These are adjectives that are similar to "firm in one's beliefs" in meaning. Sentence completion questions may test your knowledge of such words directly, or they may set up a contrast with such words as "gave in" or "acquiesced." Familiarize yourself with these words and their definitions so that you will be able to recognize them and remember their "firm" connotations.

adamant – not likely to change one's mind

She was adamant in her desire to become an actress despite her parents' pleading that she attend college to study law.

implacable – not capable of being appeased or significantly changed

The baby was implacable despite his mother's soothing coos, and he cried for the duration of the trip.

intransigent holding firmly to one's beliefs and refusing to change

Cult members are intransigent in their dedication to their leader.

obdurate – stubborn (especially with respect to morals); hard-hearted

The obdurate old man refused to buy the Girl Scout's cookies and slammed the door in her face.

resolute – fixed in belief, determined in pursuing a purpose

Despite her exhaustion, she was resolute in her determination to finish the marathon.


These verbs, nouns, and adjectives all relate to the concept of "verbal attack." Familiarize yourself with these words and their definitions so that you will be able to recognize them and remember their negative connotations when you approach the sentence completion and reading comprehension sections of the college entrance examinations.

asperse (verb) – to attack with evil reports or false or injurious charges [noun form: aspersion]

billingsgate (noun) – coarsely abusive language

calumniate (verb) – to utter maliciously false statements, charges, or imputations about [noun form: calumny]

censure (verb) – to find fault with and criticize as blameworthy [noun form: censure; adjective form: censorious]

denounce (verb) – to pronounce, especially publicly, to be blameworthy or evil [noun form: denunciation]

derision (noun) – the use of ridicule or scorn to show contempt

diatribe (noun) – bitter and abusive speech or writing

invective (noun) – 1. an abusive expression or speech 2. insulting or abusive language [adjective form: invective]

lambaste (verb) – 1. to attack verbally 2. to assault violently

malign (verb) – to utter injuriously misleading or false reports about

obloquy (noun) – 1. abusive language 2. bad repute as a result of being discredited

philipic (noun) – a discourse full of bitter condemnation

reprehend (verb) – to voice disapproval of [noun form: reprehension]

scurrilous (adjective) – containing obscenities, abuse, or slander

tirade (noun) – a protracted speech marked by harshly censorious language

vilify (verb) – to utter slanderous and abusive statements against

The Notorious Confusables is a two-part list of common usage mix-ups.  The site also features multiple interactive quizzes that test your knowledge of these words.

Flashcard Exchange

May 1, 2006

Flashcard Exchange is an online flashcard repository where you can browse others' study cards or make some of your own. There are hundreds of card sets that are tagged with SAT; however, be aware that many of these were started and then abandoned, so many sets are limited to words that start with A.

We have found a few good SAT sets that we have listed on the "Winrow" Favorites page. The "Winrow" User page has vocabulary lists from Mrs. Winrow's 10 H and 11 AP English classes, as well as an SAT word list card set that is continually growing.

We recommend using the Study feature and then returning to the main card page, where you can select the View Card List option. Here, you can copy selected words to the Clipboard for further targeted study.

You can study and create flashcards online for free, but if you would like to print cards, you will have to pay a $19.95 membership fee.