SAT 2016




Images avarice (n)

extreme greed : David was repulsed by the avarice that thrived on Wall Street in the 1990s.

Form: avaricious = extremely greedy

Synonyms: cupidity, rapacity, covetousness

Don”t confuse avaricious with vicious (deliberately cruel or violent), auspicious (favorable), or avatar (a worldly incarnation of a god; a moving icon representing a person in cyberspace)

Mnemonic: Someone who is avaricious wants to have all riches.

Images bourgeois (adj) burgus castle, fortified town

pertaining to or characteristic of the conventional and materialistic life of the middle class : He rebelled against the stultifying bourgeois lifestyle and yearned for the life of a bohemian.

Form: bourgeoisie = the middle class

Synonyms: conventional

Root family: [burg] burg (city or town), borough (an administrative district, as or within a town or city), burglar (one who breaks into homes to rob them (< burgier to pillage a town))

Images decadent (adj) de- down + cadere to fall

excessively self-indulgent : I decided that since I had adhered strictly to my diet for two months, I could be decadent at the wedding.

Form: decadence = excessive self-indulgence

Root family: [de-] denounce (declare as bad), detract (reduce the value of something), debase (reduce in value), denigrate (criticize unfairly), deference (submission to the authority of another), condescend (to act superior to someone else)

Root family: [cide, cade, cas, cay] accident (an unintentional, unexpected, and unfortunate incident), cadence (the rising and falling inflection of the voice), coincide (to occur at the same time), cascade (small waterfall), recidivism (falling back into a life of crime)

Images exorbitant (adj) ex- out + orbita track, course

excessive ; exceeding the bounds of propriety or reason : She charged an exorbitant fee for only a few hours” work.

Synonym: prohibitive

Root family: [e-, ex-] extol (to praise highly), extemporaneous (without planning), exuberant (filled with liveliness and energy), elusive (difficult to catch or achieve)

Root family: [orb] orbit (elliptical path of a satellite)

Images frugal (adj)

reluctant to spend money or expend resources : He was too frugal to even pay for a cab ride home.

Form: frugality = thriftiness; reluctance to expend resources

Synonyms: miserly, stingy

Images indigent (adj) or (n)

[1] (adj) poor; needy : We”ve donated the proceeds to a charity that provides food and shelter to the indigent of our city.

Synonyms: impecunious, destitute, insolvent, penurious

[2] (n) a poor and homeless person : Fewer indigents can be found on the streets since the city opened the new shelter and soup kitchen.

Form: indigence = poverty

Don”t confuse with: indigenous (native)

Mnemonic: During the Depression, homeless wanderers may have been disparaged as hobos or indigents, but many of them might have just considered themselves independent gentlemen.

Images lavish (adj) or (v)

[1] (adj) extravagant or elaborate : It was a lavish affair, elegant to the last detail.

[2] (v) to give in extravagant quantities : His aunts lavished little Stephen with attention.

Don”t confuse with: slavish (like or characteristic of a slave)

Images lucrative (adj) lucrum profit

highly profitable : He abandoned his lucrative banking job for a more fulfilling career in teaching.

Synonyms: remunerative, gainful

Root family: [lucr] lucre (profit, usually that which is ill-gotten)

Images mercenary (adj) or (n) merces payment

[1] (adj) primarily concerned with making money : When our CEO left for a higher-paying job after only six months, he was rightly castigated for being mercenary.

Synonyms: acquisitive, venal, avaricious, covetous

[2] (n) a soldier who fights for money rather than patriotism; a person concerned primarily with making money rather than with personal integrity : The general preferred to work with dedicated soldiers rather than mercenaries.

Synonym: soldier of fortune

Root family: [merc] merchant (s trader or store owner), mercantilism (belief in the benefits of profitable trading), commerce (the activity of buying and selling), merchandise (goods that are bought and sold)

Images opulent (adj)

ostentatiously rich or lavish : Jay Gatsby threw opulent parties at his elegant mansion.

Form: opulence = lavishness

Synonyms: grandiose, ritzy, splendid

Don”t confuse with: opalescent (exhibiting a milky iridescence, as an opal)

Images ostentatious (adj) ostens presented for display

intended to attract attention; characterized by vulgar and pretentious display : We decorated our house tastefully, avoiding the ostentatious Christmas displays that were so common in town.

Form: ostentation = pretentious and vulgar display

Synonyms: pretentious, flamboyant, gaudy, ornate, garish

Root family: [osten] ostensible (appearing to be true, but not necessarily so)

Don”t confuse with: austere

Images prodigal (adj) prodigus lavish

tending to spend resources wastefully : A prodigal manager can squander a year”s worth of careful savings in just a few weeks.

Form: prodigality = wastefulness

Synonyms: profligate, spendthrift, improvident

Root family: [prodigi] prodigy (a young person with exceptional talent), prodigious (great in size or degree)

Mnemonic: The Biblical story of the prodigal son is about a son who squanders all of his inheritance and later comes to regret it.

Images remuneration (n) munero to share, to give a gift

payment for services : We were unhappy with the remuneration we received for the hard work we put into the project.

Forms: remunerate = to pay someone for services, remunerative = pertaining to payment for services

Synonyms: recompense, reimbursement, compensation

Root family: [muni, muner] immunity (resistance to an infection or toxin), munificent (generous)

Don”t confuse with: enumeration (listing in numerical order)

Mnemonic: Remuneration is received money for your action.

Images squander (v)

to waste recklessly, particularly money or opportunity : We must not squander this opportunity to get our financial house in order.

Don”t confuse with: wander (roam)