100 SAT words Beginning with "P"

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.


Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. pacifist
    someone opposed to violence as a means of settling disputes
    War to the pacifists is wrong, unholy, morally sinful, biologically and economically and in every other way evil.Partridge, G.E.
  2. palliative
    moderating pain or sorrow by making it easier to bear
    In advanced cases, it is only possible to relieve the patient's suffering by palliative measures.Miles, Alexander
  3. palpable
    able to be felt by tactile examination
    It’s almost palpable music: blocks of sound with shape and density.New York Times (Jan 10, 2011)
  4. panacea
    hypothetical remedy for all ills or diseases
    The city fathers speak of binglang as if it were a panacea for all of Xiangtan’s ills, from curing tapeworm to solving unemployment.New York Times (Aug 20, 2010)
  5. pandemic
    an outbreak of disease that is geographically widespread
    The World Health Organization in 2009 declared swine flu the first global flu pandemic in 40 years.Seattle Times (Feb 1, 2012)
  6. pandemonium
    a state of extreme confusion and disorder
    Chief Godbee described the scene as one of “utter chaos and pandemonium.”New York Times (Jan 24, 2011)
  7. paradigm
    a standard or typical example
    Since, our method has become a paradigm for guiding scientists to the genetic basis of other human diseases.New York Times (Jun 21, 2010)
  8. paradox
    a statement that contradicts itself
    It seems like a paradox or contradiction to say that self-denial can harmonize with enjoyment; and yet it is true.Howard, Thomas Henry
  9. paragon
    model of excellence or perfection of a kind
    She would tread her enemies under foot and emerge from the conflict victorious, untrammelled, a paragon of virtues.Horrell, Charles
  10. parody
    a composition that imitates or misrepresents a style
    Granted, all are outrageously exaggerated, but a discerning eye can detect the truth that lurks behind any satire, parody, or lampoon.Anonymous
  11. parsimonious
    excessively unwilling to spend
    In allusion to greedy, parsimonious people, who would rather be put to a great deal of trouble than incur a trifling expense.Hislop, Alexander
  12. partisan
    devoted to a cause or political group
    Exxon has been extremely partisan, its political action committee essentially acting as a finance arm of the Republican Party.
  13. pastoral
    idyllically rustic
    He made a considerable reputation as an accomplished painter of quiet pastoral subjects and carefully elaborated landscapes with cattle.Various
  14. patriarchal
    of a social organization with the male as the head
    The old patriarchal system is gone; the father is no longer an autocratic ruler in his small world.Bray, Reginald Arthur
  15. patrician
    befitting a person of noble origin
    Caesar was, by birth, patrician, having descended from a long line of noble ancestors.Abbott, Jacob
  16. patriotism
    love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it
    In short, he felt the inspiration of patriotism, that noble sentiment which nerves men to do, and dare, unto the death, for their native soil.Semmes, Raphael
  17. patronizing
    characteristic of those who treat others with arrogance
    Others, proud of their husbands' standing and of their wealth, could not invent enough unspoken affronts and patronizing phrases to humiliate the little parvenue.Daudet, Alphonse
  18. paucity
    an insufficient quantity or number
    The paucity of reptiles in Ireland is remarkable, but they are not altogether absent.Various
  19. pecuniary
    relating to or involving money
    In this pecuniary distress, two men offered to loan the necessary funds, and two hundred and fifty dollars were gratefully accepted from each.Bolton, Sarah Knowles
  20. pedagogy
    the principles and methods of instruction
    What type of pedagogy, or teaching method, makes me thrive?New York Times (Jan 13, 2011)
  21. pedantic
    marked by a narrow focus on or display of learning
    To make a classical quotation in a mixed company is considered pedantic and out of place, as is also an ostentatious display of your learning.Young, John H.
  22. penitent
    feeling or expressing remorse for misdeeds
    He was penitent at once, and full of promises never to ask her again to do anything that might cause an instant's remorse.MacKenzie, Compton
  23. penurious
    excessively unwilling to spend
    He lived a penurious life, eating little, avoiding luxury and dressing in threadbare clothing that he often bought at the Salvation Army and Goodwill.New York Times (Jun 3, 2011)
  24. perfidious
    tending to betray
    Any one who studied her treacherous and perfidious countenance would detect therein craft and cruelty.Sue, Eugène
  25. perilous
    fraught with danger
    They were ever in the most perilous situations, did the most dangerous service, and acknowledged no leader other than their own free will.Ellis, Edward Sylvester
  26. perish
    pass from physical life
    Walter Bell's own brother died in a mining accident — in the same spot where an elder relative perished years earlier.Seattle Times (Apr 19, 2012)
  27. pernicious
    exceedingly harmful
    All these experiments, however, are in general not only useless but pernicious, and frequently prove fatal.Millingen, J. G. (John Gideon)
  28. perpetuate
    cause to continue or prevail
    The so-called Confederate States, the new power, organized for the avowed purpose of extending and perpetuating African slavery, was now in full blast.Aughey, John H.
  29. personification
    someone who represents an abstract quality
    "He was the personification of determination and never giving up - he inspired so many people," Kidd said in release from the U.S.Washington Post (Feb 9, 2010)
  30. pertinent
    having precise or logical relevance to the matter at hand
    You can see how much everyone makes, their performance reports … everything that is pertinent to their employment.Inc (May 3, 2010)
  31. peruse
    examine or consider with attention and in detail
    The first he opened, and drawing near the light, perused its contents attentively.James, G. P. R. (George Payne Rainsford)
  32. pervasive
    spreading or spread throughout
    Visual Culture Out of Africa Africa is everywhere, so pervasive in our lives that we barely see it.New York Times (Dec 3, 2010)
  33. philanthropist
    someone who makes charitable donations
    He was perhaps best known as a philanthropist: just this month he donated more than $15 million to the Leeds Community Foundation.
  34. pillage
    steal goods; take as spoils
    United Nations officials said that several waves of looters had pillaged Abyei and that there was even a market in town now for looted goods.New York Times (Jun 2, 2011)
  35. pinnacle
    the highest level or degree attainable
    One man had lifted them from the lowest ebb almost to the pinnacle of success.Morris, Charles
  36. pithy
    concise and full of meaning
    As we are hastily reading books and papers we continually come across maxims, epigrams, and short, pithy sayings that attract us.McCarty, Louis Philippe
  37. placate
    cause to be more favorably inclined
    My clients were soon grumbling, but Woodruff handled them well, placating them with excuses that soothed their annoyance to discontented silence.Ashe, E. M.
  38. placid
    calm and free from disturbance
    The old father, calm and placid looking, is sitting on his heels near the tiller smoking a long bamboo pipe.Macgowan, J. (John)
  39. plausible
    apparently reasonable and valid, and truthful
    Your manner was earnest, your argument plausible and at first blush, convincing; but you are wrong.Holt, Mathew Joseph
  40. plebeian
    one of the common people
    "All of them quite common men!" said the provost carelessly—"country rustics— plebeians!"Barr, Amelia Edith Huddleston
  41. plethora
    extreme excess
    I’ve spent a plethora of times going through my essays, over and over and over again.New York Times (Dec 20, 2010)
  42. pliable
    capable of being bent or flexed or twisted without breaking
    Worse, the tissues are less pliable, less flexible.Seattle Times (Dec 19, 2011)
  43. plight
    a situation from which extrication is difficult
    Although one oncologist waived her fees after hearing about the family’s plight, other creditors have demanded payment, and bankruptcy remains a possibility.New York Times (Mar 29, 2010)
  44. plummet
    drop sharply
    For one thing, even while video games have skyrocketed, youth violence plummeted to its lowest levels in 40 years according to government statistics.
  45. plunder
    destroy and strip of its possession
    So bold had these robbers become that they did not hesitate to raid the coasts of Italy and to plunder Ostia.Boak, Arthur Edward Romilly
  46. plutocracy
    a political system governed by the wealthy people
    " Plutocracy" means control by those who own wealth.Nearing, Scott
  47. poignant
    keenly distressing to the mind or feelings
    Thus, for example, could I ever have imagined the poignant and terrible suffering of never being alone even for one minute during ten years?Dostoyevsky, Fyodor
  48. polarize
    become divided in a conflict or contrasting situation
    Looking at America Mr. Murray sees a country increasingly polarized into two culturally and geographically isolated demographics.New York Times (Feb 5, 2012)
  49. pompous
    puffed up with vanity
    A pompous, boasting sort of man, I did not like him at all.Wood, Mrs. Henry
  50. portentous
    of momentous or ominous significance
    It grew awfully dark— portentous omen!—and some enormous drops of rain, as big as bullets, came smacking down upon the window-stone.Le Fanu, Joseph Sheridan
  51. posterity
    all future generations
    Our posterity will be the living public of a future generation.Rhys, Ernest
  52. potent
    having a strong physiological or chemical effect
    Yet potent as the medicine might be, it was not powerful enough to keep Edward Armstrong asleep all night.Paull, H. B.
  53. potentate
    a ruler who is unconstrained by law
    The land is ablaze with kings and potentates on golden thrones under canopies of angels.Synge, M. B. (Margaret Bertha)
  54. pragmatic
    concerning a theory of observable practical consequences
    The pragmatic method in such cases is to try to interpret each notion by tracing its respective practical consequences.James, William
  55. preamble
    a preliminary introduction, as to a statute or constitution
    It has no preamble, but is simply introduced by the enacting clause.Shambaugh, Benjamin F.
  56. precarious
    fraught with danger
    It pines for that precarious life; its very dangers and privations fill its breast with desire.Lane, Mary E. Bradley
  57. precedent
    an example that is used to justify similar occurrences
    Canada and Newfoundland, following the precedent of the United States, require copyright notice in statutory form.Bowker, Richard Rogers
  58. precocious
    characterized by exceptionally early development
    He had been a precocious child, advanced beyond his years in all the studies of the schools.Burns, Elmer Ellsworth
  59. precursor
    something indicating the approach of something or someone
    In theory, learning to detect the precursors of environmental distress could help raise the alarm before any damage is irreversible.
  60. predator
    any animal that lives by preying on other animals
    “Polar bears are very much of a predator bear, having evolved rapidly to become a specialist in hunting seals.New York Times (May 11, 2011)
  61. predecessor
    one who precedes you in time
    His works in the tinted manner are full of poetic beauty, and exhibit a marked improvement on those of his predecessors.Koehler, S. R.
  62. predominance
    the state of having superior power and influence over others
    Below the line, among backboneless animals, there is much greater constancy of superiority among the females, and this predominance persists in many higher types.Hartley, C. Gasquoine (Catherine Gasquoine)
  63. premonition
    a feeling of evil to come
    No foreboding of evil haunted him; no slightest premonition of danger clouded his sky.Harvey, James Clarence
  64. preponderance
    exceeding in heaviness; having greater weight
    Until representatives from all sections are heard from, however, it will be impossible to say what the preponderance of opinion really is.Various
  65. preposterous
    inviting ridicule
    It is ridiculous, preposterous even, certainly wrong, a sugary pudding of groans and cliches.
  66. prerequisite
    something that is needed or obligatory in advance
    For anyone wanting a job in politics, unpaid work experience has become an essential - but often very hard to come by - prerequisite.
  67. prerogative
    a right reserved exclusively by a person or group
    This was the right of search claimed by Great Britain as one of her prerogatives.Comfield, Amelia Stratton
  68. prescience
    the power to foresee the future
    We have never been good at foretelling the future, but when the news is favorable, others forgive our lack of prescience.New York Times (Mar 27, 2010)
  69. prevalent
    most frequent or common
    The practice is most prevalent in Pakistani communities, but it's also common among some Middle Eastern and east African groups.
  70. prevaricate
    be deliberately ambiguous or unclear
    Tell your story straight, and don’t conceal aught, or prevaricate.Reid, Mayne
  71. primitive
    belonging to an early stage of technical development
    Starting millions of years ago, the evolutionary ancestors of humans figured out how to use primitive stone tools in a systematic way.
  72. pristine
    completely free from dirt or contamination
    Luckily though, the number of overall visitors will remain restricted, guaranteeing, it is hoped, at least another 100 years of relative isolation and pristine wilderness.New York Times (Jan 6, 2012)
  73. privation
    the act of stripping someone of food, money, or rights
    This was rolling in riches of luxury, after nearly starving of privation, and dying from thirst.Drayson, A. W. (Alfred Wilks)
  74. prodigal
    recklessly wasteful
    In times of plenty his diet is not improved, because he wastes his surplus in prodigal feasting.Thomson, Basil
  75. prodigious
    great in size, force, extent, or degree
    Absorbing in scope and expressive in detail, the piece offered compelling evidence of Mr. Lewis’s prodigious imagination and persuasive skill.New York Times (Nov 14, 2011)
  76. prodigy
    an unusually gifted or intelligent person
    The former child prodigy entered Bard College at age 11, and was accepted by Yale Law at 16.
  77. prognosticate
    make a prediction about; tell in advance
    How strange it is that our dreams often prognosticate coming events!Huth, Alexander
  78. prolific
    intellectually productive
    He was prolific, directing more than 40 movies, and was versatile, dabbling in many different film genres.
  79. prolix
    tediously prolonged or tending to speak or write at length
    What we now regard as tedious and prolix was looked upon as so much linked sweetness long drawn out.Rudd, John
  80. prominent
    having a quality that thrusts itself into attention
    Its rounded facade of colored glass juts out over the sidewalk, making the building on Orleans Street a prominent new landmark in East Baltimore.Washington Post (May 7, 2012)
  81. propel
    cause to move forward with force
    Propelled by winds and high temperatures, it burned for 10 days, charring more than 250 acres of land.Scientific American (Apr 9, 2012)
  82. propensity
    a natural inclination
    But really, cousin, don't you think that this way of contradicting our natures and propensities is very wrong?Bloomfield, Robert
  83. prophecy
    knowledge of the future, as from a divine source
    His highest office was prophecy, and in all his temples the priestesses gave mystic revelations of the future.Hurll, Estelle M. (Estelle May)
  84. propitious
    presenting favorable circumstances
    It was by favor of these propitious conditions that many of the great fortunes, based upon land, were founded.Gustavus, Myers
  85. proportional
    properly related in size or degree
    Relative to the size of its economy, the total Greek spending cuts now being contemplated are proportional to the United States government cutting $1.75 trillion.New York Times (Jul 9, 2011)
  86. proprietor
    someone who owns a business
    He was a thriving business man, the proprietor of two plantations and a mill, and kept a large number of hands engaged at work.Anonymous
  87. propriety
    correct behavior
    She still hoped, that when removed from the bad influence of the Captain, she would behave herself with more propriety.Moodie, Susanna
  88. prosaic
    not challenging; dull and lacking excitement
    Cats is an exceedingly dull and prosaic writer, whose alexandrines roll smoothly on without any power of riveting the attention or delighting the fancy.Various
  89. prosperity
    the condition of having good fortune
    In Asian lore, the crane represents endurance as well as good fortune and prosperity.Seattle Times (Mar 7, 2012)
  90. prostrate
    lying face downward
    There, she saw, lying on his face, the prostrate form of a man.Fleming, May Agnes
  91. protege
    a person who receives support from an influential patron
    The "mentor/ protege" program was intended to enable small businesses to learn from large, established ones.Washington Post (Oct 1, 2010)
  92. prototype
    a standard or typical example
    Babbage never completed his prototype, but several different working models have been constructed since.
  93. proverbial
    relating to or resembling a condensed but memorable saying
    Footnote 1: "Even bird's milk is not lacking," a Polish proverbial expression signifying "abundance," "living in clover."Sienkiewicz, Henryk
  94. provocative
    serving or tending to excite or stimulate
    Festival play is all that can be expected outside of Europe, but "Berlin '36'" does make a provocative selection certain to stir debate.
  95. prowess
    a superior skill learned by study and practice
    Sometimes more than two bulls are used, thus making the sport more exciting and the measure of the warrior's prowess greater—if he wins.O'Neil, Owen Rowe
  96. puerile
    displaying or suggesting a lack of maturity
    You must take part in the pleasures of children, but never accommodate them with a childish language or with foolish or puerile ways.Hugo Paul Thieme
  97. pugilist
    someone who fights with his fists for sport
    She said Mandela remains an avid boxing fan and will be watching Filipino pugilist Manny Pacquiao's next world title defence on 7 May.
  98. pugnacious
    ready and able to resort to force or violence
    On this final of three debates all three men seemed pugnacious, combative — fighting for very high stakes with the gloves off.New York Times (Apr 29, 2010)
  99. puissant
    The land was some deal emptied of the most puissant and the strongest, for they were dead along with their lord.Evans, Sebastian
  100. pusillanimous
    lacking in courage, strength, and resolution
    The public is pusillanimous and cowardly, because it is weak.Rhys, Ernest

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.