100 SAT words Beginning with "O"

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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  1. oasis
    a shelter serving as a place of safety or sanctuary
    In August, editor-at-large Leigh Buchanan and I traveled to the foundation's headquarters, an oasis of greenery and glass in sweltering Kansas City, Missouri.
  2. obdurate
    showing unfeeling resistance to tender feelings
    Mr. Oldstone, in particular, exhausted all his powers of persuasion to yet delay his departure, but he found him obdurate.M. Y. Halidom (pseud. Dryasdust)
  3. obedient
    dutifully complying with the commands of those in authority
    “‘With all due respect, I have the honor to be, Sir, “‘Your most obedient and humble servant.’Semmes, Raphael
  4. obeisance
    bending the head or body in reverence or submission
    All heads were inclined in an obeisance of deep homage.Sienkiewicz, Henryk
  5. obfuscate
    make obscure or unclear
    Yet as we tried to understand, there always seemed to be an obfuscating layer: something or someone was working against comprehension.
  6. objective
    the goal intended to be attained
    "Our main objective is to maintain a balance between market share and profitability," Chief Executive Officer Marco Antonio Bologna said in the earnings statement.
  7. obligation
    the state of being bound to do or pay something
    I considered myself as a married man and under obligation to alter my way of living, and I stopped playing.Seingalt, Jacques Casanova de
  8. oblique
    not direct, explicit, or straightforward
    An old man, of monstrous obesity, seated on a wooden chair, devoured his pittance with animal voracity, casting on either side oblique angry glances.Sue, Eugène
  9. oblivious
    lacking conscious awareness of
    They were lying down and apparently oblivious to my approach—perhaps asleep.Various
  10. obloquy
    state of disgrace resulting from public abuse
    Thus public men are content to leave their reputation to posterity; great reactions take place in opinion; nay, sometimes men outlive opposition and obloquy.Newman, John Henry Cardinal
  11. obscure
    not clearly understood or expressed
    Nor has any obscure, mysterious, or illusive point in history been cleared up by the spirits.Flammarion, Camille
  12. obsequious
    attentive in an ingratiating or servile manner
    The man had been eager in his attentions, deferential, almost obsequious.Packard, Frank L. (Frank Lucius)
  13. obsolete
    no longer in use
    Over the past dozen or so years, hospitals across the country have gone digital, leading to better patient outcomes and making hangar-size file-storage facilities obsolete.Slate (Apr 9, 2012)
  14. obstinate
    marked by tenacious unwillingness to yield
    No opposition was so great, no difficulty so stubborn and obstinate, which he did not conquer by his beloved Son, the author of our salvation.Arndt, Johann
  15. obstreperous
    noisily and stubbornly defiant
    If particularly wild, obstinate, or obstreperous, he still keeps breaking away, and refusing to come into camp.Shields, George O.
  16. obstruct
    block passage through
    Through Icy Sound we found some difficulty in penetrating, as the channel was much obstructed by ice.Fitzroy, Robert
  17. obtain
    come into possession of
    Nine years later, Napoleon managed, by skilful intrigues, to obtain quiet possession of Malta.Whymper, Frederick
  18. obtrusive
    undesirably noticeable
    “We’ve done research, and the ads are considered annoying, irritating and obtrusive,” Mr. Norris said after watching Barnes & Noble’s presentation.New York Times (Nov 7, 2011)
  19. obtuse
    slow to learn or understand; lacking intellectual acuity
    The affair had been mentioned so plainly that it was impossible for the most dense and obtuse person not to have understood the allusion.Brazil, Angela
  20. obviate
    prevent the occurrence of; prevent from happening
    Fevers are at present alarmingly prevalent, arising from causes which judicious attention and sanitary means would easily obviate.Ballou, Maturin Murray
  21. occlude
    block passage through
    In many cases we can dissolve the clot that is occluding the artery or blood vessel in the brain and restore normal flow.Seattle Times (Nov 29, 2010)
  22. occult
    supernatural practices and techniques
    He studied magic, and his thirst for knowledge of the occult sciences grew.Butterworth, Hezekiah
  23. occupy
    live in (a certain place)
    Another reason sales have fallen is that previously occupied homes have become a better deal than new homes.Time (Apr 17, 2012)
  24. odious
    unequivocally detestable
    Hideous and odious, revolting beyond all expression, the underground war finished by becoming impossible.Tarde, Gabriel
  25. odium
    hate coupled with disgust
    Week after week, the seceders were held up to public odium, derision and scorn.Doheny, Michael
  26. odoriferous
    having a natural fragrance
    Some odoriferous substances are fragrant for many years, exhaling continually, yet are not quickly consumed.Gilbert, William
  27. odyssey
    a long wandering and eventful journey
    He hit six rodeos in seven days, an odyssey that took him to stops in Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico and California.Newsweek (Dec 10, 2010)
  28. offend
    cause to feel resentment or indignation
    The research said milder expressions should be used to "avoid offending the public and stoking social tensions".
  29. officious
    intrusive in a meddling or offensive manner
    Be kind, of course; that’s only your duty, but I call it officious and presumptuous to interfere in other people’s lives.Earnshaw, Elizabeth
  30. offset
    compensate for or counterbalance
    The chain has been raising prices on some drinks to help offset higher costs for commodities like coffee and milk.New York Times (Jan 27, 2012)
  31. ogle
    stare or look at, especially with amorous intentions
    “This simple food keeps you in beautiful health, Father,” said Mistletoe, ogling the swarthy face of the Abbot with an affection that he duly noted.Stewardson, John
  32. olfactory
    of or relating to the sense of smell
    The human brain’s olfactory bulb is activated differently depending on where a smell hits the nostril, indicating that odor receptor organization is not uniform.Scientific American (Sep 26, 2011)
  33. oligarchy
    a political system governed by a few people
    The track management of this particular university was an oligarchy; was governed by a few absolute individuals.Marchand, J. N.
  34. omen
    a sign of a thing about to happen
    Pale-faced, wide-eyed, statuesque, their presence, interpreted by a vivid imagination, might have been regarded as an omen of impending misfortune.Harris, Joel Chandler
  35. ominous
    threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
    He knew there was something ominous in her silence, like gathering thunder.Canfield, Dorothy
  36. omit
    leave undone or leave out
    Titles are abbreviated, mottoes dropped, foot notes cut out, and many earlier poems reduced, or omitted entirely.Freneau, Philip
  37. omnipotent
    having unlimited power
    We can still call Him Omnipotent in the sense that He possesses all the power there is.Rashdall, Hastings
  38. omnipresent
    existing everywhere at once
    He is here, there, and everywhere; he is omnipresent—this curse of Finland.Alec-Tweedie, Mrs. (Ethel)
  39. omniscient
    infinitely wise
    The Omniscient Being alone can have perfect knowledge of all beings and things as they are.Peabody, Andrew P. (Andrew Preston)
  40. omnivorous
    feeding on both plants and animals
    Rats and mice are practically omnivorous, feeding upon all kinds of animal and vegetable matter.Lantz, David E.
  41. onerous
    burdensome or difficult to endure
    The charge was an onerous one, requiring constant and severe labor, as well as the exercise of patience, prudence, and good judgment.Richardson, James D. (James Daniel)
  42. onomatopoeia
    using words that imitate the sound they denote
    This correspondence of sound and sense is called onomatopoeia.Baum, Paull Franklin
  43. onslaught
    a rapid and continuous outpouring
    Most companies are facing an onslaught of information about customers from social networks, the Internet, and mobile devices.
  44. onus
    a burdensome or difficult concern
    With Xavi out injured, the onus was on Alonso to supply his forward line and he excelled at the task.
  45. opalescent
    having a play of lustrous rainbow colors
    It is a picture beautiful as the opalescent colors of a soap bubble.Leacock, Stephen
  46. opaque
    not transmitting or reflecting light or radiant energy
    Comets differ from the bodies which we have just been describing in that they appear filmy and transparent, whereas the others are solid and opaque.Dolmage, Cecil Goodrich Julius
  47. operative
    a person secretly employed in espionage for a government
    I am a Secret Service operative seeking information about Cheney.Taft, William Nelson
  48. opiate
    a narcotic drug
    Signs of opiate drug use include pinpoint pupils, too much sleep, too little motivation, unexplained absences and worsening grades, counselors say.Seattle Times (Oct 1, 2011)
  49. opponent
    someone who offers resistance
    Sarkozy has been criticized by opponents and even some allies for his sometimes brutal manner of pushing through decisions.
  50. opportune
    suitable or advantageous especially for a particular purpose
    Most viewed the budget surplus as opportune: a chance to pay down the national debt, cut taxes, shore up entitlements or pursue new spending programs.Washington Post (Feb 19, 2012)
  51. opportunist
    a person who places expediency above principle
    A Rangoon resident told the BBC that some of these groups were seen as opportunists playing along with the junta for personal gain.BBC (Mar 30, 2010)
  52. opposition
    a body of people united against something
    Medical Missions in Persia have already worked wonders, breaking down opposition, winning friends even amongst the most fanatical.Hume-Griffith, A.
  53. oppressive
    marked by unjust severity or arbitrary behavior
    The consequences flowing from this unjust and oppressive system of taxation are appalling.Cloud, D. C.
  54. opprobrium
    state of disgrace resulting from public abuse
    They know how easily the taunting of Mr Brown over bullying allegations and ill-scripted condolence letters engendered public sympathy rather than opprobrium.BBC (Apr 28, 2010)
  55. optimist
    a person disposed to take a favorable view of things
    Ms. McCarthy remains hopeful about the future of public education: “I’m forever an optimist.New York Times (Apr 9, 2010)
  56. optional
    possible but not necessary; left to personal choice
    All other laws, it is optional with each man to obey, or not, as he may choose.Spooner, Lysander
  57. opulent
    rich and superior in quality
    The count was rich in land, but his income could not be compared with that of the opulent Garnet.Palacio Valdés, Armando
  58. opus
    a musical work that has been created
    Barnes will perform his opus, "Acknowledgment of a Celebration," which he debuted at last fall's Earshot Jazz Festival.Seattle Times (May 31, 2010)
  59. oracle
    an authoritative person who divines the future
    Dionysus further possessed the prophetic gift, and his oracle at Delphi was as important as that of Apollo.Various
  60. oracular
    of or relating to prophecy or someone who tells the future
    Nor does his philosophic attitude exclude the possibility of a certain faith in oracular foresight and divination.Dill, Samuel
  61. orator
    a person who delivers a speech
    As an orator Senator Evarts stood in the foremost rank, and some of his best speeches were published.Various
  62. ordinance
    an authoritative rule
    Police say officers began patrolling parks near the stadium Monday night to make sure no park ordinances are violated, especially those related to alcohol.Seattle Times (Apr 10, 2012)
  63. ordinary
    lacking special distinction, rank, or status
    While the government and the developers are doing well, many ordinary people are hurt by the high cost of living.
  64. ordination
    the status of being sworn into a sacred office
    Some forty English students are educated for the priesthood and return on their ordination for work in their native land.O'Reilly, Elizabeth Boyle
  65. organic
    grown or raised without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides
    And because she has an organic farm, she does not use spray pesticides, experimenting with spraying soapy water.Washington Post (Sep 24, 2010)
  66. orientation
    a course introducing a new situation or environment
    To reduce the number of dropouts, it is offering students a three-week “ orientation” during which they can quit without charge.
  67. orifice
    an opening, especially one that opens into a bodily cavity
    The mouth, a round, lipless orifice, contracted or dilated at will; from it came whistling words.Diffin, Charles Willard
  68. origin
    the source of something's existence or from which it derives
    British, but especially English, place names are, in a vast majority of cases, either of Saxon, Norse, or Celtic origin.Russell, T. O.
  69. originate
    come into existence; take on form or shape
    Some plants, such as the sweet potato, originated in the Andes Mountains but apparently spread across the Pacific Ocean before the arrival of Columbus.
  70. ornate
    marked by elaborate rhetoric and elaborated with details
    Unlike his literary icon, Herman Melville, he doesn’t adorn his writing with ornate flourishes or complicated scaffolding.Scientific American (Dec 20, 2011)
  71. ornithologist
    a scientist who studies birds
    Besides the structural resemblances, which are, of course, the only ones considered by ornithologists in classifying birds, the indigo buntings have several sparrow-like traits.Blanchan, Neltje
  72. orotund
    full and rich, of sounds
    The answer came back in a deep, orotund, sing-song voice.Ward, Herbert D. (Herbert Dickinson)
  73. orthodox
    adhering to what is commonly accepted
    His opinions, clashing as they did with orthodox creeds, were given in a tentative, questioning fashion, so that where ecclesiastical censure fell, retreat was easier.Clodd, Edward
  74. orthogonal
    meeting at right angles
    His love of the orthogonal, which like 1980s dance moves once verged on the robotic, is relaxing into less pure angles.
  75. oscillate
    move or swing from side to side regularly
    When the polariton flow was excited with two laser beams, the quantum fluid began to oscillate backwards and forwards in ways predicted by quantum mechanics.Forbes (Jan 9, 2012)
  76. osseous
    composed of or containing bone
    But the osseous outgrowth, the bones, you know, complicate things.Wells, H. G. (Herbert George)
  77. ossify
    make rigid and set into a conventional pattern
    Looking at it out of the corner of my eye, I could think about being a teenager, before roles were ossified and boundaries set.New York Times (Nov 24, 2010)
  78. ostensible
    appearing as such but not necessarily so
    This already-exhaustive book is studded with diary entries, academic papers and other ostensible evidence that its fictitious stories of destruction are true.New York Times (Jun 6, 2010)
  79. ostentatious
    tawdry or vulgar
    He was frugal and dressed in plain, ordinary clothes rather than extravagant or ostentatious ones.Reilly, S. A.
  80. ostracize
    expel from a community or group
    Although she may have been more sinned against than sinning, she is cast out and ostracized by society.Moody, Dwight Lyman
  81. otiose
    serving no useful purpose; having no excuse for being
    There is no superfluous ornament in his orations, nothing tawdry, nothing otiose.Lincoln, Abraham
  82. oust
    remove from a position or office
    Maldives' torture- addicted previous president was ousted and a more democratic government was established.Seattle Times (May 3, 2012)
  83. outcome
    something that results
    "Very frustrating process, but a great outcome in the end," Moore told The Idaho Statesman.Seattle Times (May 1, 2012)
  84. outlandish
    noticeably or extremely unconventional or unusual
    His outsized personality and outlandish comments - maybe not so absurd given what Ryan's New York Jets have achieved - draw notice no matter the situation.Seattle Times (Jan 23, 2011)
  85. outrage
    strike with disgust or revulsion
    Every single time reporters, analysts, and citizens are astonished, outraged, shocked anew that the politician didn’t just go ahead and admit what he did.Slate (Nov 9, 2011)
  86. outrageous
    grossly offensive to decency or morality; causing horror
    “The suffering and bloodshed is outrageous and it is unacceptable,” Mr. Obama said at the White House, after meeting with Mrs. Clinton.New York Times (Feb 24, 2011)
  87. outskirts
    area relatively far from the center, as of a city or town
    Security forces were checking cars inside the city and in its outskirts.
  88. outspoken
    given to expressing yourself freely or insistently
    Even my lady, so blunt and outspoken by nature, had shrunk from trying to question the Dutch girl about her lover.Weyman, Stanley John
  89. outwit
    beat through cleverness
    To top it all off, he regularly outwits his elders, showing natural positional sense and finishing moves with the poise and intelligence of an expert.
  90. ovation
    enthusiastic recognition
    Buster Poster, receiving rousing ovations from fans every time his name was announced, cleared another milestone with an RBI single in the first.Seattle Times (Apr 5, 2012)
  91. overbearing
    having or showing arrogant superiority to
    He who had been so unprincipled and arrogant, so insolent and overbearing, his cleverness no longer needed, was tossed aside by his employers.Wingfield, Lewis
  92. overcome
    win a victory over
    Abbott said he learned a lot by winning, by overcoming the odds.New York Times (Apr 30, 2012)
  93. oversight
    management by watching and directing a person or group
    The former Pennsylvania senator defended the practice by saying that Congress has an important oversight role in shaping the federal budget.Chicago Tribune (Feb 23, 2012)
  94. overt
    open and observable; not secret or hidden
    In this music, the Caribbean element often isn’t overt but is coded in the relationship between rhythm and melody.New York Times (Mar 6, 2010)
  95. overthrow
    cause the downfall of
    Just two weeks ago, Mali’s 1991 revolution was reversed when mutinous soldiers overthrew a democratically elected government.New York Times (Apr 6, 2012)
  96. overweening
    presumptuously arrogant
    There were crack riders and ropers who, just because they felt such overweening pride in their own prowess, were not really very valuable men.Roosevelt, Theodore
  97. overwhelming
    very intense
    I think I was not so much afraid as oppressed by an almost overwhelming sense of loneliness.Gilson, Charles
  98. overwrought
    deeply agitated especially from emotion
    Belshazzar, pale-faced and utterly overwrought, physically exhausted, mentally apprehensive, followed his father, walking alone.Potter, Margaret Horton
  99. overzealous
    marked by excessive enthusiasm for a cause or idea
    He sat scared in Greece on his team’s bus as it was attacked by overzealous fans.Washington Post (Aug 31, 2011)
  100. oxymoron
    conjoined contradictory terms
    As oxymorons go, the silent disco is right up there, along with vegan bacon, jumbo shrimps and the living dead.
Created on April 14, 2012 (updated August 11, 2014)

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