SAT 2016




Images   embellish (v)   bellus beautiful

to make a story more interesting by fabricating or exaggerating entertaining details; to decorate; Paul always embellishes his stories with false intrigue.

Form: embellishment = a decorative detail; a detail added to a story to make it more entertaining

Synonyms: festoongildembroider

Images   eradicate (v)   e- out + radix root

to eliminate completely : By the 1960s, the Polk vaccine had virtually eradicated polio in North America.

Form: eradicable = capable of being completely destroyed

Root family: [radic] radical (affecting fundamental change), radish (a pungent edible root)

Synonyms: annihilateabolish

Images   hyperbole (n)   hyper above, beyond

exaggeration for persuasive effect: The author’s claim that there was a “literacy crisis” in America was dismissed as hyperbole.

Form: hyperbolic = exaggerated

Root family: [hyper] hyperactive (excessively active), hyperventilate (to breathe too quickly)

Don’t confuse with: hyperbola (a two-part geometric curve).

Mnemonic: It’s interesting to note that three of the “conic sections” you may have studied in math class—the ellipse, the hyperbola, and the parabola—correspond to three literary terms:

•  ellipsis (elleipein to leave out) = the omission of language from a quotation or of words that are implied in a sentence, or the symbol (…) indicating such an omission

•  hyperbole (huperbole excess) = exaggerated comments

•  parable (parabola comparison) = a story used to illustrate a moral lesson

The names of the curves are derived from their “eccentricities”: a conic with an eccentricity less than 1 is “deficient,” hence the name “ellipse”; a conic with an eccentricity greater than 1 is “excessive,” hence the name “hyperbola”; and a conic with an eccentricity of exactly 1 is “comparable,” hence the name “parabola.”

Images   indulgent (adj)

excessively generous or lenient : Her mother was strict, but her grandmother was indulgent.

Forms: indulge (in) = allow oneself to enjoy the pleasure of, indulgence = an act of indulging

Don’t confuse with: indolent (lazy)

Images   superfluous (adj)   super above + fluere to flow

unnecessary, excessive : After a week of celebrations, the anniversary ball seemed superfluous.

Form: superfluity = an excessive amount

Root family: [super] insuperable (impossible to overcome), superlative (of the highest degree or quality), superficial (on the surface only), supercilious (haughty and pompous)

Root family: [flu] fluent (able to flow freely; easily conversant in a language or field), affluent (wealthy), confluence (a place where two things flow together)

Images   unstinting (adj)

without reservations; given liberally : She was unstinting in her support for animal rights.

Form: stint = to give only sparingly

Synonyms: unsparingmagnanimousmunificentprofuse

Mnemonic: The verbs stintstump and stunt (to retard the progress of, as in Smoking stunts your growth.) derive from the same Germanic root. So one who is unstinting does not have a stunted sense of generosity.