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Flashcards in SAT Words Deck (155):
1

precocious

characterized by early mental development

 

At the age of six, the precocious child won first place in the national spelling bee.

2

allegory

an extended metaphor in which the characters and events stand for ideas about human life

 

The book, "Animal Farm," is an example of an allegory of the Russian Revolution.

3

anthology

a collection of literary works

 

All the innocence and daring of youth are elegantly captured in this heartfelt anthology of brilliant voices from 22 countries.

4

bathos

the sudden appearance of a silly idea or event in a book 

 

Expecting the movie to be intellectually stimulating, we were disappointed by its bathos.

5

billingsgate

profane and abusive talk

 

When he is drunk or angry, his language always evolves into billingsgate.

6

blurb

a short description

 

There's an important nuance that's missed in this blurb.

7

bowdlerize

to alter (a book, a play, a movie) by removing parts that could offend people

 

My editor bowdlerized my novel because he felt it was too explicit.

8

dactylic

containing a dactyl (a meter of one long syllable followed by two short)

 

The meter used by Theocritus in the Bucolics and Mimes, as well as in the Epics, is the dactylic hexameter.

9

discursive

skipping from one subject to another

 

Students often write dull, secondhand, discursive prose.

10

folio

a very large book

 

It is an episodic selection from a folio of letters rather than a completedramatic characterization.

11

heckle

to interrupt a speaker with aggressive comments or abuse

 

The speaker was booed and heckled when he tried to address the demonstrators.

12

iambic

a type of meter containing an iamb (two syllables: one short followed by one long)

 

For her drama students, iambic pentameter competes against the racket oftruck deliveries and the aroma of cookies baking.

13

rigmarole

confused or meaningless talk

 

The government's plan to perpetuate itself in office, via the traditional electoral rigmarole, is likely to go ahead.

14

rostrum

a platform for public speaking

 

The flags of the delegations advanced and formed a semi-circle, in the center of which was a tiny rostrum in the arena.

15

sophistry

the use of fallacious arguments, with the purpose of deceiving

 

Such sophistry does not warrant dismissal of the cause of action.

16

symposium

a conference or meeting to discuss a specific subject

 

In light of the recent financial problems, the administrators scheduled a symposium in which they would discuss the budget.

17

vernacular

the language or tongue native to an area

 

He wrote in the vernacular to reach a larger audience.

18

badinage

humorous or witty conversation

 

What a delight it is to see well-educated people with opposing views but a sense of humor, engage in badinage.

19

stentorian

loud and powerful (voice)

 

My boss introduced me to the staff with a stentorian announcement.

20

gasconade

extravagant boasting

 

Whenever he won the match we were exposed to his gasconade.

21

mercerize

to treat (cotton yarn) with alkali to increase strength

 

We'll need a little more alkali in the solution to properly mercerize this cotton. 

22

chauvinism

exaggerated patriotism to any group, cause, or nation

 

Chauvinism is prevalent in business with only 3 female CEOs in the Forbes 500.

23

chimerical

unreal, imaginary

 

Although Rob didn't have any real friends, his chimerical ones were very loyal to him. 

24

dixie

a large iron pot

 

 

25

erotic

causing sexual feelings

 

Erotic material is usually discouraged in the classroom.

26

galvanic

causing people to feel or react strongly

 

Her performance had a galvanic effect on the audience.

27

hector

to talk to someone in a bullying manner

 

An example of a hector is a teenager who always makes fun of and pushes others.

28

jingoism

extreme patriotism, in the form of aggression

 

The dictator’s jingoism caused him to constantly rant about his nation’s superiority while threatening his rivals with war.

29

laconic

using few words (about a person, speech, or a piece of writing)

 

His laconic reply suggested a lack of interest in the topic.

30

macadam

broken stone used in evening roads and paths

31

malapropism

the act of misusing words that sound similar

 

Many political cartoons have derided President Bush for some of his malapropisms or, as they have coined them, "Bushisms."

32

martinet

a strict disciplinarian, especially in the forces

 

While not slighting the captain's martinet personality, he gives aperformance that is filled with empathetic understanding.

33

masochism

the tendancy to derive pleasure from being humiliated

 

In an attempt to understand the captives cries of dismay, the masochist had himself beaten, and found it delightful.

34

mausoleum

a building or large structure normally housing tombs

 

The Dirkson family mausoleum dates back to 1878.

35

pander

gratify or indulge (an immoral or distasteful desire, need, or habit)

 

Newspapers are pandering to people's baser instincts.

36

philander

to flirt lightly

37

phillipics

a bitter attack or denunciation, normally verbal

 

The head coach was briefly suspended after launching into a foul-mouthed philippic during a press conference.

38

procrustean

marked by ruthless disregard for individual differences or special circumstances

 

The Greek mythical giant Procrustes stretched his captives to make them fit his beds and in doing so invented the first procrustean beds. 

39

phyrric

(of a victory) won at too great a cost

 

It was a pyrrhic victory for the teens because although they had won the right to go, there was no transportation available.

40

quixotic

exceedingly idealistic

 

When he did get around to talking about his own ideas, they seemed quixotic.

41

rodomontade

boastful or inflated talk or behavior

 

Well, people who use big words like this are just being rodomontade!

42

sadism

one who derives pleasure from inflicting pain on others

 

His sadism led him to attack strangers on the street, just to witness their fear.

43

saturnine

slow and gloomy

 

Her saturnine look in the movie mirrors that in several collections on the fallrunways.

44

simony

the buying or selling of ecclesiastical privileges (of the Church)

45

solecism

a grammatical mistake in speech or writing

 

Frank's solecism caused his debate team much embarrassment.

46

spoonerism

a mistake in which the speaker switches the first sounds of more than one word

 

the spoonerism “tons of soil” for “sons of toil”

47

sybarite

one who is devoted to pleasure

 

The hotel on the island was an exclusive resort that catered to wealthy sybarites.

48

tawdry

showy but cheap and of poor quality

 

The green hat with purple feathers looked absolutely tawdry.

49

earl

a British nobleman

50

foible

 a minor weakness in someone's character

 

Her decision seems to have been tolerated as a personal foible and a matterfor gossip.

51

hottentot

gibberish

52

incubus

a handicap or burden of some sort

 

Debt is a big incubus in developing countries.

53

mountebank

one who deceives another for his/her money; a charlatan

 

Dirksen's oratory became, in the end, something of a mountebank performance.

54

palliate

to reduce (pain or fear) in severity

 

Treatment works by palliating symptoms.

55

paragon

a person or thing regarded as a perfect example

 

Tt would have taken a paragon of virtue not to feel viciously jealous.

56

precarious

risky, dangerous (situation)

57

scintillate

to sparkle, to shine

 

That was a scintillating performance!

58

virility

the quality of having strength and maliness in general

 

Aggression and virility were highly prized in soldiers.

59

derelict

in a very poor condition as a result of neglect

 

The cities were derelict and dying.

60

amethyst

a precious stone consisting of quartz

61

paraphernalia

equipment, apparatus, orfurnishing used in or necessary for a particular activity

 

Women have purses and other paraphernalia and do not want to put them on the floor.

62

cynic

one who believes that people are motivated by self-interest

 

Some cynics thought that the controversy was all a publicity stunt.

63

pagan

one who holds religious beliefs other than the main ones

 

Pagans worshiped the sun.

 

 

64

addlehead

good-for-nothing

65

aloof

not friendly or forthcoming

 

They were courteous but faintly aloof.

66

amuck

behave uncontrollably and disruptively

 

The stone-throwing anarchists ran amok.

67

bedlam

a scene of uproar and confusion

 

There was bedlam in the courtroom.

68

bigwig

an important person (VIP)

 

My brother was a bigwig at Enron before he went to jail for tax evasion.

69

bugbear

a cause of obsessive fear or loathing

 

He avers that this civil service pension list is simply a bugbear held up bythe opponents of reform.

70

homage

special honor or respect shown publicly

 

They paid homage to the local boy who became president.

71

humility

a modest or low view of one's own importance; humble

 

An act of heroism is appreciated even more when the hero responds to praise with humility.

72

ignominy

public shame or disgrace

 

They provide a welcome balance to the ignominy heaped upon him in theprose tradition.

73

mawkish

sentimental in a feeble way

 

It is cheap, gaudy, mawkish and artificial-offensive to intelligence and taste.

74

rankle

to cause resentment (of a comment)

 

The casual manner of his dismissal still rankles.

75

rapture

a feeling of intense joy or pleasure

 

Leonora listened with rapture.

76

roue

a man devoted to a life of sensual pleasure

 

After acting the roue for many years I entered a period of my life where all encounters left me with an vague sense of boredom. 

77

supercilious

behaving haughty

 

The supercilious bearing of the old nobility could not be borne by the newpeers.

78

lascivious

inclined to greed

 

As the show goes on, she moves around a bit, performing a bump and grindand bending over lasciviously.

79

calumny

to make false and defmatory statements to damage someone's reputation

 

We are here to open the campaign, not with slander and calumny, but tounite and draw closely to the old party all its members.

80

poignant

evoking a keen sense of sadness or regret

 

In an especially poignant scene, he admits that he has never had a romanticrelationship.

81

amortize

reduce or extinguish a debt

 

Loan fees can be amortized over the life of the mortgage.

82

exchequer

a royal or national treasury

 

It extends also to everything regarding the management of the exchequer,and the expenses of public administration.

83

garnishee

a third party who is served notice by a court to surrender money in settlement of a debt or claim

 

This article will outline what the rules are for a garnishee in Edmonton, Alberta.

84

lagniappe

a small gift given a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase

 

The hotel threw in some free shampoo as a lagniappe.

85

nepotism

the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends

 

She was accused of nepotism when she made her nephew an officer of the firm.

86

peculation

to steal the public's money

 

For a hundred years that has been an almost unbroken record of fraud and peculation.

87

defalcate

to embezzle

 

The bank's money was defalcated at ten o'clock this morning. 

88

aspic

food items that contain gelatin

89

benedictine

herbal liquer drink

90

carouse

 to drink plentiful amounts of alcohol and enjoy oneself with others; or, a party

 

They danced and caroused until the drink ran out.

91

collation

a combination of texts in a certain order

 

Obtain data from outlying physicians when needed for data collation andsubmission.

92

cordial

warm and friendly

 

The atmosphere was cordial and relaxed.

93

epicure

a person who takes particular pleasure in fine food and drink

 

She sipped at the water as an epicure would savor a good wine.

94

hermetically

to be airtight

 

So an expensive hermetically sealed coffin is required if embalming is rejected.

95

julep

a sweet syrup contianing alcohol

96

junket

milk-based desert

97

sirloin

the choicer part of a loin of beef

98

ballyhoo

extravagant publicity or fuss

 

After all the ballyhoo, the film was a flop.

99

bunk

nonsense

100

cartel

a coalition between political parties intended to promote a mutual interest

 

There is also the question of whether the cartel will stick to whateveragreement it reaches.

101

gerrymander

manipulate the boundaries of an electoral constituency so as to favor one party

 

The political process has been hijacked by a gerrymander.

102

lobby

attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government

 

If a large lobby group pays you a lot of money to push a political agendaover here, you tend to get thrown in jail.

103

demagogue

a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires

 

He was drawn into a circle of campus demagogues.

104

plutocracy

government by the wealthy

105

abrogate

repeal or do away with (a law, right, or formal agreement)

 

A proposal to abrogate temporarily the right to strike.

106

quisling

a traitor who collaborates with an enemy force occupying their country

 

He was a quisling who was executed for treason.

107

cavalcade

a procession or parade on horseback

108

conciliate

stop (someone) from being angry or discontented

 

Concessions were made to conciliate the peasantry.

109

subjugate

to bring under domination or control

 

The invaders had soon subjugated most of the native population.

110

inoculate

to treat a person with a small amount of a virus to make him/her immune

 

He inoculated his tenants against smallpox.

111

pedagogue

teacher, schoolmaster

112

quinsy

inflammation of the throat

113

streptococcus

a bacterium of a genus that includes the agents of souring of milk and dental decay

114

ethnology

study of people and their cultures

115

agoraphobia

fear of open spaces

116

psychosomatics

a disorder which involves both the head and the body

117

alimony

a husband's or wife's court-ordered provision for a spouse after divorce

 

He has failed to pay alimony for more than two years.

118

 bevy

a large group of people or things of a particular kind

 

He was surrounded by a bevy of beautiful girls.

119

bluestocking

an intellectual or literary woman

120

coquette

a woman who flirts

121

inveigle

persuade (someone) to do something by means of deception or flattery

 

We cannot inveigle him into putting pen to paper.

122

meretricious

apparently attractive but having in reality no value or integrity

 

Meretricious souvenirs for the tourist trade.

123

morganatic

marriage between spouses of different social ranks

124

termagant

a harsh-tempered or overbearing woman

125

necromancy

the supposed practice of communicating with the dead

126

babel

a place where words spoken cannot be understood

127

belfry

a bell tower or steeple housing bells, especially one that is part of a church

128

compunction

a feeling of guilt or moral scruple after doing something wrong

 

The spoilt boy spent the money without compunction.

129

lewd

crude and offensive in a sexual way

 

She began to gyrate to the music and sing a lewd song.

130

pittance

a very small or inadequate amount of money paid to someone as an allowance

 

They publish on demand, give the author a few free copies and a pittance for royalties.

131

prude

a person who is or claims to be easily shocked by matters relating to nudity

 

While he understands the medical stuff he learned in school pretty well, he is stuffy and a bit of a prude.

132

scruples

a feeling of doubt or hesitation

 

I had no scruples about eavesdropping

133

stoic

a person who can endure pain without showing feelings

 

Even though the Titanic was sinking underneath them, and the passengers were frantic with fear, the band remained stoic until the end.

134

surplice

a loose white linen vestment worn at Christian services

135

tribulation

a cause of great trouble or suffering

 

Homework is a tribulation we just have to get through so that one day, we won't have to do it any more.

136

dilettante

a person who cultivates an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge

 

We were friends, but never easy - I'd always had the feeling he thought me a lightweight or a dilettante.

137

emboss

carve, mold, or stamp a design on (a surface) so that it stands out in relief

138

gamut

the complete range or scope of something

 

The whole gamut of human emotion.

139

paean

a song of triumph

 

At heart this romantic, melancholy tale is a paean to reading and to the life one person lives through books.

140

proscenium

the part of a theater stage in front of the curtain

141

serenade

a piece of music sung or played in the open air

142

disport

enjoy oneself unrestrainedly

 

a painting of lords and ladies disporting themselves by a lake

143

fathom

understand a problem after much thought

 

He could scarcely fathom the idea that people actually lived in Las Vegas.

144

anachronism

something that is not in the right time period

 

The sword is an anachronism in modern warfare.

145

antediluvian

of or belonging to the time before the biblical Flood

 

More than valuables, they hoped to find photographs or other mementos of their antediluvian lives.

146

polyglot

someone who can speak multiple languages

147

abeyance

a state of temporary disuse or suspension

 

Matters were held in abeyance pending further inquiries.

148

accolade

an award or privilege granted as a special honor or as an acknowledgmen

 

the ultimate official accolade of a visit by the president

149

accost

approach and address boldly

 

reporters accosted him in the street

150

crux

the decisive or most important point at issue

 

The crux of the matter is that attitudes have changed

151

fender

a thing used to keep something off

152

quintessence

the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class

 

He was the quintessence of political professionalism.

153

recalcitrant

refusing to obey or comply

 

The recalcitrant donkeys did not move for 5 days.

154

insiduous

proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with harmful effects

 

STDs can be insidious and sometimes without symptoms

155