100 Top "SAT" Words

Looking to build your vocabulary? Then practice this list of 100 "top words" — the kind that used to be tested on the SAT before 2016. If you're a high school student prepping for the SAT, check out Vocabulary.com's Roadmap to the SAT, which focuses on the vocabulary you'll need to ace today's SAT test.
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Full list of words from this list:

  1. abate
    become less in amount or intensity
  2. abdicate
    give up power, duties, or obligations
  3. aberration
    a state or condition markedly different from the norm
  4. abstain
    refrain from doing, consuming, or partaking in something
  5. adversity
    a state of misfortune or affliction
  6. aesthetic
    characterized by an appreciation of beauty or good taste
  7. amicable
    characterized by friendship and good will
  8. anachronistic
    chronologically misplaced
  9. arid
    lacking sufficient water or rainfall
  10. asylum
    a shelter from danger or hardship
  11. benevolent
    showing or motivated by sympathy and understanding
  12. bias
    a partiality preventing objective consideration of an issue
  13. boisterous
    marked by exuberance and high spirits
  14. brazen
    unrestrained by convention or propriety
  15. brusque
    rudely abrupt or blunt in speech or manner
  16. camaraderie
    the quality of affording easy familiarity and sociability
  17. canny
    showing self-interest and shrewdness in dealing with others
  18. capacious
    large in the amount that can be contained
  19. capitulate
    surrender under agreed conditions
  20. clairvoyant
    someone who can perceive things not present to the senses
  21. collaborate
    work together on a common enterprise or project
  22. compassion
    a deep awareness of and sympathy for another's suffering
  23. compromise
    an accommodation in which both sides make concessions
  24. condescending
    characteristic of those who treat others with arrogance
  25. conditional
    imposing or depending on or containing an assumption
  26. conformist
    someone who follows established standards of conduct
  27. conundrum
    a difficult problem
  28. convergence
    the act of coming closer
  29. deleterious
    harmful to living things
  30. demagogue
    a leader who seeks support by appealing to popular passions
  31. digression
    a message that departs from the main subject
  32. diligent
    quietly and steadily persevering in detail or exactness
  33. discredit
    the state of being held in low esteem
  34. disdain
    lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike
  35. divergent
    tending to move apart in different directions
  36. empathy
    understanding and entering into another's feelings
  37. emulate
    strive to equal or match, especially by imitating
  38. enervating
    causing weakness or debilitation
  39. ephemeral
    anything short-lived, as an insect that lives only for a day
  40. evanescent
    short-lived; tending to vanish or disappear
  41. exemplary
    worthy of imitation
  42. extenuating
    partially excusing or justifying
  43. florid
    elaborately or excessively ornamented
  44. forbearance
    a delay in enforcing rights or claims or privileges
  45. fortitude
    strength of mind that enables one to endure adversity
  46. fortuitous
    lucky; occurring by happy chance
  47. foster
    providing nurture though not related by blood or legal ties
  48. fraught
    filled with or attended with
  49. frugal
    avoiding waste
  50. hackneyed
    repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse
  51. haughty
    having or showing arrogant superiority
  52. hedonist
    someone motivated by desires for sensual pleasures
  53. hypothesis
    a tentative insight that is not yet verified or tested
  54. impetuous
    characterized by undue haste and lack of thought
  55. impute
    attribute or credit to
  56. inconsequential
    lacking worth or importance
  57. inevitable
    incapable of being avoided or prevented
  58. intrepid
    invulnerable to fear or intimidation
  59. intuitive
    spontaneously derived from or prompted by a natural tendency
  60. jubilation
    a feeling of extreme joy
  61. lobbyist
    someone who is employed to persuade how legislators vote
  62. longevity
    the property of having lived for a considerable time
  63. mundane
    found in the ordinary course of events
  64. nonchalant
    marked by casual unconcern or indifference
  65. opulent
    rich and superior in quality
  66. orator
    a person who delivers a speech
  67. ostentatious
    intended to attract notice and impress others
  68. parched
    extremely thirsty
  69. perfidious
    tending to betray
  70. pragmatic
    concerned with practical matters
  71. precocious
    characterized by exceptionally early development
  72. pretentious
    creating an appearance of importance or distinction
  73. procrastinate
    postpone doing what one should be doing
  74. prosaic
    lacking wit or imagination
  75. prosperity
    the condition of having good fortune
  76. provocative
    serving or tending to excite or stimulate
  77. prudent
    marked by sound judgment
  78. querulous
    habitually complaining
  79. rancorous
    showing deep-seated resentment
  80. reclusive
    withdrawn from society; seeking solitude
  81. reconciliation
    the reestablishment of cordial relations
  82. renovation
    the act of improving by renewing and restoring
  83. restrained
    under control
  84. reverence
    a feeling of profound respect for someone or something
  85. sagacity
    the trait of having wisdom and good judgment
  86. scrutinize
    examine carefully for accuracy
  87. spontaneous
    said or done without having been planned in advance
  88. spurious
    plausible but false
  89. submissive
    inclined or willing to give in to orders or wishes of others
  90. substantiate
    establish or strengthen as with new evidence or facts
  91. subtle
    difficult to detect or grasp by the mind or analyze
  92. superficial
    of, affecting, or being on or near the surface
  93. superfluous
    more than is needed, desired, or required
  94. surreptitious
    marked by quiet and caution and secrecy
  95. tactful
    having a sense of what is considerate in dealing with others
  96. tenacious
    stubbornly unyielding
  97. transient
    lasting a very short time
  98. venerable
    profoundly honored
  99. vindicate
    show to be right by providing justification or proof
  100. wary
    marked by keen caution and watchful prudence
Created on December 23, 2009 (updated August 18, 2021)

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