Barron's SAT High-Frequency Word List

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Abate v. subside or moderate. Rather than leaving immediately, they waited for the storm to abate. Abatement, N.



Aberrant adj. abnormal or deviant. Given the aberrant nature of the data, we came to doubt the validity of the entire experiment.



Abrasive adj. rubbing away; tending to grind down. Just as abrasive cleaning powders can wear away a shiny finish, abrasive remarks can wear away a listener's patience. Abrade v.



Abridge v. condense or shorten. Because the publishers felt the public wanted a shorter version of War and Peace, they proceeded to abridge the novel.



Absolute adj. sparing in eating and drinking; temperate. Concerned whether her vegetarian son's abstemious diet provided him with sufficient protein, the worried mother pressed food on him.


the worried mother pressed food on him. Concerned whether her vegetarian son's abstemious diet provided him with sufficient protein. 4/23/12 . temperate. spring in eating and drinking.Abstemious • Abstemious adj.

he had never missed a meal. nonrepresentational. not concrete. To him. 4/23/12 . theoretical. hunger was an abstract concept.Abstract • Abstract adj.

She carries around abstruse works of philosophy. not because she understands them but because she wants her friends to think she does. profound. obscure. 4/23/12 . difficult to understand.Abstruse • Abstruse adj.

Accessible • Accessible adj. applaud. easy to approach. 4/23/12 . We asked our guide whether the ruins were accessible on foot. obtainable. Acdaim v.

acclaim. every American victory in the Olympics and lamented every American defeat acclamation.Acclaim • Acclaim v. applaud. 4/23/12 . n. The NBC sportscasters acclaimed . announce with great approval.

award of merit. 4/23/12 .Accolade • Accolade n. In the world of public relations a "Clio" is the highest accolade an advertising campaign can receive.

I still prefer them to the “gangsta” rap songs my brothers play.Acknowledge • Acknowledge v. 4/23/12 . recognize. Although I acknowledge that the Beatels’ tunes sound pretty dated nowadays. admit.

acquiescent. Acquiescence. When we asked her to participate in the play. she immediately acquiesced. 4/23/12 .Acquiesce • Acquiesce v. agree without protesting.. assent. adj. n.

Acrimony. n.Acrimonious • Acrimonious adj. The candidate attacked his opponent in highly acrimonious terms. 4/23/12 . bitter in words or manner.

4/23/12 . not an acute one. quickly perceptive.Acute • Acute adj. The acute young doctor realized immediately that the gradual deterioration of her patient's once-acute hearing was due to a chronic illness. brief and severe. keen.

In the wake of the scandal. 4/23/12 . supporter. follower. the senator's onetime adherents quietly deserts him.Adherent • Adherent n.

Adjacent • Adjacent adj. 4/23/12 . neighboring. You will find questions based on this reading passage located on the adjacent page. adjoining.

skillful. The juggler's admirers particularly enjoyed his adroit handling of difficult balancing tricks.Adroit • Adroit adj. nimble. 4/23/12 .

4/23/12 . The rock star relished the adulation she received from her groupies and yesmen. admiration.Adulation • Adulation n. flattery.

opponent. The young wrestler struggled to overcome his adversary.Adversary • Adversary n. 4/23/12 .

Adversity. unfavorable. 4/23/12 .Adverse Adverse adj. The recession had a highly adverse effect on Father's investment portfolio: he lost so much money that he could no longer afford the butler and the upstairs maid. n. hostile.

urge. Also n. 4/23/12 . Noted abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth advocated the eradication of the Southern institution of slavery.Advocate Advocate v. plead for.

dealing with or capable of appreciation of the beautiful. artistic. 4/23/12 . The beauty of Tiffany's stained glass appealed to Esther's aesthetic sense.Aesthetic Aesthetic adj. n. Aesthete.

aloof supervisors Nicholas. 4/23/12 . warmly friendly Accustomed to cold.Affable Affable adj. easily approachable. was amazed at how affable his new employer was.

their love of dance was hers as well. natural liking.Affinity Affinity n. 4/23/12 . Octavia felt an immediate affinity for the folk dancers she met. kinship. similarity.

Aunt Polly still suspected he had eaten the pie. solemn pledge by one who refuses to take an oath. 4/23/12 . confirmation. Despite Tom's affirmations of innocence. positive assertion.Affirmation Affirmation n.

Aggressor Aggressor n. 4/23/12 . Before you punish both boys for fighting. see weather you can determine which one was the aggressor. attacker.

make hostile.Alienate Alienate v. 4/23/12 . separate. Heather's attempts to alienate Amy from Ellen failed because the two friends had complete faith in one another.

4/23/12 . The doctor's reassuring remarks alleviated June's fears for the baby. though he'd been born prematurely. he was rapidly gaining weight and could go home in a couple of weeks. relieve.Alleviate Alleviate v.

he remained silent and aloof.Aloof Aloof adj. standoffish. apart. instead of joining in their conversations. His classmates thought James was a snob because. 4/23/12 . reserved.

4/23/12 . Eugene Lang performed a truly altruistic deed. concerned for others. unselfishly generous. n. In providing tutorial assistance and college scholarships for hundreds of economically disadvantaged youths.Altruistic • Altruistic adj. Altruism.

unclear or doubtful in meaning. n. we didn't know which columns we should mark and which we should leave blank. 4/23/12 .Ambiguous Ambiguous adj. Ambiguity. The proctor's ambiguous instructions thoroughly confused us.

Ambivalence Ambivalence n. Ambivalent. Torn between loving her parents on minute and hating them the next. 4/23/12 . the state of having contradictory or conflicting emotional attitudes. adj. she was confused by ambivalence of her feelings.

make more satisfactory.Ameliorate Ameliorate v. 4/23/12 . improve. Carl became a union organizer because he wanted to join the fight to ameliorate the working conditions in the factory.

Luong lft Vietnam for the United States. Hoping to amend his circumstances.Amend • Amend v. 4/23/12 . generally for the better. correct. change.

As soon as we have decided on our itinerary. right now. formless. lacking shape or definition. our plans are still amorphous. we shall send you a copy. 4/23/12 .Amorphous Amorphous adj.

Why did he let us catch him? 4/23/12 . Bond had ample opportunity to escape.Ample • Ample adj. abundant.

analogy compares the body's immune system to an army whose 'defending troops are the lymphocytes or white blood cells. 4/23/12 . Analogous.Analogy • Analogy m. parallelism.adj. similarity. A well-known .

advocate of abolishing authority. Denying she was an anarchist. person who seeks to overturn the established government. n. Anarchy. 4/23/12 . not to destroy entirely. Katya maintained she wished only to make changes in our government.Anarchist Anarchist n.

President Ronald Reagan told anecdotes about poor people who became wealthy despite their impoverished backgrounds. Anecdotal. Rather than make concrete proposals for welfare reform. 4/23/12 . adj.Anecdote Anecdote n. short account of an amusing or interesting event.

Animosity Animosity n. active enmity. the reform candidate seemed almost to invite the animosity of the party's leaders. By advocating cuts in campaign spending and limits on congressional powers. 4/23/12 .

the angry prisoner continued to make antagonistic remarks to the judge. opposed. 4/23/12 .Antagonistic Antagonistic adj. Antagonism. n. Despite his lawyers' best efforts to stop him. hostile.

the local poison control hotline told Marge how to minister the antidote.Antidote Antidote n. When Marge's child accidentally swallowed some cleaning fluid. medicine to counteract a poison or disease. 4/23/12 .

obsolete. Antiquity. 4/23/12 . Philip had grown so accustomed to editing his articles on word processor that he thought typewriters were to antiquated for him to use. n.Antiquated • Antiquated adj. old-fashioned.

Good is the antithesis of evil. innocence the antithesis of guilt. direct opposite of or to.Antithesis • Antithesis n. contrast. 4/23/12 .

indifference. lack of caring. adj. A firm believer in democratic government. 4/23/12 . Apathetic.Apathy Apathy n. she could not understand the apathy of people who never bothered to vote.

Ted invented apocryphal tales of his adventures in the big city. To impress his friends.Apocryphal Apocryphal adj. untrue. made up. 4/23/12 .

pacify or soothe. they couldn't calm him until they appeased his hunger by giving him a bottle. relieve.Appease Appease v. 4/23/12 . Tom and Jody tried to appease their crying baby by offering him one toy after another. However.

be thoroughly conscious of. Little Orphan Annie truly appreciated the stocks Daddy Warbucks gave her. be thankful for.Appreciate Appreciate v. which appreciated in value considerably over the years. 4/23/12 . increase in worth.

Apprehension Apprehension n. 4/23/12 . fear. The tourist refused to drive his rental car through downtown Miami because he felt some apprehension that he might be carjacked. discernment. capture. adj. Apprehension.

4/23/12 . praising its vast acres of arable-land ready for the plow. The first settlers wrote home glowing reports of the New World.Arable Arable adj. fit for growing crops.

based solely on one's unrestricted will or judgment. The coach claimed the team lost because the umpire made some arbitrary calls. randomly selected without any reason.Arbitrary Arbitrary adj. unreasonable or capricious. 4/23/12 .

"Methinks. 4/23/12 ." and “thou” are archaic words that are no longer part of our standard vocabulary. antiquated.Archaic Archaic adj.“ ”thee.

4/23/12 . soon all her fellow demonstrators were busily making posters and handing out flyers. Ardent. Katya's ardor was catching. passion. heat. zeal.Ardor Ardor n. adj. inspired by her enthusiasm for the cause.

4/23/12 . The cactus has adapted to survive in an arid environment. barren. dry.Arid Arid adj.

adj. 4/23/12 .Arrogance Arrogance n. Convinced that Emma thought she was better than anyone else in the class. pride. haughtiness. Ed rebuked her for her arrogance. arrogant.

Her articulate presentation of the advertising campaign impressed her employers so much that they put her in charge of the project.Articulate Articulate adj. distinct. 4/23/12 . effective. Also v.

Artifact Artifact n. 4/23/12 . discovered in the ruins of Asia Minor but came to no conclusion about the culture they represented. either handmade or massproduced. Archaeologists debated the significance of the artifacts. object made by human beings.

Elderly artisans from Italy trained Harlem teenagers to carve the stone figures that would decorate the new wing of the cathedral 4/23/12 . as opposed to artist. craftsman.Artisan Artisan n. manually skilled worker.

leaders of religious cults maintain ascendancy over their followers by methods that can verge on brainwashing.Ascendancy Ascendancy n. 4/23/12 . controlling influence.

Ascetic Ascetic adj. 4/23/12 . austere. practicing self-denial. Also n. The wealthy. self-indulgent young man felt oddly drawn to the ascetic life led by members of some monastic orders.

seek to attain. 4/23/12 .Aspire Aspire v. Because he aspired to a career in professional sports. n. long for. Philip enrolled in a graduate program in sports management. Aspiration.

soothe (anger). One gallon later. Jilted by Jane. he had assuaged his appetite but not his grief. ease or lessen(pain). Dick. 4/23/12 .Assuage Assuage v. satisfy (hunger). tried to assuage his heartache by indulging in ice cream.

wise. shrewd.Astute Astute adj. 4/23/12 . Inspector Craddock was startled by the astute observations she made. Expecting Miss Marple to be woolly-headed old lady.

After three months in a cast.Atrophy Atrophy v. Also. n. however. Stan's biceps had atrophied somewhat. waste away. he was sure that if he pumped iron for a while he would soon build them up. 4/23/12 .

as their interpreter and helping them deal with American society. acting . thoughtful.Attentive Attentive adj. paying attention. Thuy is very attentive to her Vietnamese-speaking parents. considerate. 4/23/12 .

I attribute her success in science to the encouragement she received from her parents. ascribe. 4/23/12 .Attribute Attribute v. explain.

Audacity. daring.Audacious Audacious adj. 4/23/12 . n. bold. escaping Darth Vader's troops. death-defying leap to freedom. Audiences cheered as luke Skywalker and Princess leia made their audacious.

Augment Augment v. increase. add to. Beth augmented her inadequate. 4/23/12 . salary by selling Tupperware at parties and at friends' homes.

4/23/12 . The bishops charged with conducting the heresy inquiry were a solemn. their demeanor reflected their austerity. severity. lack of luxuries. sternness. strict economy. somewhat forbidding group.Austerity Austerity n. Austere. adj.

4/23/12 . Also n. Forced to obey the dictates of the authoritarian regime. favoring or exercising total control.Authoritarian Authoritarian adj. the people had no control over their won destiny. nondemocratic.

in many ways Cal Berkeley is autonomous.Autonomous Autonomous adj. Although the University of California at Berkeley is just one part of the state university system. self-governing. for it runs several programs that are not subject 4/23/12 .

4/23/12 . firm dislike.Aversion Aversion n. Their mutual aversion was so great that they refused to speak to one another.

hackneyed. 4/23/12 . Was it Pendleton's stale plot or his cliche-ridden dialogue that made his play seem so banal? Banality.Banal Banal adj. n. trite. commonplace.

Bane Bane n. lack of public transportation is the bane of urban life. 4/23/12 . cause of ruin.

His coarse. give a false impression. contradict. hard-bitten exterior belied his inner sensitivity 4/23/12 .Belie Belie v.

but should encourage their efforts 4/23/12 . make fun of.Belittle Belittle v. disparage. Parents should not belittle their children's early attempts at drawing.

he became belligerent and tried to pick fights with strangers. quarrelsome. . 4/23/12 .Belligerent Belligerent adj. Whenever he had too much to drink.

Benevolent Benevolent adj. generous. charitable. 4/23/12 . Mr. Fezziwag was a benevolent employer who wished to make Christmas merrier for young Scrooge and his other employees.

kindly.Benign Benign adj. not malignant. in reality she was a tough-minded. favorable. shrewd observer of human nature. 4/23/12 . Though her benign smile and gentle bearing made Miss Marple seem a sweet little old lady.

Bequeath Bequeath v. Bequest n. 4/23/12 . hand down. she died before changing her will. leave to someone by a will. Although Maud had intended to bequeath the family home to her nephew.

we feared he might be might be biased. Because the judge played gold regularly with the district attorney's father. 4/23/12 . prejudiced.Biased Biased adj. slanted.

soothing.Bland Bland adj. Unless you want your stomach lining to be eaten away. stick to a bland diet. mild. n. 4/23/12 . dull. Blandness.

to cheer for another team was to utter words of blasphemy. cursing. the Dodgers were the holiest of holies. sacrilege. Blasphemous. In my father's house. irreverence. adj.Blasphemy Blasphemy n. 4/23/12 .

support. reinforce. The debaters amassed file boxes full of evidence to bolster their arguments. 4/23/12 .Bolster Bolster v.

4/23/12 .Braggart Braggart n. boastful person. I wouldn't mind Bob's being such a braggart if I felt he'd done anything worth bragging about.

adj. It takes brawn to become a champion weight lifter. Brawny. 4/23/12 .Brawn Brawn n. muscular strength. sturdiness.

conciseness. briefness. Brevity is essential when you send a telegram or cablegram.Brevity Brevity n. 4/23/12 . you are charged for every word.

The attorney came up with several farfetched arguments in a vain attempt to buttress his weak case.Buttress Buttress v. Also n. prop up. 4/23/12 . support.

inharmonious. Cacophony. n. 4/23/12 . discordant.Cacophonous Cacophonous adj. Do the students in the orchestra enjoy the cacophonous sounds they make when they're tuning up? I don't know how they can stand the racket.

Cajolery. coax. wheedle.Cajole Cajole v. Diane tried to cajole her father into letting her drive the family car. n. 4/23/12 .

Her conventional suit was one calculated to appeal to the conservative judges. Lexy’s choice of clothes to wear to the debate tournament was carefully calculated. 4/23/12 . deliberately planned.Calculated • Calculated adj. likely.

candid. frankness. it was clear he held nothing back.Candor Candor n. 4/23/12 . adj. The candor with which Gene spoke during the job interview impressed us all.

4/23/12 . incalculable. changing its course constantly.Capricious Capricious adj. The storm was capricious. fickle.

burlesque. The caricatures he drew away emphasized a personal weakness of the people he burlesqued also v. 4/23/12 . distortion.Caricature Caricature n.

critical.Censorious Censorious adj. 4/23/12 . Censorious people delight in casting blame.

criticize. blame. The senator was censured for his inappropriate behavior. 4/23/12 .Censure Censure v. Also n.

Lou thought he had a good chance of doing so. 4/23/12 . certainty.Certitude Certitude n. Though there was no certitude of his getting the job.

Charlatan Charlatan n. pretender to knowledge. Dorothy and her companions were indignant that they'd been duped by a charlatan. quack. 4/23/12 . When they realized that the Wizard didn't know how to get them back to Kansas.

Also n. report. record (in chronological order). The gossip columnist was paid to chronicle the latest escapades of socially prominent celebrities. 4/23/12 .Chronicle Chronicle v.

Civility. courteous and polite. having to do with citizens or the state.Civil Civil adj. Although Internal Revenue Service agents are civil servants. n 4/23/12 . they are not always civil to suspected tax cheats.

Clamor n. noise. The clamor of the children at play outside made it impossible for her to take a nap. Also v.


Clemency n. disposition to be lenient; mildness, as of the weather. Why did the defense lawyer look pleased when his case was sent to Judge Bland's chambers? Bland was known for her clemency toward first offenders. Clemency, adj.


Coercion n. use of force to get someone's compliance. They forced him to obey, but only by using great coercion, coerce, v.


4/23/12 . honor the memory of.Commemorate Commemorate v. The statue of the Minuteman commemorates the valiant soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War.

4/23/12 . overpowering. but the defense attorney's compelling arguments for leniency won over the jury. irresistible in effect. The prosecutor presented a well reasoned case.Compelling Compelling adj.

gather. assemble. We planned to compile a list of the words most frequently used on the SAT examinations. 4/23/12 .Compile Compile v. accumulate.

The design for the new school had to be in compliance with the local building code. When I give an order. readiness to yield. not defiance. I expect compliance.Compliance Compliance n. conformity in fulfilling requirements. Comply. v. 4/23/12 .

4/23/12 . Even the latest crisis at work failed to shake Nancy's composure. mental calmness.Composure Composure n.

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