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List of common tone/mood/classification words for SAT

nostalgicwisdomnostalgicwisdom Posts: 769Registered User Member
edited December 2013 in SAT Preparation
I went through most of the blue book/PSAT/QAS tests and organized a list of common/difficult tone and classification words. Classification refers to "The author would most likely perceive "aaa"(line yy) as". It also refers to "The author's xxyyzz(line nn) can best be characterized as." This list may help those who are taking AP Lang/Lit and shares some common terms with SAT Sentence Completion.

If you have any more words I can add to the list please post.


1) somber- solemn, grave, serious
2) wry- amusing and ironic, dry, cynical
3) prosaic- banal, mundane, dull, lacking imagination
4) didactic- educational, instructional
5) celebratory- festive
6) reverent- respectful
7) platitude- banal statement, a pointless or unoriginal empty comment
8- deliberate- on purpose, planned, calculated
9) defiant- challenging aggressively, disobedient, tending to confront or challenge, adamant
10) disdain- scorn, contempt, extreme disgust
11) aloof- unfriendly, uninvolved or unwilling to become involved, distant, detached
12) ambivalent- undecided, unsure, having mixed feelings, uncertain
13) prosaic- boring, common place
14) eclectic- deriving from a broad and diverse range of sources
15) laudatory- expressing praise
16) glib- slick, superficial, marked with ease and formality
17) derisive-mocking, showing contempt or ridicule, scathing, irreverent
18- evocative- bearing strong remembrance, nostalgic
19) sardonic- sarcastic
20) condescending- harsh, regarding as inferior
21) flippant- disrespectful
22) indignant- characterized by disapproval
23) satirical- mockery of objects in a often humorous and ironic manner.
24) convoluted- hard to follow
25) tempered- moderate.
26) antiquated- ancient
27) serenity- marked with grace
28- frivolous- carefree, not serious
29) atypical- unusual, not representative
30) pretentious- not modest, showy
31) underhanded- dishonest, clandestine
32) pragmatic- practical
33) perplexing- confusing
34) fortuitous- happening by chance
35) unsubstantiated- not established as accurate
36) eccentric- unusual
37) esoteric- something that is intended for a particular group of people
38- ephemeral- lasting for a short time
39) equivocal- open to many interpretations, ambiguous.
40) factitious- artificially created
41) irate- extremely angry
42) quizzical- mild or amused puzzlement
43) ebullient- very enthusiastic
44) concession- to acknowledge or offer something, often to one particular group.
45) assertion- to declare or affirm something
46) conjecture- judgment without complete evidence, an inference
47) idiosyncratic- deviating from that which is customary, a trait characteristic of an individual
48- pedagogical- relating to teaching or education
49) arbitrary- determined by individual choice rather than law or reason, a whim
50) sentimental- prompted by sadness or nostalgia
51) admonition- advice, warning
52) insolent- rude, lacking respect
53) digression- to leave the main subject temporarily
54) diffident- shy, timid
55) profound- great and intense
56) resilient- capable of withstanding difficult conditions
57) whimsical- odd, playful, lighthearted
58- impetuous- impulsive and passionate
59) callous- apathetic, insensitive
60) remiss- negligent, careless
61) tentative- not fully worked out, uncertainty
62) multifaceted- covering many different aspects or qualities
63) jargon- words or phrases that are intended to only be understood by a particular occupation
64) morose- sullen, ill-tempered
65) incredulous- unwilling to accept something as true
66) heretical- deviating from accepted principles, radical, unorthodox
67) preconception- an opinion formed in advance of knowledge, bias
68- wistful- longing for something, often in a sad way, reminiscent.
69) inapt- not appropriate
70) misgiving- a feeling of doubt, apprehension
71) impartial- biased
72) mandate- a command, a course of action
73) bemusement- confusion, bewilderment
74) sanguine- optimistic, cheerful
75) surly- menacing, threatening
76) trepidation- a fear of something that will happen
77) objective- uninfluenced by emotions or personal beliefs
78- pervasive- spreading fast to an area
79) appraisal- an evaluation, usually of the value of something
80) antithetical- in opposition to
81) petulant- peevish, ill-tempered
82) chagrin- a feeling of annoyance caused by failure or disappointment
83) blithe- lacking concern, casual
84) vindictive- disposed to see revenge
85) concurrence- in agreement
Post edited by nostalgicwisdom on
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