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      100 SAT Words Beginning with "A"

      What better way to prepare for the sentence completion and passage-based questions on the SAT than to commit yourself to completing our alphabetically organized SAT lists?

      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.Sinclair, May
      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.Seattle Times (Dec 26, 2011)
      3. abhor
        find repugnant
        There are sane readers who abhor gratuitous violence but love Reacher’s menacing wisecracks.New York Times (Sep 20, 2011)
      4. abject
        most unfortunate or miserable
        Mr. Jobling stood wringing his hands helplessly, his flaccid features expressive of abject despair.Douglas, Hudson
      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.New York Times (Oct 7, 2011)
      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.Marsh, Richard
      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.Gabel, Norman E.
      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.Leblanc, Maurice
      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.New York Times (Oct 14, 2010)
      11. accomplice
        a person who joins with another in carrying out some plan
        Tiller, the thief, and a supposed accomplice, are under arrest.Various
      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.Wall Street Journal (Mar 9, 2012)
      13. acerbic
        harsh or corrosive in tone
        They were complaining, sometimes yelling, and maybe a bit acerbic.New York Times (Mar 29, 2012)
      14. acme
        the highest level or degree attainable
        Paris wholly has got to the acme of its frenzy; whirled, all ways, by panic madness.Various
      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.Shields, George O.
      16. acquit
        pronounce not guilty of criminal charges
        He said that in the absence of other evidence, “the accused is acquitted and discharged.”New York Times (Jan 9, 2012)
      17. acrimonious
        marked by strong resentment or cynicism
        At times, the two groups squabble like schoolchildren, and the exchange gets acrimonious.BBC (Feb 9, 2010)
      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.New York Times (Mar 31, 2012)
      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.New York Times (Aug 5, 2011)
      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.New York Times (Jan 7, 2012)
      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.Perry, Nora
      23. adorn
        make more attractive, as by adding ornament or color
        Old master reproductions adorn chianti-colored walls; tapestries hang in the restrooms.Seattle Times (Feb 9, 2012)
      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.Reid, Mayne
      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.Levy, T. Aaron
      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.Hurlbut, Jesse Lyman
      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.New York Times (Nov 11, 2011)
      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.New York Times (Oct 14, 2011)
      29. affable
        diffusing warmth and friendliness
        She is restless, irritable, out of sorts, censorious, complaining at home; animated, gracious, affable, complaisant abroad.Hyde, William De Witt
      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.Leonard, Arthur Glyn
      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.New York Times (Dec 27, 2011)
      33. aggrandize
        embellish; increase the scope, power, or importance of
        Louis XIV. was growing increasingly ambitious of enlarging his domains and aggrandizing his power.Abbott, John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot)
      34. agile
        moving quickly and lightly
        Are not many beasts physically stronger, more nimble and agile than man?Nordau, Max Simon
      35. agrarian
        relating to rural matters
        We’re not an agrarian society any longer, where more hands help farm the land.New York Times (Jun 20, 2011)
      36. alacrity
        liveliness and eagerness
        The men obeyed with alacrity, as all were glad to go, lying in camp so long.Terrill, J. Newton
      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.New York Times (Feb 18, 2011)
      38. allege
        report or maintain
        David is alleged to have written several Psalms, but of this there is little evidence beyond pious assertion.Bradlaugh, Charles
      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.Parkman, Francis
      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.Washington Post (Mar 7, 2012)
      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.New York Times (Jan 27, 2012)
      43. aloof
        remote in manner
        Too much focus on official duties can make an incumbent look isolated and aloof.New York Times (Mar 12, 2012)
      44. altruistic
        showing unselfish concern for the welfare of others
        The gesture was not necessarily altruistic; he was hoping for a donation in return.New York Times (Jan 24, 2011)
      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.Bolton, Herbert Eugene
      48. amiable
        diffusing warmth and friendliness
        He was also remarkable for his amiable and cheerful manners.Anonymous
      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.Abbott, John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot)
      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.Seattle Times (Mar 5, 2012)
      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.New York Times (Jun 9, 2010)
      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.New York Times (Mar 22, 2012)
      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.Various
      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.New York Times (Nov 29, 2011)
      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.New York Times (Jan 14, 2011)
      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.Morse, John
      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.New York Times (Feb 21, 2012)
      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.Prichard, Katharine Susannah
      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.Laughead, W. B.
      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.New York Times (Mar 22, 2012)
      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.Stephen, Leslie
      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.Anonymous
      67. aptitude
        inherent ability
        If there is such a thing as inherited aptitude for art it certainly showed itself in the family of Bach.Forkel, Johann Nikolaus
      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.New York Times (Jun 4, 2011)
      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.New York Times (Nov 18, 2011)
      72. ardent
        characterized by intense emotion
        Age, study, experience, retirement, reflection, had in no wise dimmed the fire of his ardent nationalism.McCarthy, Justin
      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.Lindley, Augustus F.
      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
        a deceptive maneuver, especially to avoid capture
        But small men use lying artifices and disguises to protect themselves.Hillis, Newell Dwight
      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.Vere, Maximilian Schele de
      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.New York Times (Mar 31, 2012)
      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.Allyn, Jack
      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.Hamilton, J. Angus
      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.New York Times (Jan 25, 2011)
      81. attest
        provide evidence for
        Anticipating compensation, thousands flooded treatment centers seeking medical certificates attesting to their cholera.New York Times (Mar 31, 2012)
      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.Whymper, Frederick
      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.Washington Post (Mar 29, 2012)
      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.BusinessWeek (Dec 15, 2011)
      85. audacious
        disposed to venture or take risks
        It was such an audacious, daring thing that the very thought made her dizzy.Stokes, Katherine
      86. audible
        heard or perceptible by the ear
        Tavannes answered--but his words were barely audible above the deafening uproar.Weyman, Stanley J.
      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.New York Times (Jan 25, 2012)
      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.Oxley, J. Macdonald (James Macdonald)
      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.Johnson, Willis Fletcher
      91. austere
        severely simple
        Adams was poor, simple, ostentatiously austere; the blended influence of Calvinistic theology and republican principles had indurated his whole character.Stark, James H.
      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.Casseday, Ben
      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.”New York Times (Dec 13, 2011)
      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.Ingleby, Leonard Cresswell
      95. avarice
        reprehensible acquisitiveness; insatiable desire for wealth
        Greed about getting or keeping money pertains to avarice, not necessarily to simony.Callan, Charles Jerome
      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.Sayce, A. H. (Archibald Henry)
      97. aversion
        a feeling of intense dislike
        Our peculiar aversion, nay, our dread, of various alimentary substances are well known.Millingen, J. G. (John Gideon)
      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.New York Times (Mar 21, 2012)
      99. avuncular
        resembling an uncle in kindness or indulgence
        He is a consummate retail politician, given to small talk and an avuncular style.New York Times (Feb 27, 2011)
      100. awe
        an overwhelming feeling of wonder or admiration
        The aurora deeply impressed him, inspiring feelings of awe and reverence.Mudge, Zachariah Atwell
      Created on April 2, 2012 (updated August 11, 2014)

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