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Arrow_left - Top 250 Most Difficult SAT Words (sparknotes)
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abjure
Solemnly renounce (a belief, cause, or claim)
abrogate
Repeal or do away with (a law, right, or formal agreement)
acerbic
Sour or bitter.
acrimony
sharp and bitter hatred
acumen
quickness of perception or discernment; penetration of mind; the faculty of nice discrimination
adumbrate
To foreshadow vaguely.
alacrity
Brisk and cheerful readiness
anathema
Something or someone that one vehemently dislikes
antipathy
Contrariety or opposition in feeling; settled aversion or dislike; repugnance; distaste.
approbation
Approval or praise
arrogate
Take or claim (something) for oneself without justification
ascetic
One who is devoted to the practice of self-denial, either through seclusion or stringent abstinence.
aspersion
An attack on the reputation or integrity of someone or something
assiduous
Hard-working, diligent or regular (in attendance or work); industrious.
blandish
to persuade someone by using flattery; to cajole
boon
A blessing or benefit.
brusque
Rudely abrupt, unfriendly.
buffet
strike against forcefully;
burnish
To make smooth or shiny by rubbing; to polish; to shine.
buttress
A source of defense or support
cacophony
A mix of discordant sounds; dissonance.
cajole
To encourage or persuade by effort; to coax.
calumny
a falsification or misrepresentation intended to disparage or discredit another.
capricious
Impulsive and unpredictable; determined by chance, impulse, or whim
clemency
Mercy; lenience
cogent
Reasonable and convincing; based on evidence.
concomitant
Naturally accompanying or associated
conflagration
A large fire extending to many objects, or over a large space; a general burning.
contrite
Feeling or expressing remorse or penitence; affected by guilt
conundrum
A difficult question or riddle, especially one using a play on words in the answer.
credulity
A willingness to believe in someone or something in the absence of reasonable proof.
cupidity
Extreme greed, especially for wealth.
cursory
Brief or broad; not close, cautious, nor detailed.
decry
To denounce as harmful.
defile
to make impure; to make dirty. Less strong than to pollute
deleterious
harmful or hurtful, to physical, mental or moral health.
demure
Quiet, modest, reserved, or serious.
deprecate
to express disapproval of
deride
To harshly mock; ridicule.
desecrate
Treat (a sacred place or thing) with violent disrespect; violate
desiccated
Lacking interest, passion, or energy
diaphanous
Transparent; allowing light to pass through; capable of being seen through.
diffident
Modest or shy because of a lack of self-confidence
discursive
Tending to digress from the main point; rambling.
dissemble
Conceal one's true motives, feelings, or beliefs
dither
To be uncertain or unable to make a decision about doing something.
ebullient
Cheerful and full of energy
effrontery
insolent and shameless audacity
effulgent
shining, resplendent, with radiant splendor
egregious
Exceptional, conspicuous, outstanding, most usually in a negative fashion.
enervate
Lacking in energy or vitality
ephemeral
Lasting for a short period of time.
eschew
To avoid; to shun.
evanescent
vanishing, disappearing, fleeting
evince
Reveal the presence of (a quality or feeling)
exculpate
To clear of or free from guilt; exonerate.
execrable
of the poorest quality
exigent
Urgent; needing immediate action.
expiate
To atone or make reparation for.
expunge
To erase or strike out.
extant
Still in existence.
extol
Praise enthusiastically
fallacious
Deceptive or misleading.
fastidious
Excessively particular, demanding, or fussy about details.
fatuous
Obnoxiously stupid, vacantly silly, content in one's foolishness.
fecund
Highly fertile; able to produce offspring.
feral
wild, untamed, especially of domesticated animals having returned to the wild
fetid
Foul-smelling.
florid
having a rosy or pale red colour; ruddy
fractious
Easily irritated; bad-tempered
garrulous
Excessively or tiresomely talkative.
grandiloquence
lofty, pompous or bombastic speech or writing
gregarious
Describing one who enjoys being in crowds and socializing.
hackneyed
Repeated too often.
hapless
Very unlucky; ill-fated.
harangue
Lecture (someone) at length in an aggressive and critical manner
hegemony
Domination, influence, or authority over another, especially by one political group over a society or by one nation over others
iconoclast
A destroyer of images used in religious worship, in particular
ignominious
Deserving or causing public disgrace or shame
impassive
Having, or revealing, no emotion.
imperious
Assuming power or authority without justification; arrogant and domineering
impertinent
Not showing proper respect; rude
impervious
unaffected or unable to be affected by
impetuous
Making arbitrary decisions, esp. in an impulsive and forceful manner.
impinge
Have an effect or impact, esp. a negative one
implacable
Relentless; unstoppable
impudent
Not showing due respect; impertinent; bold-faced
inchoate
Recently started but not fully formed yet; just begun; only elementary or immature.
incontrovertible
Not capable of being denied, challenged, or disputed; closed to questioning.
indefatigable
Extremely persistent and untiring.
ineffable
Beyond expression in words; unspeakable.
inexorable
Unable to be persuaded; relentless; unrelenting
ingenuous
naïve and trusting
inimical
Tending to obstruct or harm
iniquity
Immoral or grossly unfair behavior
insidious
Producing serious harm in a stealthy, often gradual, manner.
intransigent
Unwilling to compromise or moderate a position; unreasonable; irreconcilable; stubborn.
inure
To cause to become accustomed to something unpleasant by prolonged exposure.
invective
Insulting, abusive, or highly critical language
inveterate
Having a particular habit, activity, or interest that is long-established and unlikely to change
jubilant
In a state of elation.
juxtaposition
The fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect
laconic
Using as few words as possible; pithy and concise.
languid
Heavy; dull; dragging; wanting spirit or animation; listless; apathetic.
largess
Generosity in the giving of gifts or money.
latent
Existing or present but concealed or inactive.
legerdemain
Sleight of hand; "magic" trickery
licentious
Disregarding accepted rules or conventions, esp. in grammar or literary style
limpid
Clear, transparent or bright.
maelstrom
A large and violent whirlpool.
magnanimous
Noble and generous in spirit.
malediction
A curse
malevolent
having or displaying ill will; wishing harm on others
manifold
Something with many different parts or forms, in particular
maudlin
Self-pityingly or tearfully sentimental, often through drunkenness
mawkish
Sentimental in a feeble or sickly way
mendacious
lying, untruthful or dishonest
mercurial
Subject to sudden or unpredictable changes of mood or mind
modicum
A small, modest or trifling amount.
morass
A complicated or confused situation
multifarious
Many and of various types
munificence
The quality or action of being lavishly generous; great generosity
myriad
Countless or extremely great in number
nadir
The lowest point in the fortunes of a person or organization
nascent
Emerging; just coming into existence.
nefarious
infamous for being wicked
neophyte
A beginner.
obdurate
Stubbornly persistent, generally in wrongdoing; refusing to reform or repent.
obfuscate
Render obscure, unclear, or unintelligible
oblique
Not erect or perpendicular; neither parallel to, nor at right angles from, the base; slanting; inclined.
obsequious
Obedient or attentive to an excessive or servile degree
obstreperous
Noisy and difficult to control
obtuse
Blunt; not sharp.
odious
Extremely unpleasant; repulsive
officious
Assertive of authority in an annoyingly domineering way, esp. with regard to petty or trivial matters
opulent
luxuriant, and ostentatiously magnificent
ostensible
Stated or appearing to be true, but not necessarily so
palliate
To lessen the severity of; to extenuate.
pallid
appearing weak, pale, or wan
panacea
A remedy believed to cure all disease and prolong life that was originally sought by alchemists; a cure-all.
paragon
A person or thing regarded as a perfect example of a particular quality
pariah
An outcast
parsimony
Great reluctance to spend money unnecessarily.
pathos
A quality that evokes pity or sadness
paucity
Fewness in number; a small number.
pejorative
Expressing contempt or disapproval
pellucid
Lucid in style or meaning; easily understood
penurious
Extremely poor; poverty-stricken
perfidious
disloyal to what should command one's fidelity or allegiance.
perfunctory
Carried out with a minimum of effort or reflection
pernicious
Having a harmful effect, esp. in a gradual or subtle way
perspicacity
The quality of having a ready insight into things; shrewdness
pertinacious
Holding tenaciously to an opinion or purpose.
petulance
The quality of being childishly sulky or bad-tempered
pithy
Precisely meaningful; forceful and brief.
platitude
An often-quoted saying that is supposed to be meaningful but has become unoriginal or hackneyed through overuse; a cliché.
plethora
An excessive amount or number; an abundance.
polemic
A strong verbal or written attack on someone or something
portent
A sign or warning that something, esp. something momentous or calamitous, is likely to happen
precocious
Characterized by exceptionally early development or maturity.
prescient
Having knowledge of events before they take place;
primeval
Belonging to the first ages.
probity
The quality of having strong moral principles; honesty and decency
proclivity
A tendency to choose or do something regularly; an inclination or predisposition toward a particular thing
promulgate
To make known or public.
propensity
An inclination or natural tendency to behave in a particular way
propitious
Giving or indicating a good chance of success; favorable
prosaic
Straightforward; matter-of-fact; lacking the feeling or elegance of poetry.
proscribe
To forbid or prohibit.
protean
Tending or able to change frequently or easily
prurient
Having or encouraging an excessive interest in sexual matters
puerile
Childishly silly and trivial
pugnacious
Naturally aggressive or hostile; combative; belligerent.
pulchritude
Physical beauty.
punctilious
Showing great attention to detail or correct behavior
quagmire
An awkward, complex, or hazardous situation
querulous
Often complaining; suggesting a complaint in expression; fretful, whining.
quixotic
Exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical
rancor
Bitterness or resentfulness, esp. when long-standing
rebuke
A harsh criticism.
recalcitrant
marked by a stubborn unwillingness to obey figures of authority
rectitude
Morally correct behavior or thinking; righteousness
replete
Filled or well-supplied with something
reprobate
Express or feel disapproval of
reprove
Reprimand or censure (someone)
repudiate
To reject the truth or validity of something; to deny.
rescind
To repeal, annul, or declare void.
restive
Impatient under delay, duress, or control.
ribald
Coarsely, vulgarly or lewdly humorous.
rife
Widespread, common (especially of unpleasant or harmful things).
ruse
a trick
sacrosanct
beyond alteration, criticism, or interference, especially due to religious sanction; inviolable.
sagacity
The quality of being sage, wise, or able to make good decisions.
salient
prominent, worthy of note; pertinent or relevant
sanctimonious
Making a show of being morally better than others, especially hypocritically pious.
sanguine
Having the colour of blood; red.
scurrilous
Making or spreading scandalous claims about someone with the intention of damaging their reputation
serendipity
The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way
servile
of or pertaining to a slave
solicitous
Characterized by or showing interest or concern
solipsistic
With consideration only for one's own interest
somnolent
Drowsy or sleepy.
spurious
false, not authentic, not genuine
staid
Serious, organized, and professional; sober
stolid
Having or revealing little emotion or sensibility.
stupefy
Make (someone) unable to think or feel properly
surfeit
An excessive amount of something.
surmise
A supposition that something may be true, even though there is no evidence to confirm it
surreptitious
stealthy, furtive, well hidden, covert (especially movements)
sycophant
One who uses compliments to gain self-serving favor or advantage from another.
tacit
Understood or implied without being stated
taciturn
Silent; temperamentally untalkative; disinclined to speak.
tantamount
To amount to as much; to be equivalent.
temerity
Reckless boldness; foolish bravery.
tenuous
Thin in substance or consistency.
timorous
fearful, afraid, timid
torpid
Mentally or physically inactive; lethargic
tractable
Easy to control or influence
transient
Remaining for only a brief time.
transmute
Change in form, nature, or substance
trenchant
Vigorous or incisive in expression or style
truculent
Eager or quick to argue or fight; aggressively defiant
turgid
Tediously pompous or bombastic (of language or style)
turpitude
Inherent baseness or depravity; corruptness and evilness.
ubiquitous
Being everywhere at once: omnipresent.
umbrage
Feeling of anger or annoyance caused by something offensive.
unctuous
Oily or greasy.
undulate
To cause to move in a wavelike motion.
upbraid
Find fault with (someone); scold
usurp
To seize power from another, usually by illegitimate means.
vacillate
To sway unsteadily from one side to the other; oscillate.
vacuous
Showing a lack of thought or intelligence; vacant
vapid
lifeless, dull or banal
variegated
very colorful.
venerate
To treat with great respect and deference.
veracity
Truthfulness
verdant
Green in colour.
vex
To annoy.
vicarious
Experienced in the imagination through the feelings or actions of another person
vicissitude
A change of circumstances or fortune, typically one that is unwelcome or unpleasant
vilify
To say defamatory things about someone or something.
viscous
Having a thick, sticky consistency between solid and liquid
vitriolic
Filled with bitter criticism or malice
vituperate
Blame or insult (someone) in strong or violent language
wanton
Undisciplined, unruly; not able to be controlled.
winsome
Charming; inspiring trust and approval; especially if in an innocent manner.
wistful
full of yearning or longing
wizened
withered; lean and wrinkled by shrinkage as from age or illness
zenith
The time at which something is most powerful or successful
zephyr
a light wind from the west