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SSAT Study Words I

SSAT Vocab (A through F)

WordDef.Sentence
abdicate To give up a position, right or power; quit, resign renounce, step down With the angry mob clamoring outside the palace, the king abdicated his throne and fled the country.
abduct To forcefully and wrongfully carry, take or lead away; kidnap, carry off The kidnappers planned to abduct the child and hold her for ransom.
abhor To hate, to view with repugnance, to detest; loathe, abominate After repeated failure to learn the Pythagorean theorum, Susan began to abhor geometry.
absurd Ridiculously unreasonable, lacking logic; ridiculous, ludicrous, preposterous, bizarre Ironing one's underwear is absurd.
abyss Deep hole; deep immeasurable space, gulf or cavity; chasm, pit Looking down into the abyss was terrifying, for I could not see the bottom.
accelerate To increase in speed, cause to move faster; speed up, hasten, expedite The new disease has spread like wildfire, causing researchers to accelerate their search for a cure.
acclaim (n) praise, enthusiastic approval (v) to approve, to welcome with applause and praise; cheer, applaud, praise, honor The artist won international acclaim; critics and viewers all over the world were intrigued by the works.
acute Sharp in some way or sharp in intellect; crucial; perceptive, keen, shrewd There is an acute shortage of food, which will ultimately result in a famine if something is not done soon to increase the food supply.
adage Old saying, proverb; maxim "A penny saved is a penny earned" is a popular adage.
adhere To stick fast; to hold to; follow After we put glue on his pants, John adhered to the chair. Cathy was a strict Catholic who adhered to all the teachings of the Church.
adjourn To postpone; to suspend (a meeting) for a period of time; recess Since it was late in the day, the prosecutor moved that the court adjourn for the day.
adjunct Something or someone associated with another but in a defendant or secondary position; additional, supporting, assisting, accessory An adjunct professor is one not given the same full-time status as other faculty members.
admonish To scold (sometimes in a good natured way); to urge to duty, remind; to advise against something; warn, caution, scold My mother began to admonish me for not cleaning my room.
adorn To decorate or add beauty to, for instance with ornaments; to make pleasing, more attractive; decorate, ornament, embellish She adorned her hair with flowers.
adversary Opponent, enemy, foe Democrats and Republicans are usually adversaries in the political world.
aeronautic Relating to aircraft The Air Force's stealth plane is reported to be a masterpiece of aeronautic design.
affable Pleasantly easy to get along with; friendly and warm; agreeable, amiable She was an affable hostess and made us feel right at home.
affectation Attempt to appear to be what one is not for The purpose of impressing others; pretension, unnaturalness, artificiality, pretense, airs, facade Justin once spent three months in France and has not acquired the silly affectation of using French phrases in casual conversation.
aghast Overcome by surprise, disgust, or amazement; seized with terror; shocked; astounded, dismayed, appalled, astonished, shocked The investigator was aghast at the horrible conditions in the nursing home.
agility Condition of being able to move quickly and easily or being mentally alert; skillfulness, dexterity, nimbleness Strength and agility are important for an athlete.
agitate To shake or grow excited; to move around a lot, to disturb or excite emotionally; upset, stir up The bat's flight into the classroom managed to agitate the teacher so much that he went home early.
aimless Lacking purpose or goals; haphazard After its engine died, the boat drifted aimlessly for days.
alleviate To make easier to bear, lessen; relieve, allay, assuage, ease, decrease, lessen, mitigate The medicine will help to alleviate the pain.
allure Fascination, appeal; temptation, attraction Video games have an allure that some people find impossible to resist.
aloof Distant in relations with other people; detached, cool, blase, remote The newcomer remained aloof from all our activities and therefore made no new friends.
altruistic Concerned for the welfare of others; benevolent, charitable, compassionate, humane The altruistic woman gave out money to all who seemed needy.
amateur Someone not paid to engage in a hobby, sport, art, etc.; devotee, dabbler, enthusiast, buff, non-professional Since professionals weren't allowed to play, only amateur athletes participated in the Olympics. The brilliant author James Joyce was an amateur singer.
amend To improve; to alter, to add to, or to subtract from by formal procedure; repair, mend, make better, ameliorate Congress will amend the bill so that the President will sign it.
amorous Having to do with love; romantic The love-sick young poet wrote many amorous poems about his girlfriend.
amorphous Lacking a specific shape; shapeless, vague
amphibian Animal at home on both land and in the water
angular Having clear angles or thin and bony facial features; lanky, gaunt, bony
animosity Feeling of ill will, intense dislike for someone or something; hatred
annihilate To destroy completely; demolish
antidote Remedy to relieve the effects of poison
aperture Opening; hole, gap, space, crack
aqueous Similar to, or composed of water; watery, aquatic, hydrous, liquid
ardent Characterized by passion or desire; passionate, enthusiastic, fervent
arid Very dry, lacking moisture; unproductive, unimaginative; parched, barren, dull, uninteresting, insipid
aroma Pleasing fragrance; any odor or smell
articulate (adj.) Well-spoken, lucidly presented; eloquent, glib (v) To pronounce clearly, enunciate
artifice (1) Trickery, clever ruse; stratagem, trick, ploy, deception (2) Ability to create or imagine; creativity, inventiveness, innovation, resourcefulness, ingenuity
ascertain To find out or discover by examination; determine, unearth
assailable Able to be attacked or assaulted by blows or words; vulnerable, exposed, unprotected
astound To overwhelm with amazement; stupefy, stun
astute Shrewd and perceptive; able to understand clearly and quickly; keen, discerning, penetrating, incisive, crafty, foxy, wily
atrocity Horrible, unusually brutal act; horror, barbarity, outrage
audacity Boldness or daring, especially with disregard for personal safety; a lot of nerve, impudence
authoritative Having a great authority; masterful
banal Boringly predictable; dull, bland, insipid
banish To send away; get rid of, exile, deport
barrier Anything that makes progress harder or impossible; something that blocks or limits, obstacle
beguile To deceive by trickery; charm, allure, bewitch, captivate
belligerence Aggressive hostility; combativeness
benefactor Someone giving financial or general assistance; patron, backer, donor
beneficial Advantageous, helpful; conferring benefit; favorable
benevolence Inclination to do good deeds; largess
bewildered Completely confused or puzzled; perplexed
bias (n) Prejudice, particular tendency; partiality (v) To cause prejudice in a person; to influence unfairly; show favor
bile Ill temper, irritability; bitterness, bad temper
bliss Supreme happiness, utter joy or contentment; heaven, paradise; delight, ecstasy
boisterous Loud and unrestrained; noisy, raucous
botanist Scientist specializing in study of plants
bounty Generosity of giving; reward; abundance, cornucopia, reward, loot
bravado Showy and pretentious display of courage; bluster, bombast, swagger
brevity State of being brief, of not lasting a long time; shortness, fleetness, swiftness
brig Ship's prison; jail
burnish (v) to make shine by rubbing, as with a cloth; polish, buff, varnish (n) shininess produced by burnishing; shine, luster, gleam, brilliance
cache Hiding place for treasures, etc.; anything that's in such a hiding place; stash
cajole To wheedle, persuade with promise or flattery; coax
camouflage (n) Disguise worn in order to deceive an enemy; for instance uniforms the color of trees or dirt (v) disguise, obscure, cloud, hide
candor Frankness and sincerity; fairness; honesty
canine Relating to dogs
cantankerous Quarrelsome and grouchy; argumentative, ill-tempered
caprice Sudden, unpredictable change; impulse, whim, fancy
cascade (n) Waterfall, torrent (v) to fall like a waterfall
catastrophe Disastrous event; disaster, ruin, devastation
celestial Relating to the heavens; heavenly, divine, spiritual
censor To remove material from books, plays, magazines, etc., for moral, political or religious reasons; suppress, delete
chasm Gorge or deep canyon; ravine, abyss
choleric Bad-tempered
choreographer Person creating and arranging dances for stage performances
chorus Group acting together; band
chronic Continuing over a long period of time, long-standing; continuous, constant, persistent
circumscribe To encircle with a line; to limit in any way; outline, bound, define, encompass
collision Crash, clash or conflict; impact
communicative Talkative and likely to communicate; articulate, vocal, expressive
compassion Deep feeling of pity or sympathy for others; mercy
compel To force someone or something to act; coerce, goad, motivate
competent Having enough skill for some purpose; adequate but not exceptional; qualified, capable, fit
concise Brief and compact; succinct
condone To pardon, forgive or overlook; excuse, absolve, accept, tolerate, allow, permit, suffer, endure, bear, stomach
confidential Done secretly or in confidence; secret, covert, off-the-record
constrict To squeeze, make tighter; choke, stifle, contract, smother
contemplation Thoughtful observation; thought, deliberation, meditation, reflection
contend To fight or struggle against; to debate, argue, assert
contentious Eager to quarrel; quarrelsome, cantankerous, feisty, combative, irascible, pugnacious
convene To assemble or meet; gather
conventional Established or approved by general usage; customary, well-established, habitual
copious Abundant, large in number or quantity, plentiful; profuse
countenance (n) Face or facial expression, or the general appearance or behavior of something or someone; face, aspect, bearing, demeanor, air, visage (v) to approve or support; sanction, endorse, bless, favor, encourage, condone
couplet Unit of poetry with two rhyming lines
courier Person who carries messages, news or information; messenger, runner, carrier
cue Hint or guiding suggestion; prompt, signal
curvature State of being curved; arc, arch, bow
dawdle To waste time with idle lingering; delay, dally
deadlock A standoff caused by opposition of two conflicting forces; stalemate, standstill
dearth Scarcity, lack, shortage
debris Charred or spoiled remains of something that has been destroyed; trash, rubbish, wreckage
decade Period of 10 years
deceit Deception or trickery; falseness, dishonesty, fraudulence
deceive To delude or mislead; trick, dupe, lie
declamation Exercise in speech giving, attack or protest; long speech, harangue
deficient Defective, insufficient or inadequate; failing, lacking
dehydrate To remove water from; dry out, parch
deject To depress or make sad; sadden, depress, discourage, dishearten
delude To deceive, mislead; dupe, hoax, trick
deluge (n) Flood, large overflowing of water; inundation, torrent (v) To overflow, to inundate, to flood; engulf, overwhelm
demote To reduce to a lower grade or class (opposite of promote); downgrade
deplore To regard as deeply regrettable and hateful; regret, lament, bemoan, bewail, mourn, grieve for, denounce, condemn, protest, oppose, despise, loathe, abominate
desolation Condition of being deserted and destroyed; barrenness, desertion, bleakness
despicable Deserving contempt; hateful, contemptible, base, mean, vile, detestable, depraved
despondent In a state of depression; depressed, morose, gloomy, sad, brooding, desolate, forlorn, woeful, mournful, dejected
destitute Bereft (of something), without or left without (something); poor, devoid, lacking, impoverished
devastate To lay waste, make desolate; to overwhelm; ruin, wreck
devotee Someone passionately devoted; enthusiast, fan, admirer
devout Deeply religious; pious, reverent
dexterity Skill in using the hands or body; agility; cleverness
diminish To become or to make smaller in size, number or degree; decrease, lessen, dwindle, shrink, contract, decline, subside, wane, fade, recede, weaken, moderate
din Loud, confused noise; uproar, clamor
dingy Dark or drab in color; dirty, shabby, squalid, filthy
diplomatic Tactful; skilled in the art of conducting negotiations and other relations between nations; polite
disclaim To deny ownership of or association with; repudiate, reject, disown, disavow, renounce
discursive Covering a wide area or digressing from a topic; digressive, rambling
dismal Causing gloom; cheerless; miserable, dreary
dispute (n) Argument or quarrel; disagreement (v) To argue or quarrel; disagree with
disseminate To scatter or spread widely; broadcast, disperse
divert (1) To change the course of; deflect, reroute, turn, detour (2) To draw someone's attention by amusing them; amuse, entertain, distract
doff To remove or take off, as clothing
dogged Persistent in effort; stubbornly tenacious; obstinate
dogmatic Asserting without proof; stating opinion as if it were fact in a definite and forceful manner; absolute, opinionated, dictatorial, authoritative, arrogant
doze To nap or sleep lightly
dungeon Underground room in fortress often used to keep prisoners; vault, cellar
ebullient Overflowing with fervor, enthusiasm, or excitement; high-spirited, bubbling, enthusiastic, exuberant
eccentric (n) person who differs from the accepted norms in an odd way; freak, oddball, weirdo, nonconformist (adj) deviating from accepted conduct; odd, unorthodox, unconventional, offbeat
ecstatic Deliriously happy; delighted, overjoyed, euphoric
eddy Small whirlpool or any similar current; swirling water
effect (n) Result, impression (v) To produce, make or bring about; cause
elusive Hard to find or express; slippery, evasive
embellish To add detail, make more complicated; elaborate, expand, ornament
eminent Distinguished, high in rank or station; prominent, well-known, famous, distinguished, noteworthy
emulate To imitate or copy; simulate, follow
enact To make into law; pass (a law), decree; act out
encompass To form a circle or ring around; encircle, circumscribe
endorse To approve, sustain, support; accept, authorize, accredit, encourage, advocate, favor, support
enigma Mystery or riddle; puzzle
enigmatic Unexplainable, mysterious; inexplicable, incomprehensible, strange, puzzling, baffling, bewildering, perplexing, cryptic
ensnare To capture in, or involve, as in a snare; trap
entice To lure or attract by feeding desires; tempt
entourage Group of followers, attendants or assistants; retinue, coterie
era Period of time; age, epoch
err To make a mistake (as in error); go wrong, sin
erudite Knowledgeable and learned; wise, informed
essential Of the innermost nature of something; basic, fundamental; of great importance; central, important, crucial, urgent, necessary
etiquette Code of social behavior; manners, propriety, decorum
evacuate To empty out, remove, or withdraw; expel, vacate
exotic Of foreign origin or character; strange, exciting, alien, unfamiliar
expand To make greater, broader, larger or more detailed; enlarge, increase, augment, extend, broaden, widen, stretch, spread, swell, inflate, dilate, bloat
expunge To delete or omit completely; erase, obliterate, strike out
extraction Process of removal or something removed
extricate To release from difficulty or an entanglement; disengage, release, withdraw
extroverted Outgoing or interested in people; gregarious
Created by: Karina Geneva on 2009-07-11



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