100 SAT Words Beginning with "A"

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Find lists of SAT words organized by every letter of the alphabet here: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K & L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, and W, X, Y & Z.


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definitions & notes only words
  1. abase
    cause to feel shame
    She is not abased or dejected, but exalted, rather.
  2. aberration
    a state or condition markedly different from the norm
    While Tampa Bay has taken a huge nosedive a year after going 10-6, maybe that 2010 success was an aberration.
  3. abhor
    find repugnant
    There are sane readers who abhor gratuitous violence but love Reacher’s menacing wisecracks.
  4. abject
    most unfortunate or miserable
    Mr. Jobling stood wringing his hands helplessly, his flaccid features expressive of abject despair.
  5. abrasive
    sharply disagreeable, unpleasant, or harsh
    “He has always been focused, driven, demanding and, as a result, very difficult and abrasive,” Mr. Norman said.
  6. abstain
    refrain from doing, consuming, or partaking in something
    Griffin felt that he had better abstain from questioning, and let his host run on.
  7. abstract
    existing only in the mind
    Presenting an abstract concept, waving our arms trying to describe it, we will lose our audience right away.
  8. abundant
    present in great quantity
    Fringing and barrier reefs are abundant throughout the archipelago, surrounding nearly every island.
  9. accentuate
    stress or single out as important
    It was a carefully studied costume; and he accentuated its eccentricity by adopting theatrical attitudes and an air of satisfied negligence.
  10. acclimate
    get used to a certain environment
    The Jets will leave Friday for Denver, the better to acclimate to the altitude and change in time zone.
  11. accomplice
    a person who joins with another in carrying out some plan
    Tiller, the thief, and a supposed accomplice, are under arrest.
  12. accord
    concurrence of opinion
    Friday's accord removes one of two main sticking points that have been holding up a strategic partnership agreement between the two countries.
  13. acerbic
    harsh or corrosive in tone
    They were complaining, sometimes yelling, and maybe a bit acerbic.
  14. acme
    the highest level or degree attainable
    Paris wholly has got to the acme of its frenzy; whirled, all ways, by panic madness.
  15. acquiesce
    agree or express agreement
    I favored building a fire and staying there till morning, but Frank preferred pushing on to camp, so I acquiesced.
  16. acquit
    pronounce not guilty of criminal charges
    He said that in the absence of other evidence, “the accused is acquitted and discharged.”
  17. acrimonious
    marked by strong resentment or cynicism
    At times, the two groups squabble like schoolchildren, and the exchange gets acrimonious.
  18. acute
    extremely sharp or intense
    Labor shortages are already so acute in many Chinese industrial zones that factories struggle to find enough people to operate their assembly lines.
  19. adamant
    impervious to pleas, persuasion, requests, or reason
    But high profile or no, Mr. Kors is adamant about keeping his personal life under wraps — even as his wedding day approaches.
  20. adept
    having or showing knowledge and skill and aptitude
    He proved an adept playmaker, however, making several nice passes and finishing with 7 assists.
  21. adhere
    stick to firmly
    Adhering to strict safety standards has kept me alive in some very dangerous situations.
  22. admonish
    scold or reprimand; take to task
    "Children, children, stop quarrelling, right here in public!" admonished Mrs. Dering, in a low, shocked tone.
  23. adorn
    make more attractive, as by adding ornament or color
    Old master reproductions adorn chianti-colored walls; tapestries hang in the restrooms.
  24. adroit
    quick or skillful or adept in action or thought
    Neither is he adroit in the exercise of his duty; instead performs it bunglingly; his thoughts preoccupied, and eyes wandering about.
  25. adulation
    exaggerated flattery or praise
    Taylor, a demagogue of the Democratic party, was hypocritically appealing to his "horny handed neighbors" in language of feigned adulation.
  26. adversity
    a state of misfortune or affliction
    Forty years in the wilderness, meeting adversities together, fighting enemies, marching as one host, made them a nation.
  27. advocacy
    active support of an idea or cause
    That sentiment faded after the 1930s, he said, as consumer advocacy focused more on protecting shoppers.
  28. aesthetic
    characterized by an appreciation of beauty or good taste
    In old-fashioned, aesthetic terms, his glossy, color pictures of modern housing projects in Turkish cities under moody, gray skies are beautiful.
  29. affable
    diffusing warmth and friendliness
    She is restless, irritable, out of sorts, censorious, complaining at home; animated, gracious, affable, complaisant abroad.
  30. affinity
    a close connection marked by community of interests
    Malaysia has a close affinity with many Middle Eastern nations through their shared religion.
  31. affliction
    a cause of great suffering and distress
    Firm and exceptional natures are thus moulded out of miseries, misfortunes and afflictions.
  32. affluent
    having an abundant supply of money or possessions of value
    Affluent families can afford guns, which are more efficient for bagging some elusive animals than a poorer household’s typical snare trap.
  33. aggrandize
    embellish; increase the scope, power, or importance of
    Louis XIV. was growing increasingly ambitious of enlarging his domains and aggrandizing his power.
  34. agile
    moving quickly and lightly
    Are not many beasts physically stronger, more nimble and agile than man?
  35. agrarian
    relating to rural matters
    We’re not an agrarian society any longer, where more hands help farm the land.
  36. alacrity
    liveliness and eagerness
    The men obeyed with alacrity, as all were glad to go, lying in camp so long.
  37. alienate
    arouse hostility or indifference in
    Keeping schools closed and blocking certain public services is not a strategy we support and could alienate public opinion and play into the governor’s hand.
  38. allege
    report or maintain
    David is alleged to have written several Psalms, but of this there is little evidence beyond pious assertion.
  39. allegiance
    the act of binding yourself to a course of action
    Notwithstanding this good fortune, Pontiac daily saw his followers dropping off from their allegiance; for even the boldest had lost heart.
  40. allegory
    a style that describes a subject by suggestive resemblances
    Achingly beautiful, quiet and graceful, his award-winning novel Waiting is a love story superimposed on a political allegory.
  41. alleviate
    provide physical relief, as from pain
    Lewis said he got a Synvisc shot – an injection commonly used to alleviate arthritic symptoms – in his left knee on Monday.
  42. allude
    make an indirect reference to
    In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Mr. Obama turned up the heat, alluding to the plan without fleshing out details.
  43. aloof
    remote in manner
    Too much focus on official duties can make an incumbent look isolated and aloof.
  44. altruistic
    showing unselfish concern for the welfare of others
    The gesture was not necessarily altruistic; he was hoping for a donation in return.
  45. ambiguous
    having more than one possible meaning
    "The election law in New York is written in an ill-defined, ambiguous way," Goldfeder said, adding that he did not believe any laws were broken.
  46. ambivalent
    uncertain or unable to decide about what course to follow
    "If managers are ambivalent, or wavering, then investor uncertainty increases and the stocks become more volatile."
  47. ameliorate
    make better
    Possessed of broadly humanitarian sympathies, he became interested in ameliorating the conditions of imprisoned debtors.
  48. amiable
    diffusing warmth and friendliness
    He was also remarkable for his amiable and cheerful manners.
  49. amicable
    characterized by friendship and good will
    Thus, by kindness, the natives of this region were won to friendship, and amicable relations were established.
  50. amnesty
    a warrant granting release from punishment for an offense
    After three years in prison, he was released last October in an amnesty that freed about 200 political detainees.
  51. amorphous
    having no definite form or distinct shape
    The problem is that where genes are tidy bits of DNA, the environment is huge, amorphous and hard to quantify.
  52. ample
    more than enough in size or scope or capacity
    Both are highly respected and well known, with ample experience in development and economic policy making.
  53. anachronism
    locating something at a time when it couldn't have existed
    Today, the British monarchy seems like even more of an anachronism, notes my friend Merida, a London bureau friend now living in New York.
  54. analogous
    similar or equivalent in some respects
    The two conditions, although apparently analogous, are, in reality, very different.
  55. anecdote
    short account of an incident
    With his fourth book, “Business at 16,” Mr. Bagchi hopes to get teenagers interested in business, partly by using fictional anecdotes, including boy-meets-girl stories.
  56. animosity
    a feeling of ill will arousing active hostility
    In this brutal contest, two opposing teams face off against each other with competing agendas, borrowed tuxedos and tight smiles concealing deep animosities.
  57. annihilate
    kill in large numbers
    Men deployed may fall back and escape; a mass of columns under direct artillery fire must surrender or be annihilated.
  58. anomaly
    deviation from the normal or common order or form or rule
    In this view, crises can be understood only as anomalies, the consequences of unusual outside shocks.
  59. anonymous
    having no known name or identity or known source
    Throughout the process, the targeted consumers are tagged with an alphanumeric code, removing their names and making the data anonymous.
  60. antagonism
    an actively expressed feeling of dislike and hostility
    It bred a sense of resentment and secret antagonism which he took less pains to hide, from that night.
  61. antecedent
    someone from whom you are descended
    Paul Bunyan is known by his mighty works; his antecedents and personal history are lost in doubt.
  62. anthropomorphic
    suggesting human features for animals or inanimate things
    The same anthropomorphic fallacy that accords human attributes to giant corporations like BP distorts clear thinking about how to limit their political influence.
  63. anticipate
    be excited or anxious about
    I will continue to sit here as usual, waiting, grinning, tapping and anticipating my future.
  64. antipathy
    a feeling of intense dislike
    At any rate, they had, as a matter of fact, produced widespread discontent and bitter antipathies between classes.
  65. antithetical
    sharply contrasted in character or purpose
    Memorisation has a bad reputation in education today, dismissed as antithetical to creativity.
  66. apathy
    an absence of emotion or enthusiasm
    When not thus engaged, his days were passed in listless apathy.
  67. aptitude
    inherent ability
    If there is such a thing as inherited aptitude for art it certainly showed itself in the family of Bach.
  68. arbitrary
    based on or subject to individual discretion or preference
    The pieces don’t build or develop, sections are carelessly joined, endings seem arbitrary.
  69. arcane
    requiring secret or mysterious knowledge
    Not just the knowledge of world geography but the very conceptualisation of space in this late medieval map looks to us remote and arcane.
  70. archaic
    so extremely old as seeming to belong to an earlier period
    There are other advantages as well to reading the classics electronically—you can tap archaic words on the screen for an instant definition.
  71. archetype
    something that serves as a model
    In many ways, Mr. Romney and Mr. Huntsman embody the Mormon archetype: clean-cut, Republican American family men.
  72. ardent
    characterized by intense emotion
    Age, study, experience, retirement, reflection, had in no wise dimmed the fire of his ardent nationalism.
  73. arduous
    characterized by effort to the point of exhaustion
    He seemed about thirty-five years of age, though the trace of arduous mental and physical exertion gave him a rather worn and older appearance.
  74. aristocratic
    belonging to or characteristic of the nobility
    Several aristocratic families were stripped of their status after World War II, limiting the number of royal matches.
  75. artifice
    the use of deception or trickery
    But small men use lying artifices and disguises to protect themselves.
  76. ascetic
    characteristic of the practice of rigorous self-discipline
    Another frequent cause of visions is long-continued fasting combined with more or less ascetic devotion.
  77. aspire
    have an ambitious plan or a lofty goal
    India’s leaders, eager for a bigger footprint in global affairs, now aspire to a permanent seat on an expanded United Nations Security Council.
  78. assimilation
    the process of absorbing one cultural group into another
    On the contrary, they themselves become Americanised, thanks to that faculty of assimilation which they possess in a high degree.
  79. assuage
    provide physical relief, as from pain
    Moreover, I became at rest within myself, and the gaping, aching void which has filled my vitals these many days, became assuaged.
  80. atone
    make amends for
    But let us pause for a moment to remember what “redeeming” actually is: atoning or making up for some mistake or wrongdoing.
  81. attest
    provide evidence for
    Anticipating compensation, thousands flooded treatment centers seeking medical certificates attesting to their cholera.
  82. attire
    clothing of a distinctive style or for a particular occasion
    She was elegantly and fashionably attired, wearing rich earrings, gold chain and locket, three valuable rings in addition to her wedding-ring, and so forth.
  83. attribute
    a quality belonging to or characteristic of an entity
    This means that fundamentally important attributes such as common sense and curiosity are starting to take primacy.
  84. attribution
    assigning to a cause or source
    But borrowing from sample essays found online or other online sources without attribution, even unintentionally, might result in your application being rejected.
  85. audacious
    disposed to venture or take risks
    It was such an audacious, daring thing that the very thought made her dizzy.
  86. audible
    heard or perceptible by the ear
    Tavannes answered--but his words were barely audible above the deafening uproar.
  87. augment
    enlarge or increase
    Computer engineers, in high demand but short supply, can command six-figure salaries right out of college, augmented by signing bonuses and equity or stock options.
  88. augur
    predict from an omen
    But ultimately the numbers augured an inescapably grim fate: Lieberman's approval rating in Connecticut bottomed out at just 31 percent last fall.
  89. augury
    an event indicating important things to come
    It was altogether a pretty picture, that seemed to be a happy augury of the good times in store.
  90. auspicious
    indicating favorable circumstances and good luck
    The coast at the point at which he reached it seemed specially designed by nature for his favorable and auspicious reception.
  91. austere
    severely simple
    Adams was poor, simple, ostentatiously austere; the blended influence of Calvinistic theology and republican principles had indurated his whole character.
  92. authentic
    conforming to fact and therefore worthy of belief
    This census is not considered authentic, as many transparent errors were found in various parts of it.
  93. authoritarian
    characteristic of an absolute ruler or absolute rule
    But, he said, “all the ingredients of a repressive regime, an authoritarian regime, are there.”
  94. authoritative
    of recognized power or excellence
    His plays are being revived, and an authoritative and exhaustive edition of his writings is being issued by a leading publishing house.
  95. avarice
    reprehensible acquisitiveness; insatiable desire for wealth
    Greed about getting or keeping money pertains to avarice, not necessarily to simony.
  96. avenge
    take action in return for a perceived wrong
    But Amon-Ra of Thebes avenged the dishonour that had been done him, and stirred up his adorers to successful revolt.
  97. aversion
    a feeling of intense dislike
    Our peculiar aversion, nay, our dread, of various alimentary substances are well known.
  98. avid
    marked by active interest and enthusiasm
    An avid runner, Moyer eventually began arriving six hours early on game days to exercise on an underwater treadmill.
  99. avuncular
    resembling an uncle in kindness or indulgence
    He is a consummate retail politician, given to small talk and an avuncular style.
  100. awe
    an overwhelming feeling of wonder or admiration
    The aurora deeply impressed him, inspiring feelings of awe and reverence.
Created on April 2, 2012 (updated August 11, 2014)

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