Freshman Honors English Vocabulary

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  1. Sycophant
    • definition: a person who compliments other for personal gain
    • synonym: suck-up
    • antonym: rebel
    • sentence: The professor recognized the overly flattering student as nothing more than a sycophant.
  2. Pernicious
    • definition: violent & causing destruction
    • synonym: malicious (worse than bad)
    • antonym: benevolent (meaning gold)
    • sentence: The pernicious ice storm attacked the small coastal town.
  3. Ubiquitous
    • definition: a lot of it everywhere
    • synonym: omnipresent
    • antonym: rare
    • sentence: This year, jeggings, a weird hybrid of jeans and leggings were ubiquitous at the mall.
  4. Non Sequitar
    • definition: comment not related to the subject
    • synonym: randomness
    • antonym: relativity
    • sentence: one of the kids in my group of friends is so random; he constantly drops non sequitars into our conversations.
  5. Diatribe
    • definition: a verbal tirade in anger
    • synonym: rant
    • antonym: silence
    • sentence: The candidate for governor lost voter approval when her diatribe about illegal immigration was posted on YouTube.
  6. Jingoistic
    • definition: extreme patriotism
    • synonym: xenophobic
    • antonym: accepting
    • sentence: The jingoistic tone of the Tea Party speakers made the average American a bit uncomfortable.
  7. Implacable
    • definition: not able to be changed/calmed
    • synonym: stubborn
    • antonym: flexible
    • sentence: After the dry cleaner ruined her wedding dress, my sister's anger was implacable.
  8. Affinity
    • definition: a natural attracting between a person & something else
    • synonym: fondness
    • antonym: hatred
    • sentence: With her affinity for performing, it was no surprised that Julia won the lead in the school musical.
  9. Coquette
    • definition: a woman who strives to please men for her own gain
    • synonym: flirt
    • antonym: tomboy
    • sentence: The girl coquettishly batted her eyelashes and giggled as the boy told a lame story.
  10. Harangue
    • definition: a loud relentless nagging to get what one wants
    • synonym: pester
    • antonym: coax
    • sentence: the noisy protestors harangued the B.P. oil executive during his speech.
  11. Bovine
    • definition: in the manner of a cow
    • synonym: dull
    • antonym: sharp/quick
    • sentence: He stared at me with a dull, bovine expression.
  12. Facetious
    • definition: heavily sarcastic
    • synonym: snarky
    • antonym: sincere
    • sentence: The girl's snarky, facetious manner made her unpopular with both peers and adults.
  13. Contrite
    • definition: extremely sorry
    • synonym: apologetic
    • antonym: indifferent
    • sentence: The contrite boy offered all his birthday money to fix the window he broke.
  14. Erudite
    • definition: really smart from book learning
    • synonym: bookish
    • antonym: illiterate
    • sentence: The erudite philosopher's lecture drew a large crowd of deep-thinking students.
  15. Anomaly
    • definition: something that doesn't fit a pattern
    • synonym: irregularly
    • antonym: consistency
    • sentence: It was a complete anomaly when Polly Pupil, a freshman, won the title of homecoming Queen.
  16. Cantankerous
    • definition: ill-natured, grouchy
    • synonym: quarrelsome, sour
    • antonym: optimistic
    • sentence: The crusty, cantankerous old man bellowed at the children as they walked past his house.
  17. Deride
    • definition: to laugh in a way of ridiculing
    • synonym: mock
    • antonym: complement
    • sentence: The professor derided my essay as a clumsy attempt at literary analysis.
  18. Debacle
    • definition: a big disaster
    • synonym: catastrophe
    • antonym: success
    • sentence: The mortgage industry's financial debacle has wounded the entire nation's economy.
  19. Temerity
    • definition: foolish over-confidence
    • synonym: recklessness
    • antonym: caution
    • sentence: She had the temerity to criticize her teacher in front of the whole class.
  20. Ennui
    • definition: a feeling of annoyance about mundane tasks
    • synonym: boredom
    • antonym: amusement
    • sentence: Facing staggering pules of homework with no hop of ennui filled my soul.
  21. Curmudgeon
    • definition: ill-tempered person, usually an old man
    • synonym: geezer/grouch
    • antonym: gentlemen/saint/sweetheart
    • sentence: The complaining man who works in the next cubicle is nothing but a crusty old curmudgeon.
  22. Sojourn
    • definition: temporary stay for high purpose
    • synonym: pilgrimage/mission
    • antonym: tour/vacation
    • sentence: A visit to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre made my sojourn to England complete.
  23. Gregarious
    • definition: sociable
    • synonym: open, outgoing
    • antonym: shy, reserved
    • sentence: My gregarious neighbors are the most popular couple on the block.
  24. Augment
    • definition: to make greater
    • synonym: enhance, increase
    • antonym: decrease, shrink
    • sentence: The professor augments his salary by moonlighting as a book editor.
  25. Insidious
    • definition: ready to trap
    • synonym: cunning/sly/malevolent
    • antonym: helpful/benevolent
    • sentence: Bed bugs are insidious little creatures; you don't know they're there until it's too late.
  26. Kismet
    • definition: fate
    • synonym: destiny
    • antonym: coincidence
    • sentence: When the pretty girl he'd noticed on the bus sat next to him in economics class, the smitten bow knew it was kismet.
  27. Exonerate
    • definition: to lift a weight off of you
    • synonym: relieve
    • antonym: accuse
    • sentence: After DNA evidence was used to show that the suspect was never at the crime scene, he was exonerated and released from prison.
  28. Altruism
    • definition: selfless caring for others
    • synonym: philanthropy
    • antonym: egoism
    • sentence: In an act of altruism, an anonymous donor paid the college expenses of the entire senior class.
  29. Myopic
    • definition: having short-sightedness
    • synonym: blind/dense
    • antonym: observant
    • sentence: Historians often hold the myopic viewpoint that most scientific principles come from discoveries.
  30. Galvanize
    • definition: to stimulate/excite
    • synonym: motivate/unite
    • antonym: discourage
    • sentence: The candidate's speech galvanized the young voters to work to change the unjust law.
  31. Gauche
    • definition: socially inappropriate
    • synonym: tacky, obnoxious, unrefined
    • antonym: refined
    • sentence: The mother-in-law's formal manners always make me feel gauche.
  32. Zenith
    • definition: highest point
    • synonym: summit, acme
    • antonym: base, beginning
    • sentence: The missile reached its zenith and then fell on its target.
  33. Futile
    • definition: useless
    • synonym: impossible, worthless, pointless
    • antonym: useful
    • sentence: With a 17 percent in the class, any efforts to pass the final exam would be futile.
  34. Ruminate
    • definition: to go over in the mind repeatedly
    • synonym: contemplate, ponder
    • antonym: ignore/forget
    • sentence: The professor asked us to ruminate on the nature of human existence.
  35. Acrimony
    • definition: sharpness & biting anger in a relationship
    • synonym: tension, drama
    • antonym: peace, harmony
    • sentence: The acrimony of my parents' divorce was impossible to hide.
  36. Solace
    • definition: comfort, a rebuilding place
    • synonym: haven, asylum
    • antonym: discomfort
    • sentence: When times are tough, many people seek solace in religion.
  37. Insipid
    • definition: lacking in inspiration or intellect
    • synonym: dull, distasteful
    • antonym: sophisticated, smart
    • sentence: Many of today's pop songs are filled with shallow, insipid lyrics.
  38. Pedestrian
    • definition: commonplace or unimaginative
    • synonym: flat, ordinary, typical
    • antonym: unique, special
    • sentence: His pedestrian tastes were satisfied with a diet of mac-n-cheese and frozen pizza.
  39. Visceral
    • definition: dealing with raw emotions
    • synonym: instinctive
    • antonym: intellectual
    • sentence: The voter's visceral fear of change led to the election of the status-quo candidates.
  40. Inept
    • definition: incapable of performing a task
    • synonym: inadequate
    • antonym: useful, skilled
    • sentence: His inept handling of the employees' complaints led to a lawsuit.
  41. Mitigate
    • definition: to lessen the impact of something bad
    • synonym: alleviate
    • antonym: intensify
    • sentence: She wanted to mitigate misery in the world.
  42. Anodyne
    • definition: something that eases pain/burden
    • synonym: remedy
    • antonym: stressor
    • sentence: The best anodyne for a broken heart is a new love.
  43. Vacillitate
    • definition: to go back & forth between 2 things
    • synonym: waver
    • antonym: resolve/decide
    • sentence: Early in my career, I vacillated between journalism and teaching.
  44. Incendiary
    • definition: capable of catching fire
    • synonym: flammable, combustible
    • antonym: benign
    • sentence: The girl's incendiary lies required a response.
  45. Depravity
    • definition: deep, dark, evil acts
    • synonym: sin
    • antonym: altruism, wholesomeness
    • sentence: Edgar Allan Poe's tales are filled with wickedness and depravity.
  46. Bulwark
    • definition: a defensive wall
    • synonym: shield, barrier
    • antonym: sword, gateway
    • sentence: Well-trained police forces are a bulwark against the breakdown of society.
  47. Cajole
    • definition: persuade by flattering or gently teasing
    • synonym: coax
    • antonym: blackmail
    • sentence: He hoped to cajole his girlfriend into breaking her curfew.
  48. Harbinger
    • definition: something that marks the approach of something else
    • synonym: omen, warning
    • antonym:coincidence
    • sentence: The storm clouds on the horizon were a harbinger of doom.
  49. Impetuous
    • definition: acting quickly without thought
    • synonym: rash, impulsive
    • antonym: logical, thoughtful
    • sentence: The impetuous teen had a long history of shoplifting arrests and traffic violations.
  50. Extemporaneous
    • definition: spoken or done without preparation
    • synonym: impromptu
    • antonym: prepared
    • sentence: The student's extemporaneous speech wowed his classmates and teacher alike.
  51. Feitd
    • definition: smelling very unpleasant
    • synonym: smelly
    • antonym: fragrant, fresh
    • sentence: The smell of Tom's fetid P.E. uniform, which hadn't been washed in a month, was overwhelming.
  52. Perfunctory
    • definition: carried out with minimum effort to satisfy the situation
    • synonym: adequate
    • antonym: exemplary, outstanding
    • sentence: He gave a perfunctory nod to all of the dinner party guests at the table.
  53. Fracas
    • definition: a noisy disturbance
    • synonym: ruckus, squabble
    • antonym: tranquility
    • sentence: It took two referees and all of the coaches to end the fracas on the field.
  54. Foible
    • definition: a small flaw
    • synonym: imperfection
    • antonym: perfection
    • sentence: In marriage, spouses learn to tolerate each other's little foibles.
  55. Vacuous
    • definition: showing a lack of thought or intelligence
    • synonym: dimwitted, dumb
    • antonym: intelligent, erudite
    • sentence: From his vacuous expression, I could tell that he didn't know anything about the homework reading.
  56. Reticent
    • definition: no revealing one's thoughts or feelings easily
    • synonym: reserved, shy
    • antonym: open, sociable
    • sentence: The reticent boy rarely spoke about his family.
  57. Farcical
    • definition: in a ridiculous manner
    • synonym: unbelievable, outrageous
    • antonym: normal, realistic
    • sentence: Facing a farcical tangle of travel delays, the commuters were trapped for three hours.
  58. Egilitarian
    • definition: relating to the idea of all people deserving equal rights
    • synonym: equal
    • antonym: biased
    • sentence: Our laws should promote a fairer more egalitarian society.
  59. Palpable
    • definition: able to be touched or felt
    • synonym: tangible, noticeable
    • antonym: intangible, undetectable
    • sentence: The tension between the warring couple was palpable.
  60. Charlatan
    • definition: a person falsely claiming to have special talents or skills
    • synonym: fraud, impostor
    • antonym: virtuoso, saint, hero
    • sentence: In Huckleberry Finn, the King and the Duke were nothing but charlatans.
Card Set
Freshman Honors English Vocabulary
Words picked from SAT
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