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101 SAT Words | Vocabulary To Study

The SAT is notorious for testing students’ vocabulary. To make things easier, practice using these SAT words that are likely to show up on the test or in college later.

Here’s a vocabulary tip that will help you on the SAT Essay.


Vocabulary Still Counts On The SAT

Even though it doesn’t test vocabulary specifically, the SAT still requires you to have one.

The Reading and Writing sections, in particular, pushes test-takers with comprehending so-called “high-utility academic words and phrases”. In short, these are SAT words that you’ll come across in college readings later on.

To give you some extra help and not get caught on test day, we’ve pulled together a list of some high-utility SAT words to study. Even if you don’t come across them now, sooner or later, you will in college.

Word Definition
abolish to officially put an end to
abrupt sudden or curt
agitation anxiety; the fast stirring of a liquid
alteration change from a previous norm
ambiguous open to more than one interpretation; unclear
ambivalent having mixed feelings
arcane difficult to understand
aromatic having a pleasant smell
assumption an idea accepted as fact without proof
begrudging to envy; to give reluctantly
belligerent war-like, inclined to fight
bias inclination for or against a group of people or a particular outcome
characterize describe distinctive features; to be typical of
condescension disdain
consequently as a result
conserve protect
contentious controversial
conventional aligned with general beliefs
convey express
corroborate confirm; support
corrupt dishonest for personal gain
counterargument an argument opposing an idea set forth elsewhere
curtail cut short
deplete use up
dismay disappointment and distress
ebullient highly enthusiastic
eloquent well-spoken
emerging beginning; new
empathetic feeling sympathy
engagement participation; an appointment
enigmatic mysterious
entrenched solidly established
enumerate to list
ephemeral short-lived
equivocal vague
esoteric known only to a select group
exertion effort
exhilarating wildly exciting
exonerate free from blame
fastidious nit-picky, fussing over details
fluctuate to change irregularly
foreshadow to allude to coming events
fundamentally centrally
garner gather
garrulous talkative
gregarious flocking, sociable
hasten to do something quickly
hypothetical based on a hypothesis; theoretical
imperative absolutely necessary
indifferent expressing no opinions on a matter
indigenous native to a certain area
indiscriminate without consideration
indispensable vital
indistinct unclear
infrastructure the organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or project
keen eager; incisive; to wail
magnanimous kind-hearted, likely to forgive
malevolence hostility
melodramatic exaggerated
menacing inspiring fear
modification change
naïve innocent; likely to believe anything
neglect fail to care for
null invalid; related to zero
obsolete no longer useful
omnipotence having unlimited power
opaque not transparent
oppress to keep in a state of hardship
ornate highly decorated
pantheon the group of gods of a people
pending awaiting decision
preclude to prevent from happening
profuse excessive
regression return to an earlier state
reinforce strengthen; back up
render to provide; to make
renounce to declare the abandonment of something formally
repeal to revoke
repose rest
reproach express disapproval
restorative possessing characteristics that allow it to return health or well-being
reticent not saying much
revere respect deeply
sampling a representative group
scope the extent to which something is relevant
secession formally withdrawing from membership
selfless unselfish
soporific causing sleep
spawn produce, often in terms of offspring
spectacle a visually impressive performance
stimulate build interest in
subsequent following
supremacy predominance; the state of being in control of all others
synchronized occurring at the same time
tenacious not giving in easily
undermine make less effective
urbane refined, of the city
venerable deserving of respect
verbose using too many words
warrant justification; to justify
yield to produce; to give way


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Dr. Shaan Patel MD MBA

Written by Dr. Shaan Patel MD MBA

Prep Expert Founder & CEO

Shark Tank Winner, Perfect SAT Scorer, Dermatologist, & #1 Bestselling Author
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