Sparknotes's 250 Common SAT Vocabulary Words

Terms Definitions
abjure
(v) to reject, renounce
abjure
To prove his honesty, the president abjured the civil policies of his wicked predecssor.
abrogate
(v) to abolish, usually by authority
abrogate
The Bill of Rights assures that the government cannot abrogate our right to a gree press.
acerbic
(adj) biting, bitter in tone or taste
acerbic
Jill became extrememly acerbic and began to cruelly make fun of all her friends.
acrimony
(n) bitterness, discord
acrimony
Though they vowed that no girl would ever come between them, Biff and Trevor could not keep acrimony from overwhelming their friendship after they both fell in love with the lovely Teresa.
acumen
(n) keen insight
acumen
Because of his mathematical acumen, Larry was able to figure out in minutes the problems that took other students hours.
adumbrate
(v) to sketch out in a vague way
adumbrate
To coach adumbrated a game plan, but none of the players knew precisely what to do.
anathema
(n) a cursed, detested person
anathema
I never want to see that murderer; he is an anathema to me.
alacrity
(n) eagerness speed
alacrity
For some reason, Chuck loved to help his mother whenever he could; so when his mother asked him to set the table, he did so with alacrity.
antipathy
(n) a strong dislike, repungnance
antipathy
I know you love me, but because you are a liar and a thief, I feel nothing but antipathy for you.
approbation
(n) praise
approbation
The crould welcomed the heros with approbation.
arrogate
(v) to take without justification
arrogate
The king arrogated the right to order executions to himself exclusively.
ascetic
(adj) practicing restraing as a means of self-discipline, usually religious
ascetic
The piest lives an ascetic life devoid of television, savory goods, and other pleasures.
aspersion
(n) a curse, expression of ill-will
aspersion
The rival politicians repeatedly cast aspersions on each others' integrity.
assiduous
(adj) hard-working, diligent
assiduous
The construction workders erected the skyscraper during two years of assiduous labor.
blandish
(v) to coax by using flattery
blandish
Rachel's assistant tried to blandish her into accepting the deal.
boon
(n) a gift or blessing
boon
The good wather has been a boon for many businesses located near the beach.
brusque
(adj) short, abrupt, dismissive
brusque
The captain's brusque manner offended the passengers.
buffet
(v) to strike with force
(n) an arrangment of food set out on a table
buffet
(v) The strong winds buffeted the ships, threatening to capsize them.

(n) Rather than sitting around a table, the guests took food fro mour buffet and ate standing up.
burnish
(v) to polish, shine
burnish
His mother asked him to burnish the silverware before setting the table.
buttress
(v) to support, hold up
(n) something that offers support
buttress
(v) The column butresses the roof above the statue.

(n) The buttress supports the roof above the statues.
cacophony
(n) tremendous noise, disharmonious sound
cacophony
The elementary school orchestra created a cacophony at the recital.
cajole
(v) to urge, coax
cajole
Fred's buddies cajoled him into attending the bachelor party.
capricious
(adj) subject to whim, fickle
capricious
The young girl's captricious tendencies made it difficult for her to focus on achieving her goals.
clemency
(n) mercy
clemency
After he forgot their anniversary, Martin could only beg Maria for clemency.
congent
(adj) intellectualy convincing
congent
Irene's argument in favor of abstinence were so cogent that i could not resist them.
concomitant
(adj) accompanying in a subordinate fasion
concomitant
His dislike of hard work carried with it a concomitant lack of funds.
conflagration
(n) great fire
conflagration
The conflagrationi consumed the entire building.
contrite
(adj) penitent, eager to be forgiven
contrite
Blake's contrite behavior made it impossible to stay angry at him.
conundrum
(n) puzzle, problem
conundrum
Interpreting Jane's behavior was a constant conundrum.
credulity
(n) readiness to believe
credulity
His credulity made him an easy target for con men.
calumny
(n) an attempt to spoil someone else's reputation by spreading lies
calumny
The local officials calumny ended up ruining his opponent's prospect of winning the election.
cupidity
(n) greed, strong desire
cupidity
His cupidity made him enter the abandoned gold mine despite the obvious dangers.
cursory
(adj) brief to the point of being superficial
cursory
Late for the meeting, she cast a cursory glance at the agenda.
decry
(v) to criticize openly
decry
The kind video rental clerk decried the policiy of charging customers late fees.
defile
(v) to make unclean, impure
defile
She defiled the calm of the religious building by playing her banjo.
deleterious
(adj) harmful
deleterious
She experienced the deleterious effects of running a marathon without streatching her muscles enough beforehand.
demure
)edj) quiet, modest, reserved
demure
Though everyone else at the party was dancing and going crazy, she remained demure.
deprecate
(v) to belittle, depreciate
deprecate
Always over-modes, he deprecated his contribution to the local charity.
deride
)v_ to laugh at mockingly, scorn
deride
The bullies derided the foreign student's accent.
dececrate
(v) to violate the sacredness of a thing or place
dececrate
They feared the the consturction of a golf course would desecrate the preserved wilderness.
desiccated
(adj) dried up, dehydrated
desiccated
The skin of the desiccated mummy looked like old paper.
diaphanous
(adj) light, airy, transparant
diaphanous
Sunlight poured in through the diaphanous curtains, brightening the room.
diffident
(adj) shy, quiet, modest
diffident
While eatcing dinner with the adults, the diffident youth did not speak for fear of seeming presumptuous.
discursive
(adj) rambling, lacking order
discursive
The prefessor's discursive lectures seemed to be about every subject except the one initially described.
dissemble
(v) to conceal, fake
dissemble
Not wanting to appear heartlessly greedy, she dissembled and hid her intention to sell her ailing father's stamp collection.
dither
(v) to be indecisive
dither
Not wanting to offend either friend, he dithered about which of the two birthday parties he should attend.
ebullient
(adj) extremely lively, enthusiastic
ebullient
She became ebullient upon receiving and accpetance letter from her first-choice college.
effrontery
(n) impudence, nerve, insolence
effrontery
When i told my aunt that she was boring, my mother scolded me for my effrontery.
effulgent
(adj) radiant, splendorous
effulgent
The golden palace was effulgent.
ennervate
(v) to weaken exhaust
ennervate
Writing these sentences ennervates me so much that I will have to take a nap after I finish.
ephemeral
(adj) short-lived, fleeting
ephemeral
She promised she'd love me forever, but her "forever" was only ephemeral: she left me after one week.
eschew
(v) to shun , avoid
eschew
George hates the color green so much that he eschews all green food.
evanescent
(adj) fleeting, momentary
evanescent
My joy at getting promoted was evanescent because I discovered that I would have to work much longer hours in a less friendly office.
evince
(v) to show, reveal
evince
Christopher's hand-wringing and nail-biting evince how nervous he is about the upcoming English test.
exculpate
(v) to free from guilt or blame, exonerate
exculpate
My discovery of the ring behind the dresser exculpated me from the charge of having stolen it.
execrable
(adj) loathsome, detestable
execrable
Her pudding is so execrable that it makes me sick.
exigent
(adj) urgent, critical
exigent
The patient has an exigent need for medication, or else he will lose his sight.
expiate
(v) to make amends for, atone
expiate
To expiate my selfishness, I gave all my profits to charity.
expunge
(v) to obliterate, eradicate
expunge
Fearful of an IRS investigation, Paul tried to expunge all incriminating evidence from his tax files.
extant
(adj) existing, not destroyed or lost
extant
My mother's extant love letters to my father are in the attic trunk.
extol
to praise, revere
extol
Violet extolled the virtues of a vegetarian diet to her meat-loving brother.
fallacious
(adj) incorrect, misleading
fallacious
Emily offered me cigarettes on the fallacious assumption that I smoked.
fastitious
(adj) meticulous, demanding, having high and often unattainable standards
fastitious
Mark is so fastidious that he is never able to finish a project because it always seems imperfect to him.
fatuous
(adj) silly, foolish
fatuous
He considers himself a serious poet, but in truth , he only writes fatuous limericks.
fecund
(adj) fruitful, fertile
fecund
The fecund tree bore enough apples to last us through the entire season.
feral
(adj) wild, savage
feral
That beast looks so feral that I would fear being alone with it.
fetid
(adj) having a foul odor
fetid
I can tell from the fetid smell in your refrigerator that your milk as spoiled.
florid
(adj) flowery, ornate
florid
The writer's florid prose belongs on a sentimental Hallmark card.
fractious
(adj) troublesome or irritable
fractious
Although the child insisted he wasn't tired, his fractious behavior--especially his decision to crush his heese and crackers all over the floor--convinced everyone present that it was time to put him to bed.
garrulous
(adj) talkative, wordy
garrulous
Some talk0show hosts are so garrulous that their guests can't get a word in edgewise.
grandiloquence
lofty, pompous language
grandiloquence
The student thought her grandiloquence would make her sound smart, but neither the class nor the teacher bought it.
gregarious
(adj) drawn to the company of others, sociable
gregarious
Well, if you're not gregarious, I don't know why you would want to go to a singles party!
hackneyed
(adj) unoriginal, trite
hackneyed
A girl can hear "I love you" only so many times nrgotr iy nrhind yo dounf hackneyed and meaningless.
hapless
(adj) unlucky
hapless
My poor, hapless family never seems to pick a sunny week to go on vacation.
harangeue
(n) a ranting speech
(v) to give such a speech
harangeue
(n) Everyone had heard the teacher's harangue about gum chewing in class before.

(v) But this time the teacher harangued the classs about the imporance of brushing our teech after chewing gum.
hegemony
(n) domination over others
hegemony
Britain's hegemony over its colonies was threatened once nationalist sentiment began to spread around the world.
iconoclast
(n) one who attacks common beliefs or institutions
iconoclast
Jane goes to one protest after another, but she seems to be an iconoclast rather than an activist with a progressive agenda.
ignominious
(adj) humiliating, disgracing
ignominious
It was really ignominious to be kicked out of the dorm for having an illegal gas stove in my room.
impassive
(adj) stoic, not susceptible to suffering
impassive
Stop being so impassive; it's healthy to cry every now and then.
imperious
(adj) commanding, domineering
imperious
The imperious nature of your manner led me to dislike you at once.
impertinent
(adj) rude, insolent
impertinent
Most of your comments are so impertinent that I don't wish to dignify them with an answer.
impertinent
(adj) rude, insolent
impertinent
Most of your comments are so impertinent that I don't wish to dignify them with an answer.
impervious
(adj) impenetrable, incapable of being affected
impervious
Beacuse of their thick layer of fur, many seals are almost impervious to the cold.
impetuous
(adj) rash; hastily done
impetuous
Hilda's hasty slaying of the king was an impetuous, thoughtless action.
impinge
(v) to impact, affect, make an impression

(v) to encroach, infringe
impinge
(v) The hail impinged the roof, leaving large dents.

(v) I aplogize for impinging upon you like this, but I really need to use your bathroom. Now.
implacable
(adj) incapable of being appeased or mitigated
implacable
Watch out: Once you shun Grandma's cooking, she is totally implacable.
impudent
(adj) Casually rude, insolent, impertinent
impudent
The impudent young man looked the princess up and down and told her she was hot even though she hadn't asked him.
inchoate
(adj) unformed or formless, in a beginning stage
inchoate
The country's government is still inchoate and, because it has no great tradition, quite unstable.
incontrovertible
(adj) indisputable
incontrovertible
Only stubborn Tina would attempt to disprove the incontrovertible laws of physics.
indefatigable
(adj) incapable of defeat, failure, decay
indefatigable
Even after traveling 62 miles, the indefatigable runner kept on moving.
ineffable
(adj) unspeakable, incapable of being expressed through words
ineffable
It is said that the experience of playing with a dolphis is ineffacle and can only be understood through direct encounter.
inexorable
(adj) incapable of being persuaded or placated
inexorable
Although I begged for hours, Mom was inexorable and refused to let me stay out all night after the prom.
ingenuous
(adj) not devious; innocent and candid
ingenuous
He must have writers, but his speeches seem to ingenuous that it's hard to believe he's not speaking from his own heart.
inimical
(adj) hostile
inimical
I don't see how I could ever work for a company that was so cold and inimical to me during my interviews.
iniquity
(n) wickedness or sin
iniquity
"Your iniquity," said the priest to the practical joker, "will be forgiven."
insiduous
(adj) appealing bt imperceptibly harmful, seductive
insiduous
lisa's insiduous chocolate cake tastes so good,but makes you feel so sick later on!
intransigent
(adj) refusing to compromise, often on an extreme opinion
intransigent
the intransigent child said he would have 12 scoops of ice cream or he would bang his head against the wall until his mother fainted from fear.
inure
(v) to cause someone or something to become accustomed to a situation
inure
Twenty years in the salt mines inured the man to the discomforts of dirt and grime.
invective
(n) an angry verbal attack
invective
My boether irrational invective against the way I dress only made me decide to dye my hair green.
inveterate
(adj) subbornly established by habit
inveterate
I'm the first to admit that I'm an inveterate coffee drinker--I drink four cups a day.
jubilant
(adj) extremely joyful, happy
jubilant
The crowd was jubilant when the firefighter carried the woma from the flaming building.
juxtaposition
(n) the act of placing two things next to each other for implicit comparision
juxtaposition
The interior designer admired my justaposition of the yellow couch and green table.
laconic
(adj) terse in speech or writing
laconic
The author's laconic style has won him many followers who dislike wordiness.
languid
(adj) sluggish from fatique or weakness
languid
In the summer months, the great heat makes people languid and lazy.
largess
(n) the gnerous giving of lavish gifts
largess
My boss demonstrated great largess by giving me a new car.
latent
(adj) hidden, but capable of being exposed
latent
Sigmund's dream represented his latent paranoid obsession with other people's shoes.
legerdemain
(n) deception, slight-of-hant
legerdemain
Smuggling the French plans through customs by claiming that they were fake was a remarkable bit of legerdemain.
licentious
(adj) displaying a lack of moral or legal restraints
licentious
Marilee has always been fascinated by the licentious private lives of politicians.
limpid
(n) clear, transparent
limpid
Mr. Johnson's limpid writing style greatly pleased readers who disliked complicated novels.
maelstrom
(n) a destructive whirlpool which rapidly sucks in objects
maelstrom
Little did the explorers know that as they turned the next bend of the calm river, a vicious maelstrom would catch their boat.
magnanimous
(adj) nobel, generous
magnanimous
Although I had already broken most of her dishes, Jacqueline was magnanimous enough to continue letting me use them.
malediction
(n) a curse
malediction
When I was arrested for speeding, I screamed maledictions against the policemen and the entire police department.
malevolent
(adj) wanting harm to befall others
malevolent
The malevolent old man sat in the park all day, tripping unsuspecting passersby with his cane.
manifold
(adj) diverse, varied
manifold
The popularity of Dante's Inferno is partly due to the fact that the work allows for manifold interpretations.
maudlin
(adj) weakly sentimental
maudlin
Although many people enjoy romantic comedies, I usually find them maudlin and shallow.
mawkish
characterized by sick sentimentality
mawkish
Although some nineteenth-century critics viewed Dicken's writing as mawkish, contemporary readers have found great emotional depth in his works.
mendacious
(adj) having a lying, false character
mendacious
The mendacious content of the tabloid magazines is at least entertaining.
mercurial
(adj) characterized by rapid change or temperamentality
mercurial
Though he was widely respected for his mathematical proofs, the mercurial genius was impossible to live with.
modicum
(n) a small amount of something
modicum
Refusing to display even a modicum of sensitivity, Henrietta announced her boss's affiar in front of the entire office.
morass
(n) a wet, swampy bog; figuratively, something that traps and confuses
morass
When Theresa lost her job, she could not get out of her financial morass.
multifarious
(adj) having great diversity or variety
multifarious
The Swiss Army knife has multifarious functions and capabilities; among other things, it can act as a knife, a saw, a toothpick, and a slingshot.
munificence
(n) generosity in giving
munificence
The royal family's munificence made everyone else in their country rich.
myriad
(adj) consisting of a very great number
myriad
It was difficult to decide what to do Friday night because the city presented as with a myriad possibilities for fun.
nadir
(n) the lowest point of something
nadir
My day was boring, but the nadir came when I accidentally spilled a bowl of spaghetti on my head.
nascent
(adj) in the process of being born or coming into existence
nascent
Unfortunately, my brilliant paper was only in its nascent form on the morning that it was due.
nefarious
(adj) heinously villainous
nefarious
Althoug Dr. Meanman's nefarious plot to melt the polar icecaps was terrifying, it was so impractical that nobody really worried about it.
neophyte
(n) someone who is young or inexperienced
neophyte
As a neophyte in the literary world, Malik had trouble finding a publisher for his first novel.
obdurate
(n) unyeilding to persuasion or moral influences
obdurate
The obdurate old man refused to take pity on the kittens.
obfuscate
(v) to render incomprehensible
obfuscate
The detective did not want to answer the newspaperman's questions, so he obfuscated the truth.
oblique
(adj) diverging from a straight line or course
oblique
Martin's oblique language confused those who listened to him.
obsequious
(adj) excessively compliant or submissive
obsequious
Mark acted like Janet's servant, obeying her every request in an obsequious manner.
obstreperous
(adj) noisy, unruly
obstreperous
Billy's obstreperous behavior prompted the librarian to ask him to leave the reading room.
obtuse
(adj) lacking quickness of sensibility or intellect
obtuse
Political opponents warned that the prime minister's obtuse approach to foreign policy would embroil the nation in mindless war.
odious
(adj) instilling hatred or intense displeasure
odious
Mark was assigned the odious task of cleaning the cat's litter box.
officious
(adj) offering one's services when they are neither wanted nor needed
officious
Brenda resented Allan's officious behavior when he selected colors that might best improve his artwork.
opulent
(adj) characterized by rich abundance verging on ostentation
opulent
The opulent furnishings of the dictator's private compound contrasted harshly with the measger accommodations of her subjects.
ostensible
(adj) appearing as supalliatech, seemingly
ostensible
Jack's ostensible reason for driving was that airfare was too expensive, but in reality, he was afraid of flying.
palliate
(v) to reduce the severity of
palliate
The doctor trusted that the new medication would palliate her patient's discomfort.
pallid
(adj) lacking color
pallid
Dr. van Helsing feared that Lucy's pallid complexion was due to an unexplained loss of blood.
panacea
(n) a remedy for all ills or difficulties
panacea
Doctors wish there was a single panacea for every disease, but sadly there is not.
paragon
(n) a model of excellence or perfection
paragon
The mythical Helen of Troy was considered a paragon of female beauty
pariah
(n) an outcast
pariah
Following the discovery of his plagiarism, Professor Hurley was made a paraiah in all academic circles.
parsimony
(n) frugality, stinginess
parsimony
Many relatives believed that my aunt's wealth resulted from her parsimony.
pathos
(n) an emotion of sympathy
pathos
Martha filled with pathos upon discovering the scrawny, shivering kitten at her door.
paucity
(adj) small in quantity
paucity
Gilbert lamaented the paucity of twentieth-century literature courses available at the college.
pejorative
(adj) derogatory, uncomplimentary
pejorative
The evening's headline news covered an international scandal caused by a pejorative senator had made in reference to a foreign leader.
pellucid
(adj) easily intelligible, clear
pellucid
Wishing his book to be pellucid to the common man, Albert Camus avoided using complicated grammar when composing The Stranger.
penurious
(adj) miserly, stingy
penurious
Stella complained that her husband's penurious ways made it impossible to live the lifestyle she felt she deserved.
perfidious
disloyal, unfaithful
perfidious
After the official was caught selling government secrets to enemy agents, he was executed for his perfidious ways.
perfunctory
showing little interest or enthusiasm
perfunctory
The radio broadcaster announced the news of the massacre in a surprisingly perfunctory manner.
pernicious
(adj) extremely destructive or harmful
pernicious
The new government feared that the Communist sympathizers would have a pernicious influence on the nation's stability.
perspicacity
(adj) shrewdness, perceptiveness
perspicacity
The detective was too humble to acknowledge that his perspicacity was the reason for his professional success.
pertinacious
(adj)stubbornly persistent
pertinacious
Harry's parents were frustrated with his pertinacious insistence that a monster lived in his closet; then they opened the closet door and were eaten.
petulance
(n) rudeness, irritability
petulance
The nanny resigned after she could no longer tolerate the child's petulance.
pithy
(adj) concisely meaningful
pithy
My father's long0winded explanation was a stark constrast to his unusually pithy statements.
platitude
an uninspired remark, cliche
platitude
After reading over her paper, Helene concluded that what she had thought were profound insights were actually just platitudes.
plethora
(n) an abundance, excess
plethora
The wedding banquet included a plethora of oysters piled almost three feet high.
polemic
(n) an aggressive argument against a specific opinion
polemic
My brother launched into a polemic against my argument that capitalism was an unjust economic system.
portent
(n) an omen
portent
When a black cat crossed my sister's path while she was walking to school, she took it as a portent that she would do badly on her spelling test.
precocious
(adj) advanced, developing ahead of time
precocious
Dereck was so academically precocious that by the time he was 10 years old, he was already in the ninth grade.
prescient
(adj) to have foreknowledge of events
prescient
Questioning the fortune cookie's prediction, Ray went in search of the old hermit who was rumored to be prescient.
primeval
original, ancient
primeval
The first primates to walk on two legs, called Australopithecus, were the primeval descendants of modern man.
probity
(n) virtue, integrity
probity
Because he was never viewed as a man of great probity, no one was surprised by Mr. Samson's immoral behavior.
proclivity
(n) a strong inclination toward something
proclivity
In a sick twist of fate, Harold's childhood proclivity for toruring small animals grew into a desire to become a surgeon.
promulgate
to proclaim, make known
promulgate
The film professor promulgated that both in terms of sex appeal and political intrigue, Sean Connery's James Bond was superior to Roger Moore's.
propensity
(n) an inclination, preference
propensity
Dermit has a propensity for dangerous activities such a bungee jumping.
propitious
(adj) favorable
propitious
The dark storm cloud visible on the horizon suggested that the weather would not be propitious for sailing.
prosaic
(adj) plain, lacking liveliness
prosaic
Heather's prosaic recital of the poem bored the audience.
proscribe
(v) to condemn, outlaw
proscribe
The town council voted to proscribe the sale of alcohol on weekends.
protean
(adj) able to change shape; displaying great variety
protean
Among Nigel's protean talents was his ability to touch the tip of his nose with his tongue.
prurient
(adj) eliciting or possessing an extraordinary interest in sex
prurient
David's mother was shocked by the prurient reading material hidden beneath her son's mattress.
puerile
(adj) juvenile, immature
puerile
The judge demanded order after the lawyer's puerile attempt to object by stomping his feet on the courtroom floor.
pugnacious
(adj) quarrelsome, combative
pugnacious
Aaron's pugnacious nature led him to start several barrom brawls each month.
pulchritude
(adj) physical beauty
pulchritude
Several of Shakespearee's sonnets explore the pulchritude of a lovely young man.
punctilious
(adj) eager to follow rules or conventions
punctilious
Punctilious bobby, hall monitor extraordinaire, insisted that his peers follow the rules.
quagmire
(n) a difficult situation
quagmire
We'd all like to avoid the kind of military quagmire characterized by the Vietnam War.
querulous
(adj) whiny, complaining
querulous
If deprived of his pacifier, young Brendan becomes querulous.
quixotic
(adj) idealistic, impractical
quixotic
Edward entertained a quixotic desire o fall in love at first sight in a laundromat.
rancor
(n) deep, bitter resentment
rancor
When Eileen challenged me to a fight, I could see the rancor in her eyes.
rebuke
(v) to scold, criticize
rebuke
When the cops showed up at Sarah's arty, they rebuked her for disturbing the peace.
recalcitrant
(adj) defiant, unapologetic
recalcitrant
Even when scolded, the recalcitrant young girl simply stomped her foot and refused to finish her lima beans.
rectitude
(n) uprightness, extreme morality
rectitude
The priest's rectitude gave him the moral authority to counsel his parishioners.
replete
(adj) full, abundant
replete
The unedited version was replete with naughty words.
reprobate
(adj) evil, unprincipled
reprobate
The reprobate criminal sat sneering in the cell.
reprove
(v) to scold, rebuke
reprove
Lara reproved her son for sticking each and every one of his fingers into the strawberry pie.
repudiate
(v) to reject, refuse to accept
repudiate
Kwame made a strong case for an extension of his curfew, but his mother repudiated it with a few biting words.
rescind
(v) to take back, repeal
rescind
The company rescinded its offer of employment after discovering that Jane's resume was full of lies.
restive
(adj) resistant, stubborn, impatient
restive
The restive audience pelted the band with mud and yelled nasty comments.
ribald
(adj) coarsely, crudely humorous
ribald
While some giggled at the ribald jobke involving a parson's daughter, most sighed and rolled their eyes.
rife
(adj) abundant
rife
Surprisingly, the famous novelist's writing was rife with spelling errors.
ruse
(n) a trick
ruse
Oliver concocted an elaborate ruse for sneaking out of the house to meet his girlfriend while simultaneously giving his mother the impression that he was asleep in bed.
sacrosanct
(adj) holy, something that should not be criticized
sacrosanct
In the Uunited States, the Constitution is often thought of as a sacrosanct document.
sagacity
(n) shrewdness, souncess of perspective
sagacity
With remarkable sagacity, the wise old man predicted and thwarted his children's plan to ship him off to a nursing home.
salient
(adj) significant, conspicuous
salient
One of the salient differences between Alison and Nancy is that Alison is a foot taller.
sanctimonious
(adj) giving a hypocritical appearance of piety
sanctimonious
The sanctimonious Bertrand delivered sterm lectures on the Ten Commandments to anyone who would listen, but thought nothing of stealing cars to make come cash on the side.
sanguine
(adj) optimistic, cheery
sanguine
Polly reacted to any bad news with a sanguine smile and the chirpy cry, "When life hand you lemons, make lemonade!"
scurrilous
(adj) vulgar, coarse
scurrilous
When Bruno heard the scurrilous accusation being made about him, he could not believe it because he always tried to be nice to everyone.
serendipity
(n) luck, finding good things without looking for them
serendipity
In an amazing bit of serendipity, penniless Paula found a $20 bill in the subway station.
servile
(adj) subservient
servile
The servile porter crept around the hotel lobby, bowing and quaking before the guests.
solicitous
(adj) concerned, attentive
solicitous
Jim, laid up in bed with a nasty virus, enjoyed the solicitous attentions of his mother, who bought him soup and extra blankets.
solipsistic
(adj) believing that oneself is all that exists
solipsistic
Colette's solipsistic attitude completely irnored the plight of the homeless people on the street.
somnolent
(adj) sleepy, drowsy
somnolent
The somnolent student kept falling asleep and waking up with a jerk.
spurious
(adj) false but designed to seem plausible
spurious
Using a spurious argument, John convinced the others that he had won the board game on a tecnicality.
staid
(adj) sedate, serious, self-restrained
staid
The said butler never changed his expression no matter what happened.
stolid
(adj) expressing little sensibility, unemotional
stolid
Charles's stolid reaction to his wife's funeral differed from the passion he showed at the time of her death.
stupefy
(v) to astonish, make insensible
stupefy
Veronica's audacity and ungratefulness studpefied her best friend, Heather.
surfeit
(n) an overabundant supply or indulgence
surfeit
After partaking of the surfeit of tacos and tamales at the All-You-Can-EAt Taco Tamale Lunch Special, Beth felt rather sick.
surmise
(v) to infer with little evidence
surmise
After speaking to only one of the students, the teacher was able to surmise what had caused the fight.
surreptitious
(adj) stealthy
surreptitious
The surreptitious CIA agents were able to get in and out of the house without anyone noticing.
sycophant
(n) one who flatters for self-gain
sycophant
Some see the people in the cabinet as the president's closest advisors, but others see them as sycophants.
tacit
(adj) expressed without words
tacit
I interpreted my parents' refusal to talk as a tacit acceptance of my request.
taciturn
(adj) not inclined to talk
taciturn
Thought Jane never seems to stop talking, her brother is quite taciturn.
tantamount
(adj) equivalent in value or significance
tantamount
When it comes to sports, fearing your opponent is tantamount to losing.
temerity
(n) audacity, recklessness
temerity
Tom and Huck entered the scary cave armed with nothing but their own temerity.
tenuous
(adj) having little substance or strength
tenuous
Your argument is very tenuous, since it relies so much on speculation and hearsay.
timorous
(adj) timid, fearful
timorous
When dealing with the unknown, timorous Tallulah almost always broke into tears.
torpid
(adj) lethargic, dormant, lacking motion
torpid
The torpid whale floated, wallowing in the water for hours.
tractable
(adj) easily controlled
tractable
The horse was so tractable, Myra didn't even need a bridle.
tansient
(adj) passing through briefly; passing into and out of existence
tansient
Because virtually everyone in Parlm Beath is a tourist, the population of the town is quite transient.
transmute
(v) to change or alter in form
transmute
Ancient alchemists believed that it was possible to transmute lead into gold.
trenchant
(adj) effective, articulate, clear-cut
trenchant
The directions that accompanied my new cell phone were trenchant and easy to follow.
truculent
(adj) ready to firhgt, cruel
truculent
This club doesn't really attract the ganderout types, so why was that bouncer being so truculent?
turgid
(adj) swollen, excessively embellished in a style or language
turgid
The haughty writer did not realize how we all really felt about his turgid prose.
turpitude
(n) depravity, moral corruption
turpitude
Sir Marcus's chivalry often constrasted with the turpitude he exhibited with the ladies at the tavern.
ubiquitous
(adj) existing everywhere, widespread
ubiquitous
It seems that everyone in the United States has a television; the technology is ubiquitous here.
umbrage
(n) resentment, offsense
umbrage
He called me a lily0livered coward, and I took umbrage at the insult.
unctuous
(adj) smooth or greasy in texture, appearance, manner
unctuous
The unctuous receptionist seemed untrustworty, as if she was only being helpful because she thought we might give her a big tip.
undulate
(v) to move in waves
undulate
As the storm began to brew, the placid ocean began to undulate to an increasing degree.
upbraid
(v) to criticize or scold severly
upbraid
The last thing Lindsay wanted was for Lisa to upbraid her again about missing the rent payment.
usurp
(v) to seize by force, take possession of without right
usurp
The rogue army general tried to usurp control of the government, but he failed cecause most of the army backed the legally elected president.
vacillate
(v) to fluctuate, hesitate
vacillate
I prefer a definite answer, but my boss kept vacillating between the distinct options available to us.
vacuous
(adj) lack of content or ideas, stupid
vacuous
Beyonce realized that the lyrics she had just penned were completely vacuous and tried to add more substance.
vapid
(adj) lacking liveliness, dull
vapid
The professor's comment about the poem were surprisingly vapid and dull.
variegated
(adj) diversified, distinctly marked
variegated
Each wire in the engineering exam was variegated by color so that the students could figure out which one was which.
venerate
(v) to regard with respect or to honor
venerate
The tribute to John Lennon sought to venerate his music, his words, and his legend.
veracity
(n) truthfulness, accuracy
veracity
With several agencies regulating the reports, it was difficult for Latifah to argue against its veracity.
verdant
(adj) green in tint or color
verdant
The verdant leaves on the trees made the world look emerald.
vex
(v) to confuse or annoy
vex
My little brother vezes me by poking me in the ribs for hours on end.
vicarious
(adj) experiencing through another
vicarious
All of my lame friends learned to be social through vicarious involvement in my amazing experiences.
vicissitude
(n) event that occurs by chance
vicissitude
The vicissitudes of daily life prevent me from predicting what might happen from one day to the next.
vilify
(v) to lowever in importance, defame
vilify
After the Watergate scandal, almost any story written about President Nix sought to vilify him and criticize his behavior.
viscous
(adj) not free flowing, syrupy
viscous
The viscous syrup took three minutes to pour out of the bottle.
vitriolic
(adj) having caustic quality
vitriolic
When agnry, the woman would spew vitriolic insults.
vituperate
(v) to berate
vituperate
Jack ran away as soon as his father found out, knowing he would be vituperated for his unseemly behavior.
wanton
(adj) undisciplined, lewd, lustful
wanton
Vicky's wanton demeanor often made the frat guys next door very excited.
winsome
(adj) charming, pleasing
winsome
After such a long, frustrating day, I was grateful for Chris's winsome attitude and childish naivete.
wistful
(adj) full of yearning; musginly sad
wistful
Since her pet rabbit died, Edda missed it terribly and was wistful all day long.
wizened
(adj) dry, shruken, wrinkled
wizened
Agatha's grandmother, Stephanie, had the most wizened counenance, full of leathery wrinkles.
zenith
(n) the highest peak, culminating point
zenith
I was too nice to tell Nelly that she had reached the absolute zenith of her career with that one hit of hers.
zephyr
(n) a gentle breeze
zephyr
If not for the zephyrs that were blowing and cooling us, our room would've been unbearably hot.
abase
to humiliate; to humble; to lower
abase
Susan abased the child, who ran out of the room, humiliated.
abdicate
to yeild, give up
abdicate
When Mary discovered that her arugment against Jake was futile, she abdicated.
aberration
abnormality; deviation
aberration
The nonfiction passage in the fictional book was an aberration of the weirdest sort.
abet
to aid, encourage
abet
Mrs. Lowe would abet the striving psychologist to become a school junior counselor.
abeyance
a temporary postponement
abeyance
Sorry for the abeyance; this postponement shall not last long.
abjure
to give up (rights)
abjure
After the women's suffrage, it was hard to believe that women would ever agree to abjure their right to vote.
ablution
a washing, cleansing
ablution
I attempted to eradicate the blue dye from my fingers in an ablution--but it just would not wash off!
abnegate
to deny; to reject
abnegate
Yes, Anthony, I abnegate your request to go to that party; you are NOT ALLOWED!
aboveboard
honest; frank, open
aboveboard
I went aboveboard when I confessed my sins to the priest because I trusted his vow of confidence.
abrade
to wear away
abrade
After exposed to years of thudding rainfall, rock tends to adrade; erosion is natural.
abscond
to leave secretly; to flee
abscond
It is rarely that case that a high schooler, wishing to rebel against parental cerfew, does not abscond on a dark night.
abstemious
moderate or sparing in eating or drinking
abstemious
It would be an oxymoron to label abstinate Joey the alcoholic as abstemious Joe.
abstruse
hard to understand
abstruse
You are abstruse, stupid SAT CR; you are hard to understand.
abut
to touch; to rest on or against
abut
Leila was so exhausted at the end of the evening that she abutted against her boyfriend, Max, who guided her home.
accede
to agree to
accede
I do not accede to this nonsence, and I shall never agree!
acclivity
upward slope
acclivity
The acclivity of the mountain reminded me of linear equations we had learned in algebra; it was difficult to keep my mind off thoughts on slope.
accolade
honor; award; approval.
accolade
Marci won the accolade of her teachers when she received the prestigious scholarship.
accord
agreement
accord
According to our accord, you agreed to serve ten consecutive months, but you have served only five so far!
accost
to appraoche and speak to
accost
The flock of students accosted the exchange student to greet him.
accountrement
equipment, outfit
accountrement
A mountain climber tackling Everest must enlist the help of a reliable accountrement.
accretion
an increase; an addition
accretion
The accretion of a new building to the south side of the campus attracted many students.
accrue
to gather; to accumulate
accrue
The books would accrue dust until a thick gray blanket covered them.
acrimonious
harsh in speech or behavior
acrimonious
Martha's parents were strict disciplinarians and often struck acrimonious to outsiders.
acrophobia
fear of heights
acrophobia
After falling from the staircase and onto the pavement as a child, I developed acrophobia and insisted on keeping my feet on the ground if at all possible.
ad lib
to act or speak without preparation
ad lib
If a politician spoke ad lib, he would probably neither win a debate nor an election.
addendum
something added as a supplement
addendum
The addendum to the list of required reading for the AP English class was composed of light literature.
adduce
to give an example in proving something
adduce
She would adduce to win the debate--and her examples would be so well-thought of that she would actually win.
adipose
fatty
adipose
Hey, adipose! This is the smart way of insulting an overweight person.
adjudicate
to judge
adjudicate
The judge will adjudicate on THAT, missy!
adjunct
a subordinate; an assistant
adjunct
The librarian's adjunct was an apprentice, but she knew just as much about library science as her mentor.
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