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Vocabulary

Top-Ranked Words with Typical Sample Sentences

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acute   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
acute pain
She felt an acute pain in her neck.
acute = sharp (a severely negative event) — often with a rapid onset
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.8
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
acute vision
Beavers have an acute sense of smell.
acute = sharp (highly perceptive or intelligent)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of acute means:
sharp (highly perceptive in some area or mentally sharp)

(often with a connotation that resulting awareness is painful)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
adapt
1 use
Ideas contained in passages for this test, some of which are excerpted or adapted from published material, do not necessarily represent the opinions of the College Board.
adapted = changed (to fit this situation)
DefinitionGenerally adapt means:
change to fit a different situation; or make suitable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 2.2
Web Links
attain
13 uses
She was the first woman to attain the rank of general.
attain = gain or reach something with effort
DefinitionGenerally attain means:
to gain or reach something with effort
Word Statistics
Book13 uses
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 500
1st useChapter 1.8
Web Links
consequence   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 19 uses
1  —15 uses as in:
a direct consequence of
Your decision will have three major consequences.
consequences = results
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
a result of something (often an undesired side effect)
Word Statistics
Book15 uses
Library24 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
2  —4 uses as in:
of little consequence
Think carefully. This is a consequential decision.
consequential = important
DefinitionGenerally this sense of consequence means:
importance or relevance
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useChapter 2.1
Web Links
contempt
5 uses
1  —5 uses as in:
feels contempt towards her
Familiarity breeds contempt.
contempt = lack of respect
DefinitionGenerally this sense of contempt means:
lack of respect — often accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike or disgust
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.11
Web Links
contradict
3 uses
Does the sentence contradict the main claim of the essay?
contradict = disagree with
DefinitionGenerally contradict means:
disagree as in:
  • to say something is not true
  • to say something else is true when both can't be true
  • to be in conflict with
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library14 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2.2
Web Links
contrary   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 12 uses
1  —1 use as in:
contrary to
Contrary to popular belief, the largest pyramid is in Mexico—not Egypt.
contrary to = in opposition to
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.7
Web Links
2  —11 uses as in:
on the contrary
She was not smiling. On the contrary, she frowned.
on the contrary = In opposition to what was just said
DefinitionGenerally this sense of on the contrary means:
in opposition to what was just said
Word Statistics
Book11 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
convention
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
conventional behavior
It was once conventional wisdom that the earth was flat.
conventional = normal or typical
DefinitionGenerally this sense of convention means:
something regarded as normal or typical
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 2.1
Web Links
deliberate
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
need to deliberate
We deliberated into the evening.
deliberated = thought about or discussed
DefinitionGenerally this sense of deliberate means:
to think about or discuss — especially with great care
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library7 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.8
Web Links
dispute
3 uses
1  —3 uses as in:
She disputes his claim.
She disputes her landlord's claim that the music was that loud.
disputes = challenges
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dispute means:
challenge, argue about, or fight over
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 100
1st useChapter 1.3
Web Links
establish
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
establish a positive tone
Which word choice best maintains the tone established in the first paragraph?
established = created
DefinitionGenerally this sense of establish means:
create, start, or set in [a] place
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library22 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 10
1st useChapter 1.7
Web Links
irony
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
verbal irony
She was being ironic when she said she couldn't wait to see you again.
ironic = saying one thing, while meaning the opposite or something else — usually as humor or sarcasm
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.4
Web Links
loathe
20 uses
I make New Year's resolutions every year and then loathe myself for breaking them.
loathe = detest or intensely dislike
Word Statistics
Book20 uses
Library10 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.2
Web Links
scoundrel
10 uses
He's a scoundrel. Don't trust him.
scoundrel = someone without moral principles
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.4
Web Links
sublime
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
she is sublime
I love good movies, from the silly to the sublime.
sublime = wonderful
DefinitionGenerally this sense of sublime means:
wonderful — often beautiful or morally admirable
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.6
Web Links
vulgar
9 uses
Her vulgarity was a turnoff.
vulgarity = crudeness (showing of bad taste)
DefinitionGenerally vulgar means:
of bad taste — often crude or offensive

or:

unsophisticated (or common) — especially of taste
Word Statistics
Book9 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 2.1
Web Links
wretched
10 uses
The children were taken into protective custody due to their wretched living conditions.
wretched = miserable
DefinitionGenerally wretched means:
very bad, in various senses such as:
  • unfortunate or miserable
  • of poor quality
  • morally bad
Word Statistics
Book10 uses
Library11 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useChapter 1.1
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