S Words Flashcards Preview

GRE Vocab > S Words > Flashcards

Flashcards in S Words Deck (33):

sagacious (adj)

having keen insight and judgement

My father was a sagacious judge of character: he could spot a phony a mile away.


salient (adj/n)

notably significant; standing out noticeably; projecting outward

Although the majority of families try to assist in their children's education, these families have salient differences in financial resources, educational background, and cultural advantages that make them unequal in terms of how much they can help academically.


salubrious (adj)

promoting good health

Historically, many people afflicted with tuberculosis moved to the mountains of Colorado to enjoy the health-giving benefits of the salubrious mountain air.


salutary (adj)

having a beneficial effect; tending to improve

Alexis de Tocqueville observed that America was teeming with voluntary associations -- charities, choral groups, church study groups, book clubs -- that had a remarkably salutary effect on society, turning selfish individuals into public-spirited citizens.


sanction (v/n)

make valid; give consent to

Nothing will convince me to sanction the engagement of my daughter to such a worthless young man.


sanguine (adj)

cheerfully optimistic

Times of high income and employment promote a generally sanguine outlook that is encouraging to both borrowers and lenders.


sardonic (adj)

scornfully humorous; derisively sneering

The sardonic humor of nightclub comedians who satirize or ridicule patrons in the audience strikes some people as amusing and others as rude.


satiate (v)

satisfy fully, or excessively

Having stuffed themselves until they were satiated, the guests were so full they were ready for a nap.


secrete (v)

hide away; produce and release a bodily substance (digestive juices, hormones, etc.)


sedulous (adj)

steadily diligent

He did not attain his eminence as a scholar by accident but by sedulous study from the cradle on.


sentient (adj)

aware of and responsive to sensory impressions

The hero of one science fiction story had to discover a way to prove that a rocklike extraterrestrial creature was actually a sentient, intelligent creature.


shard (n)

broken piece, generally of pottery

The archaeologist assigned several students the task of reassembling earthenware vessels from the shards that he had brought back from the expedition.


sinecure (n)

well-paid position with little responsibility

At the time of his marriage, Boris was, officially, employed as a gardener at the Moscow Botanical Gardens; in fact this sinecure lasted only two years, during which time he did very little actual gardening.


slake (v)

quench or extinguish; cause to lessen

When we reached the oasis, we finally were able to slake our thirst.


solecism (n)

breach of proper behavior; flagrantly ungrammatical usage

In those days, smoking in the streets was an unpardonable solecism; no properly brought-up gentleman would have dreamed of doing so.


solicitous (adj)

earnestly careful and protective; full of anxiety

The employer was extremely solicitous about the health of her employees, but only because replacements for them were difficult to find.


sophistry (n)

seemingly plausible but fallacious reasoning

When an unscrupulous lawyer cannot come up with a legitimate argument to support the side he espouses, he does not hesitate to resort to sophistry or false logic.


soporific (adj/n)

marked by or inducing sleepiness

Because John once had fallen asleep reading War and Peace, he thought that all Russian novels were soporific.


specious (adj)

seemingly reasonable but incorrect; superficially plausible

This alleged crisis is no crisis at all. It is based on specious claims about financial institutions, on scare stories about impending economic ruin.


sporadic (adj)

occurring irregularly; recurring unpredictably

Because his attendance in class had been at best sporadic, the teacher was tempted to flunk him.


spurious (adj)

not genuine or authentic

Natasha's claim to be the lost heir of the Romanoffs was spurious; the only thing Russian about her was the vodka she drank.


static (adj)

showing little or no change; lacking development

Bob and Jane had been dating for months but things didn't seem to be going anywhere: their relationship was static.


stentorian (adj)

extremely loud

With his light tenor voice and intimate manner, he was born to be a crooner, a singer very unlike the stentorian tenors of the previous generation, whose big voices and melodramatic high notes were needed to fill vaudeville houses and concert halls.


stigma (n)

mark of disgrace; badge of infamy

He was reluctant to let new acquaintances know about his bipolar disorder, because he felt there was an unfortunate stigma attached to mental illness.


stint (v)

be frugal; set limits; be thrifty

"Spare no expense," the bride's father said, refusing to stint on the wedding arrangements.


stipulate (v)

make express conditions; arrange specifically; expressly demand

Before agreeing to reduce American military forces in Europe, the president stipulated that NATO teams be allowed to inspect Soviet bases.


stolid (adj)

not easily excited

Marianne wanted a romantic, passionate suitor like Willoughby, not a stolid, unexciting one like Colonel Brandon.


substantiate (v)

establish by evidence or proof

These endorsements written by satisfied customers substantiate our claim that Barron's New GRE is the best GRE-prep book on the market.


succinct (adj)

without wasted words; short and to the point

Don't bore your audience with excess verbiage; be succinct.


supplant (v)

replace another, especially by force

In early Anglo-Saxon times, one tribe would drive out and supplant another until that tribe was driven out in turn by a third.


surfeit (n/v)

immoderate indulgence (in food or drink); overabundant supply

Every Thanksgiving we indulge ourselves in a surfeit of far too many holiday treats.


sybarite (n)

lover of luxury and pleasure

When the perfect French cook joined our staff, making our domestic happiness complete, we became utter sybarites, frank worshippers of the pleasures of the French cuisine.


sycophant (n)

servile flatterer

Fed up with the flunkies and yes-med who made up his entourage, the star cried, "Get out, all of you! I'm sick of sycophants!"