100 SAT Words Beginning with "B"

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. baffle
    be a mystery or bewildering to
    It baffles her physician as well, and has got doctors increasingly worried.
  2. baleful
    deadly or sinister
    His glance fell on Van Bleit, pallid, red-eyed, obviously suffering, observing him with the baleful look of some savage captive beast.Young, F.E. Mills
  3. balk
    refuse to comply
    Congressional Republicans, particularly in the House of Representatives, have balked at raising the debt ceiling unless it is accompanied by significant spending cuts.
  4. ballad
    a narrative song with a recurrent refrain
    And in the encore there was a new ballad, “Silent Treatment,” which Ms. Bryan sang gently, backed only by Mr. Dafydd on acoustic guitar.New York Times (Apr 1, 2012)
  5. ban
    prohibit especially by law or social pressure
    That’s why gambling and wagers are heavily regulated or banned outright in nearly every country.Slate (Apr 4, 2012)
  6. banal
    repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse
    Not bare or messy — that might be interesting — just banal.New York Times (Mar 8, 2011)
  7. bane
    something causing misery or death
    Knee pain is the bane of many runners, sometimes causing them to give up altogether.Seattle Times (Jun 7, 2010)
  8. banish
    expel, as if by official decree
    He, however, was destined never to return but was proscribed and banished.Stark, James H.
  9. banter
    converse in a playful or teasing way
    Instead, they bantered, enthused, tripped over each other's words and generally offered their audience the warmest welcome imaginable.Seattle Times (Jan 25, 2011)
  10. barbaric
    without civilizing influences
    The law was immediately hailed as a victory by animal welfare groups over what they consider to be a barbaric and outdated practice.New York Times (Jul 28, 2010)
  11. barrage
    the heavy fire of artillery to saturate an area
    They destroyed army communications, local cellphone towers and laid down a barrage of mortar fire.
  12. barren
    providing no shelter or sustenance
    New homes are sprouting from farmland once irrigated by the nearby Tigris River but rendered barren by war and neglect.New York Times (Mar 14, 2012)
  13. bastion
    projecting part of a rampart or other fortification
    Dinner over, melons disposed of, fort, stores, and quarters examined, arrangements were made for sleeping in the various sheds and bastions of the fort.Gray, William Henry
  14. bathetic
    effusively or insincerely emotional
    Taken together, her tribulations have the makings of bathetic melodrama.New York Times (Jul 14, 2011)
  15. bearing
    characteristic way of holding one's body
    He thought her face, her whole bearing, singularly composed in view of his announcement.Weyman, Stanley John
  16. beckon
    summon with a wave, nod, or some other gesture
    Ten minutes more and the orderly opened the door, and, obedient to my beckoning finger, stepped out as the lady was ushered in.King, Charles
  17. bedlam
    a state of extreme confusion and disorder
    With more than 190 people killed and hundreds wounded just three days before the country’s general election, Spain was thrown into political bedlam.Newsweek (May 5, 2011)
  18. befuddle
    be confusing or perplexing to
    But regulators are profiling data to help find patterns in trading activity that previously would have left regulators befuddled and scratching their heads.
  19. beguile
    attract; cause to be enamored
    This is such an entertaining, beguiling, charming and exciting picture.
  20. behemoth
    someone or something that is abnormally large and powerful
    Behemoths like JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and UBS have snapped up numerous small firms to create industry giants.Reuters (Jul 19, 2010)
  21. beholden
    under a moral obligation to someone
    Now, this obligation has offended me very much, because I am proud, and do not like to be beholden to people.Thackeray, William Makepeace
  22. behoove
    be appropriate or necessary
    The Hamburg magistrates had offered one hundred thalers for my arrest; consequently it behooved me to be very cautious.J?kai, M?r
  23. belie
    be in contradiction with
    Tang's congenial and accommodating administrative style, however, sometimes belies a harder edge.
  24. belittle
    lessen the authority, dignity, or reputation of
    A splendid or an affecting story may be degraded or belittled by being told in an unworthy style.Various
  25. bellicose
    having or showing a ready disposition to fight
    So far from unduly fostering a bellicose spirit tending to war, these would be tactful preventives of wasteful foreign and civil broils.Lee, Carson Jay
  26. belligerent
    characteristic of an enemy or one eager to fight
    He was carrying his war tools and stood facing me for an instant in quite a belligerent attitude.O'Neil, Owen Rowe
  27. bemoan
    regret strongly
    Facing life-threatening surgery, Adam calls his therapist and bemoans all the things he’s never done.BusinessWeek (Sep 30, 2011)
  28. bemused
    perplexed by many conflicting situations or statements
    Alternately bemused, puzzled, and intrigued, he read it over again and again.Scientific American (Jan 30, 2012)
  29. benefactor
    a person who helps people or institutions
    Even world-class universities such as Oxford and Cambridge live off "old money" from property assets and a few key benefactors.BusinessWeek (May 12, 2011)
  30. benevolent
    showing or motivated by sympathy and understanding
    Invariably gentle, attentive, serious, benevolent, easily satisfied, he remained serene and peaceful.Leonard, Arthur Glyn
  31. benign
    not dangerous to health; not recurrent or progressive
    But its images cannot distinguish malignant tumors from benign growths filled with harmless breast tissue.Scientific American (May 10, 2011)
  32. bequeath
    leave or give, especially by will after one's death
    The widow lived for a few years, and, at her death, he bequeathed upon the daughter of his adoption all that his mother possessed.Various
  33. berate
    censure severely or angrily
    At almost every move through the drill he berated them caustically, though in such faultless military language of reproof as to keep him from censure.Hancock, H. Irving (Harrie Irving)
  34. bereavement
    state of sorrow over the death or departure of a loved one
    The team also helps the patients' families, instructing them in caring techniques and providing bereavement counseling after death.Washington Post (Sep 7, 2010)
  35. beseech
    ask for or request earnestly
    Mr. Binney pleaded and besought, but all to no avail, and left his Tutor's presence at last, a disgraced and despairing man.Marshall, Archibald
  36. besiege
    surround so as to force to give up
    The troops in the Potomac army were all lying in front of Petersburg, under fire day and night, preparing to besiege the place.Terrill, J. Newton
  37. besmirch
    smear so as to make dirty or stained
    Because the dealer, widely respected in the Zurich art world, did not want his reputation besmirched, he agreed to settle the claim out of court.New York Times (Sep 24, 2010)
  38. bestow
    There was stillness in the room—utter stillness as at last Percivale laid his sleeping wife down, and, bending over her, bestowed a parting kiss.Reynolds, Mrs. Baillie
  39. betrothed
    the person to whom you are engaged
    Perhaps he thinks an engaged young lady should be demure and dutiful, having no eyes or ears for any one except her betrothed.Harland, Marion
  40. bewildered
    perplexed by many conflicting situations or statements
    Only the most commonplace things were said, and yet she puzzled him, bewildered him.Hocking, Joseph
  41. bias
    influence in an unfair way
    Analytical thinking happens in the left hemisphere of the brain and is essential to making more objective, less biased decisions.
  42. bicker
    argue over petty things
    At times it felt like the candidates had already talked themselves out on the big themes and could only bicker over table scraps.Slate (Feb 23, 2012)
  43. bifurcated
    divided into or made up of two parts
    Like Lost, it’s story, at least at first, is bifurcated, taking place half in the magical world, half in ours.
  44. bilateral
    affecting or undertaken by two parties
    Economic issues took up about half of the bilateral talks between the two leaders, said a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
  45. billowing
    characterized by great swelling waves or surges
    It was here that the Army cooked up chemical weapons, launched poison-packed mortar shells and sent gas clouds billowing over the fields.New York Times (Mar 17, 2012)
  46. binge
    an occasion for excessive eating or drinking
    The government surveys showed binge drinking — having more than five drinks in one day — increased among all ethnic groups and genders, but particularly among men.Seattle Times (Dec 22, 2010)
  47. blanch
    turn pale, as if in fear
    Officers and men stood aghast, with blanched faces, scarce knowing how to act.Le Queux, William
  48. bland
    lacking stimulating characteristics; uninteresting
    Many critics were less than enamored with the kind of “easy listening” Mr. Williams embodied, deriding his approach as bland and unchallenging.New York Times (Oct 9, 2011)
  49. blandishment
    flattery intended to persuade
    He had expected coaxings, blandishments, the pleadings and wiles with which Virginia the elder had made him so intimately acquainted.Reynolds, Mrs. Baillie
  50. blare
    make a strident sound
    First there were trumpets; then brasses blared and drums rumbled.Broun, Heywood
  51. blase
    uninterested because of frequent exposure or indulgence
    Dull-eyed, blase, frayed by the social whirl, worn out, pulseless, all of them.Reynolds, Francis J. (Francis Joseph)
  52. blasphemy
    profane language
    Instead of becoming silent, he poured forth a fresh storm of blasphemy; and continued cursing all the time I remained within hearing.Beach, Charles A.
  53. blatant
    conspicuously and offensively loud
    Then there was great shouting among the Sophomores, with much blatant, exultant cheering.Williams, Jesse Lynch
  54. bleak
    offering little or no hope
    Although the situation looks bleak, there’s still room for hope, he said.Washington Post (Dec 31, 2011)
  55. blemish
    a mark or flaw that spoils the appearance of something
    Fine red lines often can be seen just under the skin, and some people also experience pimplelike blemishes.Seattle Times (Jan 19, 2011)
  56. blithe
    carefree and happy and lighthearted
    Deep down inside her being something sang; outside, the carolling of the lark continued, blithe and joyous in the breaking dawn.Blackwood, Algernon
  57. blunder
    an embarrassing mistake
    The candidate's first name was misspelled "John" on media badges, a blunder later repeated in some campaign mailings.
  58. blunt
    characterized by directness in manner or speech
    Even my lady, so blunt and outspoken by nature, had shrunk from trying to question the Dutch girl about her lover.Weyman, Stanley John
  59. blurt
    utter impulsively
    But after that momentary pause he blurted out, "Is everything all right, Benny?"Titus, Harold
  60. bluster
    act in an arrogant, overly self-assured, or conceited manner
    Ling was no longer an incarnate monster, a blustering, boisterous bully.Strang, Herbert
  61. boast
    possess or display some desirable feature
    A pompous, boasting sort of man, I did not like him at all.Wood, Mrs. Henry
  62. bode
    indicate by signs
    "Her early recovery is very promising," and bodes well for further improvement, he said.Seattle Times (Jan 20, 2011)
  63. bogus
    fraudulent; having a misleading appearance
    Also, Tello allegedly put the wrong address on the letter and included fake bar codes and bogus fax and telephone numbers, they said.New York Times (Jan 11, 2012)
  64. bohemian
    a nonconformist who lives an unconventional life
    Bohemians were typically urban, liberal in outlook, but with few visible political passions and, above all, creative.
  65. boisterous
    noisy and lacking in restraint or discipline
    Boys drinking champagne at adjacent tables were calling across to each other with boisterous merriment.Matthews, Brander
  66. bolster
    support and strengthen
    Manufacturing bolstered the nation’s economic recovery in March, according to data released Monday, with companies reporting strong gains in production and employment.Washington Post (Apr 3, 2012)
  67. bombardment
    an attack by dropping explosive devices
    He made up air raids and heavy bombardments and fairly tore up the village in which he was living.Broun, Heywood
  68. bombastic
    ostentatiously lofty in style
    Once, only, your workmanship was not marred by schemes for titillating effects, for sensational contrasts, for grandiose and bombastic expression.Rosenfeld, Paul
  69. boon
    something that is desirable, favorable, or beneficial
    The drilling has been an economic boon — creating jobs and reducing dependence on foreign energy.New York Times (Mar 18, 2012)
  70. boorish
    ill-mannered and coarse in behavior or appearance
    He becomes boorish, subject to fits of passion, violent and unaccountable.Zweig, Stefan
  71. bountiful
    producing in abundance
    The wheat harvest that year was so bountiful that grain overflowed storage facilities.
  72. bourgeois
    being of the property-owning class
    This future son-in-law is very young, and remarkably good looking; he belongs to the upper bourgeois, even bordering on the nobility.Sue, Eug?ne
  73. bout
    a period of illness
    While out of work, struggling financially, and single-handedly responsible for three children, Pauline had several bouts of depression during which she felt completely isolated.
  74. bovine
    any of various wild or domestic cattle
    We can see handsome bovines at any fat cattle show.Lynch, Lawrence L.
  75. bowdlerize
    edit by omitting or modifying parts considered indelicate
    Being an iconic classic, however, hasn’t protected “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” from being banned, bowdlerized and bleeped.New York Times (Jan 7, 2011)
  76. boycott
    refuse to sponsor; refuse to do business with
    In what became known as the Chilean Winter, students at university campuses and high schools across the country organized strikes, boycotted classes and occupied buildings.New York Times (Apr 5, 2012)
  77. brackish
    slightly salty
    The waters of West Africa, salt, brackish, and fresh abound with fish, and many kinds are, if properly cooked, excellent eating.Kingsley, Mary Henrietta
  78. braggadocio
    vain and empty boasting
    Biggie talks about money and drugs, but “Juicy” contains no braggadocio, no empty boasts.
  79. braggart
    a very boastful and talkative person
    In his cups he was a witty, though arrogant, braggart.Stocking, Charles Francis
  80. brandish
    exhibit aggressively
    Yelling, shouting, and brandishing their weapons, the insurgents poured down.Henty, G. A. (George Alfred)
  81. brash
    offensively bold
    Mr. Lancman, 43, is known for his brash, relentless and ambitious style.New York Times (Mar 19, 2012)
  82. bravado
    a swaggering show of courage
    All their courage and bravado was gone, and now, like the miserable cowards that they were, they had sought safety in flight.Pinkerton, Allan
  83. brawl
    a noisy fight in a crowd
    The slightest quarrel, the most commonplace street brawl are pretexts for rival factions to come out in battle array.Bastide, Charles
  84. brawn
    the trait of possessing muscular strength
    He believes Hollywood has often have had an over-reliance on physical brawn as the deciding factor for portraying a strong man.
  85. brazen
    unrestrained by convention or propriety
    House has saved two lives, but Foreman is furious at his brazen disregard for the rules.
  86. breach
    make an opening or gap in
    Just look at how hackers breached the accounts of Google’s mail service in the past year, other RIM executives have noted.Washington Post (Apr 4, 2012)
  87. breadth
    the extent of something from side to side
    On the left side were also two store-houses, each thirty-six paces long by twelve in breadth, covered with shingles.Drake, Samuel Adams
  88. brevity
    the attribute of being short or fleeting
    Brevity is key; journalists do not have a lot of time.
  89. brink
    the limit beyond which something happens or changes
    Patterson often asked Groce to ease up in Taylor's demanding timed conditioning drills, noticing he was on the brink of hyperventilating from pushing his limits.
  90. brisk
    quick and energetic
    The rooms were scrupulously clean, the table service brisk and punctual.Boyd, Mary Stuart
  91. broach
    bring up a topic for discussion
    Funeral directors must also navigate a topic that, even under normal circumstances, can prove uncomfortable to broach: money.New York Times (Dec 29, 2011)
  92. brood
    hang over, as of something threatening, dark, or menacing
    In fact, a daunting quietness brooded over the spot.Bindloss, Harold
  93. browbeat
    discourage or frighten with threats or a domineering manner
    For ten minutes he bullied and browbeat the luckless sergeant, whose men had not been responsible for opening fire.Westerman, Percy F. (Percy Francis)
  94. brunt
    the main part, especially of a force or shock
    While Texas, an epicenter now for wildfires and crop losses, is taking the brunt of the drought, surrounding states are also suffering.
  95. bucolic
    idyllically rustic
    He is glad when he sees men busy fishing, planting, and hunting, and engaged in all manner of bucolic occupations.Vondel, Joost van den
  96. buffoon
    a rude or vulgar fool
    They were sluggards, buffoons, dimwits, liars, brutes, and—without exception—drunks.The New Yorker (Aug 2, 2010)
  97. buoyant
    characterized by liveliness and lightheartedness
    By nature he was sunny and buoyant, taking life as he found it.Penny, F. E.
  98. burden
    an onerous or difficult concern
    Reconstruction spending is adding to the nation's huge debt burden.Wall Street Journal (Mar 9, 2012)
  99. bureaucracy
    unnecessary procedures that obstruct action
    Professors and graduate students have benefited from improved working conditions, quicker turnaround for photocopying and scanning, and decreased bureaucracy and red tape.New York Times (Mar 21, 2012)
  100. burgeon
    grow and flourish
    Elsewhere, rising prices highlight a more basic problem: making sure farm productivity keeps pace with burgeoning populations.Seattle Times (Jun 6, 2010)

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