sat vocab 450 cards

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alleviate (v)

to lessen or relieve, especially in reference to pain; to decrease. although the new drug is said to alleviate the the symptoms , it will not cure the disease.


animosity (n)

active dislike; ill will; hostility. wend's animosity to all authority figures has made her both a poor student and a teribble employee.


austere (adj)

stern in manner or appearance; strict in morals; plain or unadorned. their home, governed by an austere father, was a humorless and unhappy place.


austere (adj)

stern in manner or apperarance; strict in morals; plain or unadorned. their home, governed by an austere father, was a humorless and unhappy place.


bombastic (adj)

high sounding; using pompous language; overly theatrical. the citizens were not moved by the mayor's rather bombastic address.


carping (adj)

finding fault, especially in a petty way; nagging; complaining. laura tierd of her father's carping about the ever-so-slightly tattered cuffs of her jeans.


clemency (adj)

Mercy; a diposition to show mercy; mildness. the prisoner's plea for clemency fell on deaf ears.


criterion (n)

a standard, rule, or test by which something can be judged. when it comes to the purchase of a car, our sole criterion is its safety record.


desecrate (v)

to treat with disrespect; to profane; violate the sacredness of. the outgoing seniors planned to desecrate their school by adding an absurd moustache to the portrait of the principal in the front-office.


embellish (v)

to decorate; to elaborate upon; to improve; by adding details, especially fictitious ones. if you encourage the state trooper, he'll embellish the tale of how he uncovered the cache of the bank-robbers.


espouse (v)

to take in marriage; marry; to give one's support to. long after he stopped attending church, mr.reyonolds continued to espouse christian values.


expropriate (v)

to deprive of possesion; to transfer another;s property to oneself. the state officials planned to expropriate the land owners who live in the path of the new higway.


flagrant (adj)

outrageous; glaringly offensive. citing extenuating circumstances, peter asked his boss to overlook the glagrant bookkeeping error.


fledgling (adj)

newly developed; little known; inexperienced. the fledgling businessmen stuggled to make up for their lack of experience.


forensics (adj)

the art or study of debate; argumentation; tierd of losing arguments to her father, a prominent lawyer, charlotte began to study forensics for six hours a day.


heretic (n)

one who believes some doctrine contrary to the established faith or prevailing religion; one who holds to heresy. "why burn a heretic at the stake," said the woman, "when you can simply give him a dirty look?"


immutable (adj)

unchangeable; not subject to variation. my father's immutable optimism can be traced back to the pleasant atmosphere in my grandmother's house.


impassive (adj)

without feeling or emotion; insensible a good poker player maintains an impassive demeanor.


intransigent (adj)

refusing compromise; refusing to moderate a position, especially an extreme one. eddie was intransigent in his insistence that only blue M&M


mitigate (v)

to make or become milder or less severve; to moderate. after a lackluster defense, the attorney noted her client's youth in an attempt to mitigate the severity of the expected sentence.


opulent (adj)

possessing or exhibition great wealth; luxurious; abundant. through intended to impress, the opulent banquet was more tacky than elegant.


pernicious (adj)

extremely destructive or harmful. the tornado had a pernicious impact on the local barns and houses.


peruse (v)

to read carefully; to study or examine. in the days before her written exam, leah would peruse the drivers manual for hours at a time.


philistine (adj)

smugly ignorant; hostile or indifferent to cultural or artistic values.(can also be used as a noun to denote a person who exemplifies theres traits) tierd of being called philistine, George decided to educate himself in classical music.


polemic (n)

an aggressive argument against a specifiic opinion. the philosopher immanuel Kant's major work was intended, at least in part, as a polemic against Hume's famous attack on the legitimacy of the scieices.



developing ahead of time; advanced. although shes only nine years old, Sarah, being the precocious girl that she is has decided to begin her study of calculus.


proclivity (n)

a strong inclination towards something. Robert's proclivity for debate caused him to consider entering law school.


promulgate (v)

to make known by public declartion; to announce officially. especially that which has been previously known to only a few. though Ricardos new religion had a devoted inner circle of followers, it still lacked apostles to promulgate its belief-syst


propensity (n)

natural inclination; tendency julie hoped that her pupppy would outgrow his prpensity for destroying books and magazines.


quagmire (n)

a difficult situation columbia university runs into politically-charged quagmires nearly every year, often resulting in the disruption of classes and the loss of faculty members.


prossaic (adj)

lacking liveliness; plain the author's prosaic tone will bore even the most determined of readers.


quixotic (adj)

romantic or idealistic to the point of absurdity; extremely inpractical. when asked about his future, felipe recited a rather quixotic plan that revolved around and winning the lottery and moving to neptune


rancor (n)

deep, bitter resentment. as i pulled up the mach-1 and revved my engine, i noticed that the other drivers was glarring at me with the deepest rancor- embittered, perhaps, by all the defeats they had suffered.


rectitude (n)

extreme morality; uprightness. the monk's rectitude prevented him even from becoming frustrated with those less disciplined and compassionate than himself.


rescind (v)

to cancel; to repeal; to revoke. the order to rescind the jail sentence resulted from the decision to reclassify the offense a misdemeanor.


saturate (v)

to imbue or impregnate thoroughly; to soak, fill, or load to capacity. "what we need now," said the farmer, "is a heavy rain that will saturate at least the top six inches of soil."


serendipity (n)

finding good things without looking for them; luck in a night of unparalled serendipity, the young man was offered a fantastic job, met his future wife, and won tickets to his favorite band's european tour.


servile (adj)

subservient; willing or eager to serve. the servile butler waited patiently as the wealthy guests finished their sumptuous dishes


squalid (adj)

dirty or wretched in apperance; morally repulsive; sordid. the recluse lived in a squalid house the edge of down and could not be persuaded to give it up for a more respectable domicile.


stoic (adj)

seemingly indefferent to pleasure or pain; not affected by passion. edward remained stoic while he was being reprimanded publicly.


surreptitous (adj)

sly; stealthy; done in a quiet or secret way. giorgio made a surreptitous request that the kitchen bring out birthday cake at then end of the meal.


taciturn (adj)

habitually untalkative, laconic, uncommunicative ellen's long years of solitude had made her a brooding, taciturn woman unused to the sound of her own voice.


tawdry (adj)

gaudy and cheap in nature or appearance; shamefully indecent. isabella needed but one glance to rule out the skimpy, sparkle-laden wedding-dress as too tawdry for her tastes.


unassailable (adj)

undeniable; unquestionable; not liable too attack. thorpe offered an unassailable alibi- he was in prision at the time the crime was committed.


ungainly (adj)

clumsy; awkward; hard to handel. rosalyn's curtsy was so ungainly tht it was a miracle that she did not topple over.


venerate (v)

to regard with respect and reverence; to honor. we venerate peopole for their achievements and actions rather than for their possesions.


voluminous (adj)

large, bulky; having great fullness. dickens' voluinous writings fill many library shelves.


Wanton (adj)

immoral; senseless; deliberately malicious; excessive. the insurgents protested the dictator's wanton disregard for human rights.


writhe (v)

to twist or squirm, as pain; to suffer from shame or shyness. when the parents saw the child writhe in pain, they decided to rush him to the hospital.


zealot (n)

a person who shows great or excessive enthuiasm for a cause; a fanatic. the zealot for vegetarianism regularly acccosted every meat-eater she encountered.