100 SAT Words Beginning with “H” – 100 Words

habitat

the type of environment in which an organism normally lives

Peromyscus maniculatus is ubiquitous, occurring in habitats ranging from mesic boreal forests to arid southwestern deserts.Douglas, Charles L.
habitual

commonly used or practiced

Training of mind, as of hand, consists in making certain actions so habitual that they are accomplished quite automatically.Walsh, James J. (James Joseph)
habitue

a regular patron

The old bathers, the habitues, whose season was almost over, glanced, gazed toward the door whenever it opened, to see what new faces might appear.Maupassant, Guy de
hackneyed

repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse

She instinctively avoids every thing that is hackneyed, vulgar, and common place, and uniformly succeeds in pleasing by the judicious novelties she introduces.Montefiore, Judith Cohen, Lady
haggard

showing the wearing effects of overwork or care or suffering

There are too many people with haggard eyes standing before me Saying, “To live you must suffer even as we.”Fletcher, John Gould
haggle

an instance of intense argument (as in bargaining)

They haggled for a while, and finally agreed on sixteen.Porterfield, Allen Wilson
halcyon

idyllically calm and peaceful; suggesting happy tranquility

Smooth seas, lovely weather and favoring winds speeded the voyagers: those halcyon days flew swiftly by.Edson, Milan C.
hale

exhibiting or restored to vigorous good health

“He is a hale man, he does not look his years.”Meade, L. T.
hallowed

worthy of religious veneration

Our life together is sacred, hallowed, a thing apart, “‘Above the smoke and stir of this dim spot Which men call earth.'”Birmingham, George A.
halt

cause to stop

Shares of Apple were temporarily halted before they resumed trading a few minutes later.New York Times (Mar 23, 2012)
haphazardly

without care; in a slapdash manner

Tripoli drivers have always been known for their speeding and changing lanes haphazardly, but hazardous driving has reached new heights, he said.New York Times (Nov 29, 2011)
hapless

unfortunate and deserving pity

Then seeing how rueful, how dismayed the hapless giant looked, she took compassion and held out a frank little brown hand.Wingfield, Lewis
harangue

address forcefully

On that occasion, he harangued the West for more than 90 minutes, attacking its moral bankruptcy in an often nonsensical rant.
harbinger

something indicating the approach of something or someone

Even as villagers stared out at an ocean of detritus littered by the tsunami, cherry blossoms, the harbinger of spring, bloomed.
harmony

compatibility in opinion and action

These fibres are so laid and connected, that a whole set of muscles can be moved simultaneously, being made to work in perfect harmony.Calderwood, Henry
harried

troubled persistently, especially with petty annoyances

Hours passed before Ann could sleep, and then her slumber was broken, her rest harried by weird dreams, her half-waking periods crammed with disturbing fantasies.Titus, Harold
harrowing

causing extreme distress

Rhythmic activities, such as dancing, riding and climbing may be mentioned, also harrowing experiences, such as being run over.Freud, Sigmund
hasten

move fast

Turnpike workers who peeled up the sticky puddles, then covered them with sand to hasten drying, had traffic moving normally again by Wednesday morning.Washington Post (Nov 23, 2011)
haughty

having or showing arrogant superiority

He might easily be ‘reserved,’ but is it not surprising to find him described as haughty, prouder than Lucifer, inhumanly arrogant?Bradley, Andrew Cecil
hauteur

overbearing pride with a superior manner toward inferiors

In them are written hauteur, pride, and arrogant fierceness beyond anything on this earth; there is also contempt that has no expression in speech.Rountree, Harry
haven

a shelter serving as a place of safety or sanctuary

At most shows, security guards usually swoop in at this point, cutting off audience access to designers and their backstage havens.Seattle Times (Feb 15, 2012)
havoc

violent and needless disturbance

On Friday, 62-mph winds caused havoc, knocking over TV towers and fences, and forced race organizers to cancel a giant slalom.Seattle Times (Feb 11, 2012)
headstrong

habitually disposed to disobedience and opposition

She has a great deal of difficulty, for they are both so headstrong and unruly that they will hardly obey at all.S. L. M.
hearsay

gossip passed around by word of mouth

I tell you not of things learned by hearsay; I myself have beheld all these horrors in the Holy Land of Palestine.Greene, Frances Nimmo
hearty

showing warm and sincere friendliness

Not one hesitating voice, but instead, three hearty cheers, that made the vessel ring.Headley, Joel Tyler
heathen

a person who does not acknowledge your god

“Are you Christians,” said the holy man, “or heathens?”Various
heave

throw with great effort

Instead, he panicked and heaved an incomplete pass at teammate Rich Seubert.Seattle Times (Jan 20, 2012)
heckler

someone who tries to embarrass you with gibes and objections

For the next few days, when NTV reporters went out to cover public events, hecklers gathered around them chanting “shame.”New York Times (Mar 24, 2012)
heed

pay close attention to

For some distance he put on great speed, but later heeded Perth’s suggestion to go more slowly and so attract less notice.Braden, James A. (James Andrew)
heedless

characterized by careless unconcern

Rembrandt was heedless in his habits, spending what he earned, living on credit, signing onto bad deals.New York Times (Feb 18, 2011)
hegemony

the dominance or leadership of one social group over others

Chinese officials say the purpose of their military modernization is purely defensive and they have no aspirations toward regional hegemony.
heinous

extremely wicked, deeply criminal

Supporters of the death penalty, meanwhile, described heinous cases and said there were still some circumstances so intolerable as to require execution.New York Times (Jan 12, 2011)
heir

a person who inherits some title or office

Hu’s heir apparent, Vice President Xi Jinping, is scheduled to take over next year and is far less shy about making headlines and meeting Westerners.Newsweek (Jan 18, 2011)
helm

a position of leadership

He held various positions, including head of the technology development planning unit and personnel chief, before taking the helm at the camera business in April.
hemisphere

half of a sphere

The New World or Western Hemisphere consists of two continents.Kirkpatrick, F. A. (Frederick Alexander)
hemorrhage

the flow of blood from a ruptured blood vessel

On the other hand, babies delivered by C-section were less likely to have one type of bleeding around the brain — known as subdural hemorrhage.
herald

foreshadow or presage

The fleet of traders was preceded some way in advance by light, swift sailing ships which heralded its coming.Norway, Arthur H.
herbivorous

feeding only on plants

Sheep and cattle are herbivorous: they feed on herbs, on vegetables.Walsh, William Shepard
herculean

extremely difficult; requiring great strength

He made herculean efforts to get on terms with his examination subjects, and worked harder than he had ever done in his life before.Marshall, Archibald
hereditary

inherited or inheritable by established rules of descent

From the way in which his eldest son Osman is being brought up, it is evident that Abdullah seeks to establish an hereditary succession.Wingate, F. R.
heresy

any opinions at variance with the official position

It wished still to dominate over the faith of its disciples and to persecute as heresy every deviation from its convictions.Freytag, Gustav
heritage

that which is inherited

SAT-SUN Celebrating Japan’s cultural heritage with performing arts, martial arts demonstrations, tea ceremony demonstrations, exhibits, food vendors, workshops, Koi Show, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.Seattle Times (Sep 7, 2011)
hermetic

completely sealed or airtight

The hermetic isolation which during the world war divided Europe into two separate worlds made this doubly urgent.Czernin von und zu Chudenitz, Ottokar Theobald Otto Maria, Graf
hermitage

the abode of a recluse

In his sorrow and remorse the knight withdrew into a hermitage, where he spent six years in constant penance and prayer.Guerber, H. A. (Hélène Adeline)
heterodox

characterized by departure from accepted standards

You will think these ideas horribly heterodox, but if we all thought alike there would be nothing to write about and nothing to learn.Marchant, James
heterogeneous

consisting of elements not of the same kind or nature

Mine layers were here with mine sweepers and hospital ships—a heterogeneous collection of well-nigh every kind of ship that floats.Farnol, Jeffery
heuristic

a commonsense rule to help solve some problem

He was swayed by the “familiarity” heuristic, which basically says that humans trust what is familiar.
hew

strike with an axe; cut down, strike

But the swords are active and clearly seen “smiting”, ” hewing”, “chopping.”
hiatus

an interruption in the intensity or amount of something

Real estate prices are skyrocketing because of all the international organizations coming back to Mogadishu after a 20-year hiatus.New York Times (Apr 3, 2012)
hibernate

be in an inactive or dormant state

In winter they hibernate like our squirrels, passing several months underground in a kind of slow and nearly motionless existence.Clarke, J. Erskine (John Erskine)
hierarchy

a series of ordered groupings within a system

After enough trials, the conventionally raised pigeons inferred a hierarchy of the most fruitful colors: red > blue > green > yellow > violet.Scientific American (Mar 8, 2012)
hieroglyphic

belonging to a writing system using pictorial symbols

Hieroglyphic writing is really picture writing, and is the oldest means man has employed to enable him to communicate with his fellows.Kelly, R. Talbot (Robert Talbot)
hilarious

marked by boisterous merriment or convulsive laughter

Soames saw, too, at least one hilarious group of college-age boys who might have been organized by a college humor magazine.Leinster, Murray
hinder

be an obstacle to

Polish drilling also has been hindered by a scarcity of rigs, water and specialized equipment needed for shale wells, Bern said.
hindmost

located farthest to the rear

He was the hindmost when the race began, but with widespread nostrils, long extended neck, and glaring eyeballs, he seemed to fly over the course.MacLean, J. P. (John Patterson)
hindrance

any obstruction that impedes or is burdensome

While Japanese giant Sony said China’s move represented a hindrance to free trade, for other companies the Chinese action provided a boost.
hinge

a joint that holds two parts together so that one can swing

He opened the door, trying to will away telltale creaks in hinges and joints, avoid any possible attention.Nature (Mar 28, 2012)
hinterland

a remote and undeveloped area

There in those half explored and altogether unsettled hinterlands, lurk desires that sting like adders and hatreds cruel as hell….Wells, H. G. (Herbert George)
hireling

a person who works only for money

Hireling troops, soldiers serving for pay: they were not Ultonians and did not belong to the Red Branch.Joyce, P. W.
hirsute

having or covered with hair

Peter got out after a prolonged struggle; place very hirsute; big beards on everybody; ten parts of hair to one part Dutchman.Doesticks, Q. K. Philander
histrionic

characteristic of acting or a stage performance

Present-day Graham dancers are often taken to task for overacting, or histrionics or otherwise obscuring the integrity of their material.New York Times (Mar 19, 2012)
hoard

save up as for future use

The offspring of starving mothers, anticipating hard times during their own future lives, adjust their metabolisms to hoard calories.
hoary

having gray or white hair as with age

He was an aged monarch of the mountains, reddish brown in color originally, but now a hoary dirty gray.Brady, Cyrus Townsend
hoax

something intended to deceive

On Monday, a bomb threat received in London was first taken by the police as credible, but later described as a probable hoax.New York Times (May 18, 2011)
hoist

raise or haul up with or as if with mechanical help

Then the signal was given to resume hoisting the big fish aboard, and once more the crane started winding up the cable.Duffield, J. W.
holocaust

an act of mass destruction and loss of life

Twenty-four thousand bodies were burned in one holocaust, and it is solemnly stated that in the spring thaws twelve thousand more were brought to light.Sloane, William Milligan
homage

respectful deference

With cathedral ceilings, sparkling mosaic tile floors and elaborately carved moldings and paneling, the restaurant pays homage to the Gilded Age.New York Times (Jun 12, 2010)
homespun

characteristic of country life

His rural, homespun demeanor ordinarily might elicit snickers from India’s urban elite.New York Times (Aug 19, 2011)
homily

a sermon on a moral or religious topic

Benedict said in a homily last week that Christians must repent for sins and recognize mistakes in comments widely interpreted as concerning the scandal.New York Times (Apr 21, 2010)
homogeneous

all of the same or similar kind or nature

“But I thought, ‘My goodness, what a homogeneous population, akin to identical white mice, which thereby controls for all sorts of differences.’ ”New York Times (Aug 30, 2010)
homologous

similar in position, structure, function, or characteristics

So, too, organs which were homologous in the ordinary sense, as the heart of birds and mammals, might have arisen separately in evolution.E. S. (Edward Stuart) Russell
hone

refine or make more perfect or effective

Kopec says his clients are wine curious and fast learners, honing their palates by sharing bottles in private rooms at restaurants.
honor

bestow rewards upon

The host country’s gold medalists will be honored with commemorate postage stamps available at 500 outlets the very next day, Royal Mail announced.Seattle Times (Apr 9, 2012)
honorable

deserving of esteem and respect

“The office of bailiff formerly was high and honorable in England, and officers under that title on the continent are still invested with important functions.”—Webster.Spooner, Lysander
horde

a vast multitude

New York’s Times Square was awash in hopeful sentiments as it prepared to welcome hordes of New Year’s Eve revelers.Chicago Tribune (Dec 31, 2011)
horizon

the line at which the sky and Earth appear to meet

We can see to the horizon about 35 miles distant, tapering off into low blue hills, and closer in, three shivering silver lakes.New York Times (Nov 14, 2011)
horrendous

causing fear or dread or terror

Some wounded civilians evacuated from Misrata by boat described horrendous scenes of shelling and hand-to-hand fighting, he says.
hortatory

giving strong encouragement

For hortatory or inspirational purposes we do not need to make this analysis; it has, indeed, its practical dangers.Drake, Durant
horticultural

of or relating to the cultivation of plants

Japanese flower arrangements, candles and giant orchids make the stage look more like an oriental horticultural exhibition than a concert venue.
hospitable

disposed to treat guests and strangers with generosity

In Morgantown, many of the fans we came across were gracious, welcoming, hospitable and constantly inquiring about whether we had received any harsh treatment.Washington Post (Sep 28, 2011)
hostile

troops belonging to the enemy’s military forces

On Elliott Bay, the cabins of the farther away settlers had gone up in smoke, fired by the hostile Indians.Denny, Emily Inez
hovel

small crude shelter used as a dwelling

It is a paltry hovel of two low stories, half timbered, with meagre windows, and must have been a squalid abode even in its prime.Horne, Charles F. (Charles Francis)
hover

hang in the air; fly or be suspended above

Here he stood still, looking up the dim expanse, with the dusky shadows, like great winged, formless ghosts, hovering over him.Woolson, Constance Fenimore
hubris

overbearing pride or presumption

Fab’s arrogance, and that of his Goldman colleagues who also testified, bested previous displays of hubris by the automotive, oil and tobacco industries.Washington Post (Apr 28, 2010)
humane

showing evidence of moral and intellectual advancement

Men and women were in those less humane days burned for displeasing God, while now they are only fined and incarcerated.Hetherington, Henry
humanitarian

marked by devotion to popular welfare

They discussed efforts to provide humanitarian assistance, especially urgently needed medical supplies in battered cities like Homs.New York Times (Feb 23, 2012)
humiliation

state of disgrace or loss of self-respect

The humiliation of losing his first match 5-0 was compounded by hearing his opponent’s friends marvelling at the easy draw he had been given.
humility

a lack of arrogance or false pride

During the meal Jesus taught His disciples a touching lesson in humility; laying aside His upper robe, He washed and wiped their feet.Willard, J. H. (James Hartwell)
humongous

very large

“These are humongous, gigantic, scare-your-pants-off kinds of waterfalls,” he said.New York Times (Sep 6, 2011)
hurtle

move with or as if with a rushing sound

Yet the cannonade continued, each shell that came hurtling through the air exploding with deadly effect and spreading destruction on all hands.Le Queux, William
husbandry

the practice of cultivating the land or raising stock

The U.S. can take a lesson from Denmark, which has efficiently raised livestock without hurting farmers, by using better animal husbandry practices.Scientific American (Mar 22, 2011)
hybrid

a composite of mixed origin

Current training, Hertling said, concentrated on ” hybrid” threats where criminals may work with conventional forces, or with “terrorists,” sharing weapons or drugs.
hydrophobia

viral disease of the nervous system of warm-blooded animals

One of his most stirring narratives related to the manner in which he escaped hydrophobia, after being bitten by a rabid wolf.Ellis, Edward Sylvester
hyperbole

extravagant exaggeration

Quaint exaggeration of statement, the use of hyperbole, is often employed, and very happily, to compel attention.Hulme, F. Edward (Frederick Edward)
hyperbolic

enlarged beyond truth or reasonableness

“I am surprised that plaintiffs’ hyperbolic allegations and inflated damage claims are given any credence,” said the bank’s top lawyer, Gary Lynch.New York Times (Aug 26, 2011)
hypnagogic

sleep inducing

This intermediate and persistent stage of hypnagogic images serves in every way to explain the physical genesis of involuntary hallucinations.Vignoli, Tito
hypochondriac

a patient with imaginary symptoms and ailments

The man proved to be a regular hypochondriac, taking medicine constantly, at one time with five doctors prescribing for him.Wood-Allen, Mary
hypocritical

professing feelings or virtues one does not have

While all political leaders call for compromise, their actions and finger pointing increasingly appear hypocritical and self-serving.Forbes (Sep 7, 2011)
hypothetical

a conjectural possibility or circumstance

They see rampant piracy as a reality and the threat to fair use as some kind of academic hypothetical rarely encountered in reality.Boyle, James
hysteria

state of violent mental agitation

Washington teenager Mike Mitchell, then 18, was on hand at Union Station when the Beatles arrived and documented the shrieking hysteria of their fans.

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