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SSAT Study Words III

SSAT Vocab (S through Z)

saturate To fill something to the point where it can hold no more; soak, fill, drench, permeate Reading the entire encyclopedia will saturate your mind with facts.
saucy Impudent, impertinent, flippant; pert, lively, rude, insolent She always got in trouble with her parents for her saucy remarks.
savor To enjoy something with relish or delight; taste, relish, enjoy, appreciate I savored every bite of my father's chocolate cream pie.
scald Burn with hot liquid or steam; scorch, boil Sharon was scalded when she bumped into a pot of boiling water.
scarce Rare, uncommon; sparse, infrequent Water is scarce in the Sahara Desert.
scathing Overly critical; searing, crushing, harmful Walter was depressed by the scathing reviews that his play received.
schism Division or separation between groups of members within an organization; disunity, break, division, conflict, clash Because half of the student council wanted the jukebox in the cafeteria, and the other half wanted it in the library, the council suffered a schism.
scrupulous Acting in accordance with a strict moral code; thorough in the performance of a task; moral, upstanding, virtuous, principled, ethical; careful, conscientious, thorough, diligent David could not have stolen Sheila's money; he was too scrupulous to carry out the threat. Roger is a scrupulous editor who checks every word his reporters write.
secure (v) to fasten, make safe; bind, clamp (adj) well-fastened, safe, not likely to fall or come loose I had secured my luggage in the overhead luggage rack a the beginning of the journey.
seethe To heave or bubble from great inner turmoil, as a volcano; to boil; steam, foam, surge, swell Immediately after learning about Roger's gossip about me, I began to boil with anger and by the time I reached his house I was seething.
sentry Guard, sentinel, watchman, lookout Mitchell stood as sentry while the other boys were in the room smoking.
sequel Addition or result; story that continues a previous one; aftermath, outcome, continuation, consequence
shrewd Clever, keen-witted, cunning, sharp in practical affairs; astute, wily, discerning She was a shrewd businesswoman and soon parlayed her meager savings into a fortune.
significant Meaningful, important, relevant, consequential, momentous, weighty A good detective knows that something that hardly seems worth noticing may be highly significant.
sinister Threatening, evil, menacing, ominous, wicked His friendly manner concealed sinister designs.
slack (n) Lack of tautness or tension; a time of little activity or dullness; lull, relaxation (adj) Sluggish, idle, barely moving, loose, relaxed, lax, remiss, careless, inactive, slow There was no wind; the sails hung slack and the boat was motionless. The slack atmosphere made it unlikely that anyone would work efficiently.
sociable Friendly, companionable, gregarious, affable, amiable Although they maintain their independence, cats are sociable creatures.
solicit To seek (something) from another; to make a request of someone; request, petition, beg The tennis player disagreed with the first judge's decision, so she solicited the opinion of the second judge. I solicited my parents for money, but they said no.
specify To mention, name or require specifically or exactly; detail, identify, stipulate, itemize, define The report specified the steps to be taken in an emergency
splice To join, bind, attach; in film editing, to join two pieces of film; connect, attach, link, unite The editor removed all the scenes with the troublesome actress and spliced the remainder together.
spurn Reject with scorn, turn away; refuse, snub When Harvey proposed to Harriet, she spurned him because she loved another man.
squalid Very dirty or foul; wretched; filthy, sordid, pour, foul The squalid living conditions in the tenement building outraged the new tenants.
squander To waste (often money) on some worthless purchase or practice; fritter away, consume, exhaust While I have carefully saved money to buy the piano I have always wanted, my friend Sean has squandered his earnings on thousands of lottery tickets.
staunch Steady, loyal; firm, sturdy, solid, established, substantial, steadfast, faithful, unfailing My grandfather has always been my staunch supporter.
stealthy Sneaky, secret, furtive, clandestine The children made a stealthy raid on the refrigerator during the night.
suave Smooth, polished and confident in speech and behavior (sometimes insincerely); smooth, worldly, sophisticated, urbane, cosmopolitan, cultivated, cultured, refined James was a suave young man who knew exactly how to act in any situation.
suppress Crush, hold in, hide; quell, contain
surfeit Overly abundant supply, an excess; glut There certainly is no surfeit of gasoline this year.
surmise (v) to guess, infer; speculate, hypothesize From his torn pants and bloody nose I surmised that he had been in a fight.
surrogate Person or thing substituted for another; proxy, substitute, alternate When I was ill, my friend agreed to act as my surrogate and give my speech for me.
susceptible Vulnerable, liable to be affected by something; open, exposed Because of her weakened state, Valerie was susceptible to infection.
suspense Fear or anticipation of waiting for something; something having to do with fear or mystery, as in a suspense novel; apprehension, anxiety Carolyn was in an agony of suspense waiting to find out if she'd gotten the lead part in the school play.
synopsis Short summary, outline Owen wrote a one-page synopsis of a 55-page book.
taciturn Quiet, tending not to speak; shy, reserved, guarded Helen is a taciturn girl who plays by herself and rarely says a word.
tactful Acting with sensitivity to others' feelings; diplomatic, discreet, Judicious, sensitive, considerate, thoughtful, politic, delicate I sent Eva to explain our sudden departure to our smelly hosts, for she is the most tactful person I know.
taint To poison, as a drink; to corrupt, as a person; poison, contaminate, infect, spoil, corrupt, debase, pervert, stain, blemish "I have tainted the princess's wine with a potion that will age her horribly in a few short weeks!" the witch proclaimed gleefully.
tamper Bother, interfere, meddle, tinker, manipulate Dan tampered with the thermostat and raised the temperature in the room to 85 degrees.
tangible Can be felt by touching; having an actual substance; material, real, touchable, palpable, concrete, perceptible The storming of the castle didn't bring the soldiers tangible rewards, but it brought them great honor. They would have preferred the rewards.
taut Stretched tightly; tense; tight, strained The tightrope was taut.
temperate Denying oneself too much pleasure; avoiding extreme positions; moderate, sensible; a mild climate; self-denying; sensible, level-headed, rational, moderate, restrained, mild Carol is the most temperate student I have ever met; even on Friday night she goes to bed early. The temperate weather of California is a welcome change from the harsh winters and muggy summers of New York.
tenacious Steadily pursuing a goal, unwilling to give up; stubborn, persistent, persevering, untiring, tireless For years, against all odds, women tenaciously fought for the right to vote.
tepid Neither hot nor cold; lukewarm; lacking character or spirit, bland; mild, temperate; unenthusiastic, halfhearted, indifferent Roxanne refused to take a bath in the tepid water, fearing that she would catch a cold. Neither liking nor disliking Finnegan's film, the critics gave it tepid reviews.
terminate To stop, end; cease, finish, conclude Amy and Zoe terminated their friendship and never spoke to each other again.
terse Concise, brief, using few words; succinct, compact Kate was noted for her terse replies, rarely going beyond "yes" or "no."
tether (n) Chain or rope tied to an animal to keep it within specific bounds; (v) To fasten or confine; tie The cheetah chewed through its tether and wandered off. I have to tether my dog to the fence to keep it out of the neighbor's yard.
token (n) Sign or symbol; expression, representation; (adj) Existing in name or appearance only, without depth or significance; nominal, superficial, meaningless I offered him a chocolate bar as a token of my gratitude for his help. He offered me a token handshake, but I knew that we were in fact still enemies.
torrid Extremely hot, scorching; parched, sizzling The torrid weather destroyed the crops.
trepidation Fear, apprehension; fright, anxiety, trembling, hesitation Mike approached the door of the principal's office with trepidation.
trite Lacking originality, inspiration and interest; tired, banal, unoriginal, common, stale, stock Lindsay's graduation speech was the same trite nonsense we've heard a hundred times before.
tumult Noise and confusion; racket, disorder The tumult of the No Nukes demonstrators drowned out the president's speech.
tyranny Harsh exercise of absolute power, as in the deadly dinosaur Tyrannosaurus Rex; oppression, repression The students accused Mrs. Morgenstern of tyranny when she assigned seats instead of letting them choose their own.
ultimate Marking the highest point; cannot be improved upon; final; maximum, remotest, conclusive, last, elemental, primary, fundamental The new fashions from Paris are the ultimate in chic.
unanimous Approved by everyone concerned; unchallenged, uncontested, unopposed, united, harmonious The student council voted unanimously; not one person opposed the plan.
unkempt Messy, sloppily maintained; sloppy, slovenly, ruffled, disheveled, untidy, ragged Sam's long hair and wrinkled shirt seemed unkempt to his grandmother; she told him he looked like a bum.
usurp To seize, take by force (most often used of abstract nouns like "power" rather than concrete nouns like "bathrobe"); grab, steal, snatch The vice principal was power-hungry and tended to usurp the principal's authority.
vacate Leave as in a vacation; depart, go The police ordered the demonstrators to vacate the park.
vacuous Silly, empty-headed, not serious; shallow, vapid The book that Victor loved when he was six struck him as utterly vacuous when he was twenty, but he still liked the pictures.
vague Not clear or certain; nebulous, imprecise It took us a while to find Amanda's house because the directions were vague.
vehement With deep feeling; passionate, earnest, fervent Susanne responded to the accusation of cheating with a vehement denial
vend To sell goods; peddle, merchandise Every Saturday in the Summer, craftsmen vend their products in the park
vex To irritate to a great degree, to annoy; tease, provoke, torment, pester, harass, bother, annoy Your constant sniveling is beginning to vex me.
vitalize To make something come alive; animate The government's flagrant acts of injustice vitalized the opposition.
vivacious Lively, full of spirit; animated, sprightly, spirited Quiet and withdrawn at firs, Joan became iincreasingly vivacious.
wan Unnaturally pale, lacking color; ashen, bloodless The sick child had a wan face.
wantonly Without a reason; randomly, indiscriminately Instead of singling out appropriate targets for his anger, the crazed robot struck out wantonly.
wrath Extreme anger; ire, fury, rage He denounced the criminals in a speech filled with righteous wrath.
wretched Miserable, pathetic; dejected, woebegone, forlorn Steve felt wretched when he failed the test.
writhe To squirm or twist as if in pain After being hit by a car, the pedestrian was writhing in pain.
zealous Enthusiastic, eager; fervent, fervid, intense, passionate Heather was a zealous supporter of the cause who never missed a rally.
satellite A small thing going around a bigger thing, for example the moon A spy satellite can take pictures of the people and things it passes above as it circles the globe.
Created by: Karina Geneva on 2009-08-09

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