I have found studying word roots to be a great way to help me increase my vocabulary. This is partly because the examples on a word root list tend to be grouped so that words with similar sound and meaning are together, but mostly because it makes it easier for me to remember the new words I come across.

The underlined words are generally "SAT-level" words. This probably means that they have been on the SAT I Verbal several times, but high school students don't tend to know them.

This page grew out of an extra-credit project I did for Mrs. Gebhart's English 3 class. I later searched the Internet for a similar list and was surprised that there weren't a whole lot. After finishing this page, I noticed only one useful list (http://www.freecollege.com/vocab.htm), but it's HUGE, so you might want to look at this less complete list first. [Update 3/23/00: www.freecollege.com is currently down. vocab.htm is mirrored here.]

As a side note, I also found reading Tooth and Nail to be useful in preparing for the SAT I Verbal. Tooth and Nail is a novel with SAT-level words in bold, and a glossary in the back. Since it gives the reader a chance to see the words used in context with the definition handy, it is very useful for improving vocabulary. And, the story isn't too bad either :)

Good luck :)
Jesse Ruderman

(Back to Jesse's main PVPHS page or main page)



acr bitter acrimonious = acrid (bitter)
ad- (af-, ) to (adhere) inadvertent (heedless), advocate (support, be in favor of)
ambi both ambiguous, ambidextrous, amphibious
ami friend amicable (friendly), amity (friendship)
amor love amorous (full of love)
cis cut, sharp scissors, incisive (acute, sharp)
cogn know cognizant (aware of), incognito (with concealed identity)
cor, con together
corroborate (support), incoherent (disjointed),
connubial (related to marriage),
concoct (prepare by putting ingredients together)
cred believe credence (belief), incredulous (skeptical, disbelieving)
cum sum cumulative = accumulated
curs, curr run cursory (hasty), precursor, current
dis, dif apart,
not
different, indiscriminate (choosing at random),
disparate (different)
e-, ex- out of
egregious (remarkably bad), elicit (draw forth), exodus,
extort (threaten for money), emit (give off),
extrinsic (foreign), extraterrestrial
fabr, fac make fabricate (lie, make up; construct), factory
gen type, kind progeny (offspring, descendants), generic, generation
gnos know
prognosticate (predict future event), diagnose,
agnosticism (belief that existence of God is unknowable)
greg group, herd gregarious (sociable), egregious (remarkably bad), segregate
in- not
indiscriminate (choosing at random),
inadvertent (heedless), incredulous (skeptical)
lig, lic, lect gather, choose elicit (draw forth), solicit (ask for, seek to obtain),
collect, eligible (desirable, worthy of being chosen)
luc, lus, lum light luminous (bright), translucent, illuminate, lackluster (dull)
mal bad
malady (disease), maladjusted (disturbed),
malice (ill will, hate), malign (sinister)
mit send emit (give off), transmit
morph shape, form metamorphosis (change in shape/form), amorphous (without shape)
oner burden exonerate (free from guilt/blame), onerous (burdensome)
par equal pair, disparate (different)
per- through, thorough permeate (to spread through), perspicacious = perceptive, peruse (read carefully)
pro- forward
proceed, prognosticate (predict future event),
progeny (descendants)
rid laugh deride = ridicule, ridiculous, risible (laughable)
se- apart, away segregate, seclude
sed sit sedentary (sitting)
spic see/appear perspicacious (perceptive), conspicuous (standing out)
sub- under succumb (yield, surrender), subterranean (underground)
tim fear timorous = timid (or fearful)
terra earth subterranean (underground), extraterrestrial
tort twist extort (threaten for money), tortuous (winding, twisting)
urb city urban, suburb, urbane (sophisticated, polished)
val strong valor (courage, bravery)
vert turn inadvertent (heedless), reverse, convert
vid, viv life avid (eager), viable (capable of living/success), vivid
voc speak, call voice, advocate (support, be in favor of), revoke
vora devour devour, voracious (desiring/consuming great quantities)