SAT Vocabulary
Clarity 
capricious
captious
carp
cartography
castigate
catalyst
catharsis
the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.
to quibble, raise trivial objections
to condemn severely for doing something bad
humiliation
chimerical
imaginary, given to fantasy
hot-tempered, quick to anger
circumvent      
closefisted      
coalesce
to come together as one
to ponder, think carefully about
colloquial
conscript
enlisted, drafted, enrolled
to confirm, back up with evidence
a group of close associates or friends
shy, reluctant to make a commitment
 
cowardly
      
a greedy irascible, old person
dearth
lack of, or shortage of
debacle
a big disaster
deft
skillful, adroit
dehydrate
remove water
deleterious
harmful
demagogue
a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument.
demography
statistical study of the characteristics of populations
desalinate
to remove salt from something
desiccate
to dry out
diplomatic
tactful; good at negotiating
discomfit
to frustrate, to confuse
dither
to vacillate between choices; to tremble with excitement
diurnal
occurring every day; occurring during the daytime
divisive
creating conflict and disagreement
draconian
severe, harsh, cruel
ebullient
bubbling with excitement, exuberant
eclectic
drawn from many sources
effigy
a likeness of a person, usually one used to express hatred for that person
egregious
extremely bad, flagrant
elliptical
oval; missing a word or words; obscure
endemic
native, restricted to a particular region or area, indigenous
ephemeral
lasting a very short time
equine
relating to horses, horse-like
equivocal
ambiguous, intentionally confusing, capable of being interpreted many ways
ersatz
serving as a substitute; synthetic, artificial
ethereal
heavenly, light, insubstantial
etymology
the study of words and their meanings
euphonious      
pleasant-sounding, opposite of cacophonous; melodious
evanescent
fleeting, vanishing, happening only for the briefest period
evince
o demonstrate convincingly; to prove
execrate
to curse, denounce
exhume
to unbury; to dig out of the ground
exonerate
to free completely from blame
expeditious
prompt, speedy; to expedite
expiate
to make amends, to atone
expunge
to erase, obliterate, to blot out
facile
fluent, skillful in a superficial way
fecund
fertile, productive
fervent
having intense feeling, enthusiastic; fervid
feign
to pretend; to make a false representation of something
flaccid
soft and limp
florid
very fancy, usually refers to intangible objects, i.e., florid speech
flout
to disregard something or someone out of disrespect
ford
the shallow part of a river; to cross a river at the shallow part
forensics
the art or study of argumentation and formal debate
fortuitous      
accidental, occurring by chance
fracas
a big fight
furrow
a narrow groove made in the ground; to make wrinkles in the face
gaffe
a social blunder, an embarrassing mistake, a faux pas
galvanize
to startle into sudden activity; to revitalize
gastronomy
the art of eating well
germane
relevant, applicable, pertinent
glower
to look or stare with sullen dislike or anger
goldbrick
to swindle, to sell something worthless as if it were valuable; a swindle
grandiloquent
using a lot of big, fancy words to sound impressive
gratuitous      
given freely; uncalled for unjustified; unprovoked
glut
surplus, overabundance
hackneyed
overused, trite, stale
harbinger
a forerunner, a signal of
hedonism
the pursuit of pleasure as a way of life
hegemony
leadership, especially of one nation over another
hermetic
airtight, impervious to external influence
homily
a sermon
hubris
excessive pride
humanist
one who has great concern for human welfare, values, and dignity; a student of the classics
hybrid
formed, bred, or composed from different elements
hypodermic
beneath the skin
idiosyncratic
quirky, peculiar, eccentric
ignominy
shame, disrepute, disgrace
importune
to beg, urge, or insist persistently
inane
silly, senseless
incantation
a chant
incarnate
in the flesh
incensed
very angry
inchoate
incomplete; only partially formed
indignant
angry or insulted, especially as a result of something unjust or unworthy
indolent
habitually lazy
ineffable      
incapable of being expressed or described
inexorable
relentless, inevitable, unavoidable
inoculate
to protect against disease
insouciant
nonchalant, light-hearted, carefree
irascible
easily angered or provoked; irritable
jaunt
a short pleasure trip
jejune
lacking maturity or significance; irrelevant
jettison
to throw or cast off
jingoist
an excessively vigilant patriot; a bellicose chauvinist; a war-mongering nationalist
jurisprudence      
the study of law
karma
consequences of one’s actions; fate, destiny
kudos
honor, glory, acclaim, compliment
lambaste
to assault violently with words
lament 
 to mourn 
laudatory
praising
lax
not strict; careless or negligent
lexicon
a glossary or dictionary
limpid
transparent, clear, lucid
liniment
a medicinal liquid or salve for rubbing on the skin
liquidate
to get rid of; to settle a debt
lugubrious
exaggeratedly mournful
luminary
a person who has attained eminence in his/her field
maudlin
silly and overly sentimental
maverick
a nonconformist; a rebel
mellifluous
flowing sweetly, usually refers to sounds of voices
mendacious      
ying, dishonest
meritorious
deserving praise or reward
mirth
amusement or laughter
misanthrope      
one who hates people
mollify
to soften, soothe, pacify
moribund
dying
narcissism
excessive love of one’s body or oneself
nebulous
ague, hazy, indistinct
neologism
a new word or phrase; a new usage of a word
neophyte
a novice or beginner
noisome
offensive or disgusting; stinking, noxious
noxious
harmful, offensive
nuance   
a subtle difference or distinction
numerology
the study of numbers for the purposes of predicting the future
obdurate
stubborn, insensitive, unyielding, resistant to persuasion
obeisance
deep reverence; a bow or curtsy
obfuscate
to darken or confuse
obsequious
fawning, subservient, servile, excessively deferential
odometer
instrument that measures how many miles one has traveled
olfactory
pertaining to the sense of smell
oligarchy
government by only a very few people
ornate
very fancy, usually refers to tangible objects, e.g. ornate woodwork
palliative
something that provides temporary relief without getting rid of the problem
paltry
insignificant; worthless
panacea
something that cures everything
panache
flair, verve; dashing elegance
paragon
a model of excellence
peccadillo
a minor offense or error
pedantic
boringly scholarly or academic; overly concerned with details
penurious
extremely stingy, poor or miserly
perfidy
treachery
perfunctory
unenthusiastic, careless
pernicious
deadly, extremely evil
perquisite      
a privilege that goes along with a job; a perk
philistine
a smugly ignorant person with no appreciation for intellectual or artistic matters
piquant
pleasantly sharp in flavor; interestingly provocative or stimulating
pique
to excite; to arouse an emotion or provoke to action
plebeian
common, vulgar, low-class
poignant
painfully emotional, extremely moving, sharp, or astute
polemic
a powerful argument often made to attack or refute a controversial issue
portent
an omen, a sign of something coming
potentate
a person who possesses great power
predilection      
a natural preference for something
 preempt
   to seize something by prior right
prescient 
  having knowledge of things before they exist or happen
priggish 
  very fussy, self-righteous, high maintenance, usually refers to people
profligate 
 extravagantly wasteful; wildly immoral
prolific 
  abundantly productive, fruitful, or fertile
promulgate
   to publicly or formally declare something
prosaic
dull, unimaginative
pugnacious 
  quarrelsome, combative, always ready to fight
pulchritude
   physical beauty
queue 
  a line; to line up
quiescent
   motionless; at rest; still
quintessential 
  being the most perfect example of
quixotic 
  idealistic to a foolish or impractical degree, like Don Quixote
quotidian  
 daily; everyday; ordinary
raze 
  to completely destroy or level something
rebuke 
  to criticize sharply
recapitulate 
  to review or summarize
recidivism 
   the act of repeating an offense
redolent 
  fragrant
renege 
  to go back on a bet or promise
retrenchment
   cutting down or off, reduction
rhetoric   
the study or art of using language well; the use of undue exaggeration
sacrosanct      
sacred, held to be inviolable
sanguine  
 cheerful, optimistic, hopeful
sardonic  
 mocking, scornful
saturnine 
  gloomy or taciturn
scrupulous  
 strict, careful; hesitant for ethical reasons
semantic 
  pertaining to the meaning of words or symbols
semaphore    
a system of signaling, usually through the use of flags
serendipity 
  accidental good fortune, discovering good things without looking for them
skinflint  
 a mean, penny-pinching person
smidgen   
  a very small amount
somber 
  depressing, dismal, gloomy
specious 
  deceptively plausible or attractive; misleading
stand 
  a group of trees
sublime 
  of great intellectual, moral, or spiritual value
subsidy 
  a gift of money
subterfuge  
 deceptive strategy used to conceal, escape, or evade
supercilious 
  haughty, patronizing
supplicate 
     to ask or beg humbly
tenable 
  valid, capable of being argued successfully
threadbare  
 falling apart, meager, poor, old
truculent 
  fierce, cruel, savagely brutal
turbid 
  unclear or opaque; lacking clarity or purity
uncanny 
extraordinary, mysterious, uncomfortably strange
unilateral
   involving one side only; done on behalf of one side only
usury  
 the practice of lending money at a high rate of interest
vacuous 
  empty of content; lacking in ideas or intelligence
vapid 
     dull, spiritless
verdant 
  covered with green plants; leafy; inexperienced
vernacular  
 everyday speech, slang, idiom
vestige    
  a remaining bit of something, a trace
vilify   
to say vile things about; to defame
wane  
 to decrease in strength or intensity; to fade away; to decline in power
wanton   
malicious, unjustifiable, unprovoked, egregious
wizened      
shriveled, withered, shrunken
zeitgeist     
 the mood or spirit of the times
zenith 
     the highest point; peak; pinnacle