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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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