Top 100 SAT Words: Test Your Knowledge

My research tells me these are the words your are most likely to encounter on the SAT.  Run down the list and write down the ones you don’t know on index cards.  Draw a simple picture next to the word and use it in a sentence.  Best way to study for the SAT vocabulary section: read a lot of good literature and highlight the words you don’t know, and look them up.

You are likely able to easily eliminate two of the choices on your questions.  I’ve included a link at the bottom to a simple game using these words.  Have fun- because if learning isn’t fun then you’re doing something wrong.


  • abbreviate: shorten
  • abstinence: the act of refraining from pleasurable activity
  • adulation: high praise
  • misfortune: an unfavorable turn of events
  • aesthetic: pertaining to beauty or the arts
  • amicable: friendly
  • anachronistic: out-of-date
  • anecdote: short, funny account of an event
  • anonymous: nameless
  • antagonist: foe, adversary
  • arid: extremely dry
  • assiduous: persistent, hard-working
  • asylum: sanctuary, shelter


  • benevolent: friendly and helpful


  • camaraderie: trust, sociability amongst friends
  • censure: to criticize harshly
  • circuitous: indirect
  • clairvoyant: able to foresee the future
  • collaborate: work together
  • compassion: sympathy, mercy
  • compromise: to settle a dispute agreeable to both sides
  • condescending: attitude of superiority, patronizing
  • conditional: depending on a condition, e.g., in a contract
  • conformist: person who complies with rules and customs
  • congregation: a crowd of people
  • convergence: separate elements coming together


  • deleterious: harmful, destructive
  • demagogue: leader, usually appealing to prejudice
  • digression:straying from the main point, as in a speech or argument
  • diligent: careful and hard-working
  • discredit: dishonor or disgrace
  • disdain: to regard with contempt
  • divergent: separating, moving in different directions


  • empathy: identification with the feelings of others
  • emulate: to imitate
  • enervating: weakening, tiring
  • enhance: to improve
  • ephemeral: momentary, fleeting
  • evanescent: quickly fading, short-lived, esp. an image
  • exasperation: irritation, frustration
  • exemplary: outstanding
  • extenuating: excusing, lessening the seriousness


  • florid: flushed; gaudy
  • fortuitous: luck, fortunate
  • frugal: thrifty


  • hackneyed: cliched
  • haughty: arrogant and condescending
  • hedonist: person who pursues pleasure as a goal
  • hypothesis: assumption, theory requiring proof


  • impetuous: rash, impulsive
  • impute: to attribute to person or group
  • incompatible: not able to live or work together
  • inconsequential: unimportant, trivial
  • inevitable: certain, unavoidable
  • integrity: decency, honesty
  • intrepid: fearless, adventurous
  • intuitive: instinctive, untaught


  • jubilation: joy, celebration


  • lobbyist: persuader of legislatures
  • longevity: long life


  • mundane: ordinary, commonplace


  • nonchalant: calm, casual
  • novice: apprentice, beginner


  • opulent: wealthy
  • orator: lecturer, speaker
  • ostentatious: showy, displaying wealth


  • parched: dried up, shriveled
  • perfidious: faithless, disloyal
  • precocious: advanced or talented at an early age
  • pretentious: pretending to be important
  • procrastinate: delay, postpone
  • prosaic: dull 
  • prosperity: wealth or success
  • provocative: to provoke 
  • prudent: careful, cautious


  • querulous: complaining, irritable


  • rancorous: bitter, hateful
  • reclusive: withdrawn
  • reconciliation:the resolution of a dispute
  • renovation: repair, make new
  • resilient: bounce back
  • restrained: controlled
  • reverence: worship


  • sagacity: wisdom
  • scrutinize: to observe carefully
  • spontaneity: impulsive action
  • spurious: false
  • submissive: meekness
  • substantiate: to verify, confirm
  • subtle: hard to detect
  • superficial: shallow
  • superfluous: extra, more than enough
  • suppress: to end an activity
  • surreptitious: secret, stealthy


  • tactful: considerate, skillful to avoid offense to others
  • tenacious: determined, keeping a firm grip on
  • transient: temporary, fleeting


  • venerable: respected because of age
  • vindicate: to clear from blame or suspicion


  • wary: careful, cautious

 Fun SAT word game

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