious - sexually immoral
Lucid - clear

Macabre - disturbing
Magnanimity - forgiving towards enemy; generosity
Maladroit - clumsy
Malevolent - wishing evil to others
Marshal - to gather together
Mawkish - excessively sentimental
Mendacious - given to lying
Mendacity - untruthfulness
Milieu - person's social environment
Misnomer - wrong name
More - troublesome situation
Munificent - generous

Nebulous - vague
Nettle - annoy
Niggardly - stingy

Onus - responsibility; burden; blame
Opprobriously - highly critical; scornful; abusive
Opulent - wealthy
Ostentatious - showy

Paean - song of praise/triumph
Palpable - able to be touched; obvious
Paragon - model of excellence/perfection
Pare - reduce
Pariah - social outcast
Parity - equality
Paucity - shortage
Percipient - perceptive
Perfidy - deceitfulness
Perspicacious - insightful
Petulant - sulky; peevish
Phalanx - group of similar people/things
Philistine - uncultured person
Phlegmatic - calm
Placid - calm
Platitude - overused remark; cliche statement
Polyglot - mixture of languages
Portico - porch
Postulate - hypothesize
Potable - safe to drink
Potentate - monarch/ruler; one who exercises extensive power
Precipice - steep slope
Prosaic - ordinary; dull
Protean - changeable
Pseudonym - false name

Quaff - drink down quickly
Quagmire - swamp or bog

Rancor - resentment
Recidivism - not discouraged by punishment; relapse into bad behaviors
Replete - abundantly supplied
Rostrum - platform person stands on to make speech

Salient - most important; prominent
Salubrious - health-giving
Sanctimonious - making a show of being morally better than others
Saturnine - serious, gloomy
Scintilla - trace (not a trace of doubt)
Scrupulous - careful
Servile - groveling
Sinecure - job where holder is paid but requires little or no work
Sophomoric - immature
Spartan - lacking in comfort, luxury
Specious - seemingly reasonable but actually wrong; misleading in appearance
Subliminal - below consciousness
Subterranean - underground
Succinct - concise
Supercilious - proud/haughty
Surreptitious - sneaky
Sybarite - fond of luxury and pleasure
Sycophant - flatterer

Temporal - limited by time in material world
Tenet - central principle; belief
Tenuous - slight or weak; very slender or fine; having little substance
Titular - holding formal position without real authority
Tractable - obedient, polite
Transient - short-lived; temporary
Truant - someone absent without permission; shirker
Truculent - cruel, deadly, harsh
Truculently - quick to argue/fight; bitterly opposed
Tutelage - instruction (tuition); authority over someone else

Unctuous - smug; oily
Unequivocal - clear, obvious

Vacuous - lacking content; stupid
Variegated - varied
Venal - corrupt
Vernacular - main language
Vilification - blackening someone's name
Vindicate - clear from blame/suspicion
Virulent - extremely harmful; disease; poison; bitterly hostile
Voluble - talkative

Whet - sharpen
Willful - stubborn

Yen - yearning