100 SAT Words Beginning with “J,” “K,” and “L” – 100 Words

jaded

bored or apathetic after experiencing too much of something

After so long on the road, beaches and ruins might have left me jaded, and breathtaking views might no longer take my breath away.New York Times (Jul 26, 2011)
jargon

technical terminology characteristic of a particular subject

He has complained that officials’ speeches and writings were clogged with Party jargon and demanded more plain speaking.
jaunt

a journey taken for pleasure

He got the idea during afternoon jaunts around the neighborhood with his daughter, Iris, then 9, who rode her bicycle while Mr. Cronin jogged.New York Times (Jun 2, 2010)
jaunty

having a cheerful, lively, and self-confident air

Yet his mood was jaunty and he cheerfully claimed to have achieved his ambition, thus far, of getting through February without touching alcohol.
jeer

laugh at with contempt and derision

The mob jeered, and derided, and insulted her in every conceivable way.Abbott, John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot)
jejune

lacking interest or significance or impact

The works called good are dry and jejune, soon consummated, often of questionable value, and leaving behind them when finished a sense of vacuity.Jefferies, Richard
jeopardize

pose a threat to; present a danger to

Furthermore, Facebook could jeopardize Google’s online dominance by developing its own search capabilities. Forbes (Dec 30, 2011)
jest

activity characterized by good humor

Everybody was in the highest spirits; every jest or bit of fun was caught, bandied back and forth, and passed on with new trimmings.Kelly, Florence Finch
jettison

throw away, of something encumbering

In the editing room, they jettisoned material they had once deemed essential but came to view as extraneous.Seattle Times (Feb 20, 2012)
jibe

an aggressive remark directed at a person

We would jibe one another, laugh at a fellow to his chagrin, and when we were angry bawl each other out unmercifully.Davis, James J. (James John)
jingoist

an extreme bellicose nationalist

And, hell, I’m no jingoist, but surely we can do better in this country than importing our drugs from Mexico, right?
jocular

characterized by jokes and good humor

Maria saw every thing, and marked well the expression of Mr. Stokes’s face, so serious, so unlike his usual jocular tone.Newby, Emma
jollity

feeling jovial and full of good humor

Smiling faces, mirth, and jollity abound everywhere, and good feeling unites all men as brethren on this most popular of all the Dutch festivals.Hough, P. M.
jostle

make one’s way by pushing or shoving

“This morning there was a lot of people trying to jostle and barge into the queue, but fortunately everyone had a number,” he said.
jovial

full of or showing high-spirited merriment

He looked a gentleman all over, and his merry laugh and jovial manner made one certain at once that he was a general favourite.Brereton, F. S. (Frederick Sadleir)
jubilant

full of high-spirited delight

As the results poured in, a jubilant, well-heeled crowd thronged the street outside the party’s headquarters, dancing and cheering.
judicious

marked by the exercise of good judgment in practical matters

It is judicious to consult a physician immediately, in punctured or lacerated wounds, because they often induce the most dangerous diseases.Cutter, Calvin
juggernaut

a massive inexorable force

Welch transformed GE into a sleek juggernaut that dominated market segments from jet engines and locomotives to finance.Washington Post (Aug 1, 2010)
juncture

a point in time when a critical decision must be made

At critical junctures throughout the crisis, Mrs. Merkel has resisted appeals to appease the financial markets by lowering borrowing costs.New York Times (Dec 7, 2011)
junket

a trip taken by an official at public expense

Mr. Abramoff arranged for junkets, including foreign golfing destinations, for the members of Congress he was trying to influence.New York Times (Feb 27, 2010)
junta

a group of officers who rule a country after seizing power

The stock soared 10.2% in London after Mali’s military junta agreed to reinstate the country’s constitution following last month’s coup.Wall Street Journal (Apr 10, 2012)
jurisdiction

the territory within which power can be exercised

Governments are exercising power over people outside their jurisdictions through global Internet companies.Slate (Jan 30, 2012)
jurisprudence

the collection of rules imposed by authority

And American jurisprudence is supposed to be guided by lofty ideals, not the bottom line; our laws should be moral, not mercenary.New York Times (Apr 17, 2010)
justify

defend, explain, or make excuses for by reasoning

“He still relies on his dead father’s authority to justify his rule.”New York Times (Apr 15, 2012)
juxtapose

place side by side

In other words, black and white, when juxtaposed, mutually reinforce each other.Luckiesh, Matthew
keen

demonstrating ability to recognize or draw fine distinctions

His keen eyes had detected a small, swiftly moving object on the horizon–the expected patrol boat.Westerman, Percy F. (Percy Francis)
ken

range of what one can know or understand

Ah, but the Eyes Divine look long and see far; things beyond the human ken are all revealed.Brady, Cyrus Townsend
kindle

cause to start burning

At a little distance a fire had been quickly kindled and cooking was already going on.Stoddard, William O.
kinetic

characterized by motion

But when the can is opened, the potential energy quickly converts to kinetic energy as the fake snake jumps out.Scientific American (Apr 5, 2012)
kinship

relatedness or connection by blood or marriage or adoption

Alexander the Great extended his conquests as far eastward as India, whose native inhabitants claim kinship with European peoples through a common Aryan ancestry.Whitney, Orson F.
knave

a deceitful and unreliable scoundrel

The merchant subsequently turned out a very great knave, cheating Tom on various occasions, and finally broke, very much in his debt. Borrow, George Henry
knead

use the hands to mix and work something into a uniform mass

He did not look at her as he spoke, but kept on diligently smoothing and kneading the soft clay.Heyse, Paul
knell

the sound of a bell rung slowly to announce a death

“If she dies,” he had said, and the words rang in my ears like a funeral knell.Boothby, Guy
knit

make by needlework with interlacing yarn

Poor farming families took up extra work in the villages such as making gloves, knitting stockings, or spinning yarn.Reilly, S. A.
knoll

a small natural hill

At the very base of the hill or knoll alluded to, they halted.Ellis, Edward Sylvester
knotty

highly complex or intricate and occasionally devious

I am, at this present writing, perplexed and plagued with two knotty problems in politics.Adams, Abigail
labile

readily undergoing change or breakdown

We are rather like the labile chemical compounds: our molecules readily rearrange themselves.Ellis, Havelock
lachrymose

showing sorrow

She had got rid of her tears before she came down to dinner, but still she was melancholy and almost lachrymose.Trollope, Anthony
lackadaisical

idle or indolent especially in a dreamy way

She was rather listless and lackadaisical, but seemed to be well content so that she could lie within sight of the Master and dream.Buxton, Robert Hugh
lackluster

lacking brilliance or vitality

But his momentum dwindled just as quickly after a pair of lackluster debate performances.Chicago Tribune (Feb 1, 2012)
laconic

brief and to the point

I thought the circumstances warranted conciseness, and my being laconic, if necessary.Waller, Mary E. (Mary Ella)
lament

express grief verbally

They went through the passages weeping and lamenting.Colum, Padraic
lampoon

a composition that imitates or misrepresents a style

Granted, all are outrageously exaggerated, but a discerning eye can detect the truth that lurks behind any satire, parody, or lampoon.Anonymous
lancet

an acutely pointed Gothic arch

Nothing of the sacred edifice remained, however, but the Gothic front, with its deep portal and grand lancet window, already described.Irving, Washington
languid

lacking spirit or liveliness

I felt languid, disinclined for all that was serious,—in fact, lazy.Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix
languish

lose vigor, health, or flesh, as through grief

He would have found production suspended, or languishing.Knight, Charles
languor

a feeling of lack of interest or energy

Now, on that evening an inexplicable languor made him dreamy; his eyes followed in vain the text; his rebellious thoughts were scattered.Unknown
lassitude

weakness characterized by a lack of vitality or energy

He told by her very attitude that now there was lassitude, even weariness in her.Blackwood, Algernon
latent

potentially existing but not presently evident or realized

But the whole future man is already hidden, not yet declared, but latent all the same in the child’s heart.Adler, Felix
latter

referring to the second of two things or persons mentioned

More missiles were fired carefully—not to do damage, but to discourage the intruders; the latter were held at bay for another twelve hours.Gallun, Raymond Z.
laudable

worthy of high praise

In newspaper obituaries, it was long customary to lavish praise on the subjects, noting laudable traits of character.New York Times (Oct 25, 2010)
lavish

characterized by extravagance and profusion

In Colorado, Blagojevich — whose penchant for expensive suits and lavish spending were outlined at his first trial — will have no luxuries.
leery

openly distrustful and unwilling to confide

People in China wounded by gunshots are often leery of going to hospitals, fearing that they will face questioning and possibly retaliation by the authorities.New York Times (Jan 23, 2012)
legacy

a gift of personal property by will

Like other heirs to civil rights legacies, Mr. Boykin finds himself facing expectations he did not seek.New York Times (Feb 11, 2012)
legerdemain

an illusory feat

Everything short of this is trick, legerdemain, sleight of hand.Stanton, Elizabeth Cady
legislate

make laws or bills

“We will dispense with the conventional wisdom that bigger bills are always better,” he said, “that fast legislating is good legislating.”Slate (Feb 4, 2011)
legitimacy

undisputed credibility

The Fathers of the Church never called in question the validity or the legitimacy of such Baptisms.Gibbons, James
legitimate

authorized, sanctioned by, or in accordance with law

To make them seem legitimate, grant applications included the names of real scientists, established research institutes and existing companies, he says.Nature (Jun 15, 2011)
leisure

time available for ease and relaxation

He says that young Lincoln often called at his office and borrowed books to read at home during leisure hours.Herndon, William H.
leniency

mercifulness as a consequence of being tolerant

There is no more room for leniency or tolerance in enforcing law …
lethal

of an instrument of certain death

He was executed by lethal injection at Stateville Correctional Center in 1994.
lethargic

deficient in alertness or activity

Then, stolidly, with set mouth, she went on with her work, movements a little slower, perhaps, a bit lethargic, surely, bungling now and then.Titus, Harold
lethargy

weakness characterized by a lack of vitality or energy

Then he, as it were, awoke, and got up on his legs, but again felt the same lethargy, and fell.Jefferies, Richard
levee

an embankment built to prevent a river from overflowing

In some cases, levees would be set back farther from rivers, creating flood buffers and shallow flood-plain-style habitat.New York Times (Mar 2, 2012)
level

a relative position or degree of value in a graded group

Also, the over 80% participation level Sunday means there are few idle voters to mobilize.
leverage

strategic advantage; power to act effectively

If things continue to improve faster than expected, Obama could have some leverage in future decisions on budget cutting or further stimulus.BusinessWeek (Feb 14, 2012)
leviathan

the largest or most massive thing of its kind

Tearing along at well over her contract speed, the 27,500-ton leviathan meant business.Westerman, Percy F. (Percy Francis)
levity

a manner lacking seriousness

At the same time, avoid jesting, merriment, or undue levity, as it will be out of place, and appear heartless.Hartley, Cecil B.
lexicon

a reference book containing an alphabetical list of words

A grim new noun has entered the lexicon—”99ers,” people whose 99 weeks of extended jobless benefits have all run dry.BusinessWeek (Aug 12, 2010)
liability

something that holds you back

“There’s a PR liability, if not a real liability, if some guy’s stoned and messes up on a rig,” he said.
liaison

a means of communication between groups

After his parents divorced — an amicable parting — Trayvon served as a liaison between them, “sending little messages back and forth between us,” says Martin.
libation

a serving of an alcoholic beverage

By his Falstaffian girth, he appeared a man not averse to good living, nor one to deny himself plentiful libations of American home-brewed ale.Fisher, Harrison
libel

a false and malicious publication

Libel and slander like “racist,” “fascist,” “bigot,” etc. color every news report of every counter-jihad action.
lilliputian

very small

Despite its Brobdingnagian length, the quartet consists of Lilliputian parcels: succinct gestures, tiny shudders, rising and falling melodic cells.New York Times (Apr 13, 2010)
limber

capable of moving or bending freely

To stay healthy and limber, the players twist their bodies into a series of poses like pigeon, downward dog and eagle.New York Times (May 1, 2010)
limpid

clear and bright

However clear and limpid the stream may look, I never forget that its source was in foulness!Lever, Charles James
lineage

the kinship relation between an individual and progenitors

He has long suspected his Jewish lineage – Judaism is passed down through the mother’s side.Washington Post (Jul 30, 2010)
linger

remain present although waning or gradually dying

The virus spreads easily through the air, and in closed rooms, infected droplets can linger for up to two hours after the sick person leaves.
linguistic

consisting of or related to language

Basque separatists have been murdering Spaniards in the name of political, linguistic and cultural independence, just as Franco imprisoned anyone who spoke Basque or Catalan.New York Times (Apr 22, 2010)
lionize

assign great social importance to

In 2004, when Mr. Foster raised questions about cost estimates by the Bush administration, Democrats lionized him as a paragon of integrity.New York Times (Apr 24, 2010)
liquidate

convert into cash

Eurex Clearing began liquidating, or selling off, positions after MF Global defaulted, a process it had completed by the following day, November 2.
lissome

moving and bending with ease

In this garden the musicians played, and the tawny dancers writhed and curved their lissome bodies, in dramatic Eastern dances.Hartley, C. Gasquoine (Catherine Gasquoine)
listless

lacking zest or vivacity

Always an athletic, outgoing man, he became listless and quiet, sleeping much of the day and avoiding his friends.New York Times (Oct 11, 2010)
literal

limited to the explicit meaning of a word or text

The problem is that, so far, it is quite literal with its translations and lacks the nuance of someone who speaks the language.BBC (Oct 29, 2010)
lithe

moving and bending with ease

She put both feet, visible beneath her short skirt, suddenly very close together, and curved her lithe body in an abrupt burlesque bow.Fawcett, Edgar
litigation

a legal proceeding in a court

On Thursday, after years of litigation, a frustrated judge decided Moroun had obstructed the law once too often, and threw him in jail for contempt.
livid

furiously angry

He stopped, strangled with passion, his tall figure towering above her, his face livid, his hands clutched in rage.Dixon, Thomas
loll

be lazy or idle

It was, as is usual with trading posts, surrounded by a number of Indian wigwams, the denizens of which were lazily lolling in the sun.Seville, William P.
longevity

the property of having lived for a considerable time

There, on the hill, gazing seaward, where fishing smacks moved, I rubbed the horny bark, envying the tree’s longevity and its years ahead.Bartlett, Paul Alexander
loquacious

full of trivial conversation

A loquacious fellow, who nevertheless finds time to eat and sleep, is continually talking; but a great river flows continuously.Bierce, Ambrose
lucid

transparently clear; easily understandable

It is an argument — a sustained, lucid case in which points are made logically and backed by evidence and reason.New York Times (Mar 29, 2012)
lucrative

producing a sizeable profit

As a professional, Tanner earned more than $2 million and signed lucrative endorsement deals.New York Times (Feb 13, 2012)
ludicrous

inviting ridicule

At the first blush it had appeared ludicrous—incredible; but, on reflection, there was, he found, nothing so extravagant in it.Trollope, Frances Eleanor
lugubrious

excessively mournful

In the gay capital of France he led a wretched life, in constant dread of future disaster, and ceaselessly uttering lugubrious prognostications.Baird, Henry Martyn
lull

make calm or still

Terence, lulled by tears, had fallen asleep long since upon the floor.Wingfield, Lewis
luminary

a celebrity who is an inspiration to others

Founded in 1947, the group’s members have included such luminaries as Walt Disney, Spencer Tracy and another American president, Ronald Reagan.Seattle Times (Apr 11, 2011)
lunar

of or relating to or associated with the moon

But when the Moon shrinks to a crescent – as it has this week – lunar light pollution is less of an issue.
lurid

glaringly vivid and graphic; marked by sensationalism

The Ukrainian press, not surprisingly, had a field day with the story, writing thinly sourced exposés filled with lurid details.New York Times (Nov 18, 2011)
lurk

lie in wait or behave in a sneaky and secretive manner

The Cape Mounted Rifles went out in skirmishing order, ahead of the infantry, keeping a vigilant look-out for lurking foes.Henty, G. A. (George Alfred)
lustrous

reflecting light

For instance, in chemical composition the lustrous diamond is nothing but crystallized carbon.Various

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