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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adversity. unfavorable. n. 4/23/12 . hostile.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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.Artisan Artisan n. manually skilled worker. craftsman.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

n. inharmonious. 4/23/12 . Cacophony. discordant. 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.Cacophonous Cacophonous adj.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.


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 .

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

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

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

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

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