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PSAT Vocabulary

These words are taken from Barron's "PSAT High Frequency List." According to the publishers, each of these words "has occurred at least four times in PSATs during the 1980s and 1990s."

absolvepardon (an offense)
abstracttheoretical; not concrete; nonrepresentational
accessibleeasy to approach
accomodateprovide lodgings; oblige or help someone
acknowledgerecognize or admit
acrimonybitterness of words or manner
adverseunfavorable; hostile
aestheticartistic; dealing with or capable of appreciating the beautiful
affableeasily approachable; warmly friendly
affinitykinship; attraction to
affluencewealth; prosperity; abundance
alleviaterelieve; lessen
altruisticunselfishly generous; concerned for others
ambiguousunclear or doubtful in meaning
ambivalencehaving contradictory or conflicting emotional attitudes
amenablereadily managed; willing to give in; agreeable; submissive
antagonismhostility; active resistance
antiquatedobsolete; outdated
apathylack of caring; indifference
apprehensionfear; discernment; capture
apprenticeshiptime spent as a novice learning a trade from a skilled worker
appropriate (adj)fitting or suitable; pertinent
appropriate (v)acquire; take possession of for one's own use; set aside for a special purpose
aristocracyhereditary nobility; privileged class
arrogancepride; haughtiness
aspireseek to attain; long for
assertstate strongly or positively; insist on or demand recognition of
assumptionsomething taken for granted; taking over or taking possession of
attainreach or accomplish; gain
aversionfirm dislike
beneficialhelpful; advantageous; useful
benevolentcharitable; generous
benignkindly; favorable; not malignant
betraybe unfaithful; reveal (unconsciously or unwillingly)
brittleeasily broken; difficult
buoyantable to float; cheerful and optimistic
candorfrankness; open honesty
captivatecharm; fascinate
caricaturedistortion; burlesque
censorinspector overseeing public morals; official who prevents publication of offensive material
charlatanquack; pretender to knowledge
chroniclereport; record (in chronological order)
circumspectprudent; cautious
citequote; refer to; commend
clichephrase dulled in meaning by repetition
coalescecombine; fuse
compliancereadiness to yield; conformity in fulfilling requirements
componentelement; ingredient
compromiseadjust or settle by making mutual concessions; endanger the interests or reputation of
condoneoverlook voluntarily; forgive; supply tacit approval
confirmcorroborate; verify; support
conformityagreement or compliance; actions in agreement with prevailing social customs
congenialpleasant; friendly
consistencyharmony of parts; dependability; uniformity; degree of thickness
consolelessen sadness or disappointment; give comfort
consolidationunification; process of becoming firmer or stronger
conventionsocial or moral custom; established practice
corrosiondestruction by chemical action
curtailshorten; reduce
cynicalskeptical or distrustful of human motives
dawdleloiter; waste time
defamationharming a person's reputation
defianceopposition; willingness to resist
degeneratebecome worse; deteriorate
demeandegrade; humiliate
denouncecondemn; criticize
depletereduce; exhaust
deploreregret strongly; express grief over
derisionridicule; mockery
derivativeunoriginal; derived from another source
detachedemotionally removed; calm and objective; indifferent
deterrentsomething that discourages; hindrance
didacticteaching; instructional
digressionwandering away from the subject
discernibledistinguishable; perceivable
disclaimerdenial of a legal claim or right; disavowal
discordlack of harmony; conflict
dismissput away from consideration; reject
disparatebasically different; unrelated
dispelscatter; cause to vanish
dissipatesquander; waste; scatter
distinctionhonor; contract; discrimination
docileobedient; easily managed
doctrineteachings, in general; particular principle (religious, legal, etc.) taught
dogmaticopinionated; arbitrary; doctrinal
eclipsedarken; extinguish; surpass
elatedoverjoyed; in high spirits
elusiveevasive; baffling; hard to grasp
endorseapprove; support
enhanceincrease; improve
enigmapuzzle; mystery
enumeratelist; mention one by one
erodeeat away
erraticodd; unpredictable
esoterichard to understand; known only to the chosen few
erroneousmistaken; wrong
espouseadopt; support
esteemrespect; value
excerptselected passage
exemplaryserving as a model; outstanding
exploit (n)deed or action, particularly a brave deed
facilitatehelp bring about; make less difficult
fallaciousfalse; misleading
farcebroad comedy; mockery
fastidiousdifficult to please; squeamish
flippantlacking proper seriousness
forthrightoutspoken; frank
futileuseless; hopeless; ineffectual
garrulousloquacious; wordy; talkative
generatecause; produce; create
gluttonousgreedy for food
heedpay attention to; consider
hindranceobstacle; block
hostilityunfriendliness; hatred
hypocriticalpretending to be virtuous; deceiving
hypotheticalbased on assumptions or hypothesis; supposed
iconoclasticattacking cherished traditions
impairinjure; hurt
impedehinder; block; delay
imperceptibleunnoticeable; undetectable
implacableincapable of being pacified
implementput into effect; supply with tools
implicationsomething hinted at or suggested
incongruitylack of harmony; absurdity
inconsequentialinsignficant; unimportant
inconsistencystate of being self-contradictory; lack of uniformity or steadiness
incorporateintroduce something into a larger whole; combine; unite
indifferentunmoved or unconcerned by; mediocre
inducepersuade; bring about
industriousdiligent; hard-working
ineptlacking skill; unsuited; incompetent
infallibleunerring; faultless
ingeniousclever; resourceful
ingenuousnaive and trusting; young; unsophisticated
ingrateungrateful person
inherentfirmly established by nature or habit
initiatebegin; originate; receive into a group
inscrutableimpenetrable; not readily understood; mysterious
insightfuldiscerning; perceptive
intangiblenot able to be perceived by the senses; vague
intricacycomplexity; knottiness
ironyhidden sarcasm or satire; use of words that seem to mean the opposite of what they actually mean
malicehatred; spite
meekquiet and obedient; spiritless
meticulousexcessively careful; painstakingly scrupulous
misconceptionmisunderstanding; misinterpretation
misrepresentgive a false or incorrect impression, usually intentionally
mockridicule; imitate, often in derision
monarchygovernment under a single ruler
monotonysameness leading to boredom
mutabilityability to change in form; fickleness
naivetequality of being unsophisticated; simplicity; artlessness; gullibility
nocturnalrelating to, occurring, or active in the night
nostalgiahomesickness; longing for the past
notoriousdisreputable; widely known; scandalous
nurturenourish; educate; foster
obnoxiousoffensive; objectionable
obscure (adj)dark; vague; unclear
obscure (v)darken; make unclear
opaquenot transparent; penetrable by light only
optimistperson who looks on the good side
outmodedno longer stylish; old-fashioned
pacifistone opposed to force; antimilitarist
pacifysoothe; make calm or quiet; subdue
paradoxsomething apparently contradictory in nature; statement that looks false but is actually correct
patronizesupport; act superior toward; be a customer of
pedanticshowing off learning; bookish
perjuryfalse testimony while under oath
pervasivepervading; spread throughout every part
pessimismbelief that life is basically bad or evil; gloominess
petulanttouchy; peevish
phenomenaobservable facts or events
philanthropistlover of mankind; doer of good
plagiarizesteal another's words or ideas and pass them off as one's own
potencypower; effectiveness; influence
pragmaticpractical (as opp. to idealistic); concerned with the practical worth or impact of something
precedentsomething preceding in time that may be used as an authority or guide for future action
predatorcreature that seizes and devours another animal; person who robs or exploits others
premiseassumption; postulate
prevailtriumph; predominate; prove superior in strength, power, or influence; be current
preytarget of a hunt; victim
profounddeep; not superficial; complete
proliferationrapid growth; spread; multiplication
prolificabundantly fruitful
prologueintroduction (to a poem or a play)
prominentconspicuous; notable; sticking out
promotehelp to flourish; advance in rank; publicize
propheticforetelling the future
prosperitygood fortune; financial success; physical well-being
provocativearousing anger or interest; annoying
prudentcautious; careful
randomwithout definite plan, purpose, or aim; haphazard
reclusehermit, loner
relinquishgive up something with reluctance; yield
repudiatedisown; disavow
reservedself-controlled; careful in expressing oneself
resolvedecide; settle; solve
restraintmoderation or self-control; controlling force; restriction
retainkeep; employ
reticentreserved; uncommunicative; inclined to be silent
reverentrespectful; worshipful
ruthlesspitiless; cruel
scrutinizeexamine closely and critically
seclusionisolation; solitude
serenitycalmness; placidity
severcut; separate
severityharshness; intensity; austerity; rigidity
singularunique; extraordinary; odd
stratagemdeceptive scheme
subduedless intense; quieter
superficialtrivial; shallow
superfluousexcessive; unnecessary
suppresscrush; subdue; inhibit
suspenddefer or postpone; expel or eject; halt or discontinue; hang from above
sustainexperience; support; nourish
symmetryarrangement of parts so balance is obtained; congruity
synthesiscombining parts into a whole
taciturnhabitually silent; talking little
tediousboring; tiring
temperamentcharacteristic frame of mind; disposition; emotional excess
thwartbaffle; frustrate
transparenteasily detected; permitting light to pass through freely
trepidationfear; nervous apprehension
turbulencestate of violent agitation
urbanesuave; refined; elegant
utopiaideal place, state, or society
vacillatewaver; fluctuate
versatilehaving many talents; capable of working in many fields
vigoractive strength
volatilechangeable; explosive
waryvery cautious
withholdhold back; desist from giving; keep possession of

The Village School of Naples

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