100 SAT Words Beginning with “N” – 100 Words


nadir

the lowest point of anything

No one in that vast audience raised a word of protest, and my spirits fell to their nadir.Gosse, Edmund
naive

marked by or showing unaffected simplicity

Some have argued that the ministers in question should not have been so naive and foolish as to unburden themselves to complete strangers.
naivete

lack of sophistication or worldliness

But there was a sort of freshness and naivete and youthfulness about her which made him use that adjective.Lyall, Edna
narcissist

someone who is excessively self-centered

Narcissists blame others for failures, take undeserved credit for success, are hypersensitive to negative feedback, and show an exaggerated sense of entitlement.BusinessWeek (Oct 4, 2010)
narrative

consisting of or characterized by the telling of a story

Mr. Barton is master of the mystery story, and in this absorbing narrative the author has surpassed his best previous successes.Whitehead, Harold
nascent

being born or beginning

The initiative also invests in nascent solar companies, acting as an incubator for small businesses and entrepreneurs looking to bring disruptive new technologies to market.Scientific American (Feb 29, 2012)
nationalism

the doctrine that countries should act independently

Populist nationalism also tends to favor protectionist policies that shield American workers and businesses, particularly small businesses, from foreign competition.
native

characteristic of or existing by virtue of geographic origin

The first European colonists in America found there two valuable native products—maize and tobacco.Queensland
natty

marked by up-to-dateness in dress and manners

These styles are the latest thing, Brought from Paris for the Spring, Neat and natty, trim and cool”— “April Fool!” cried Amos.Bromhall, Winifred
naught

a quantity of no importance

Names to him were nothing, and titles naught—assumption always standing back abashed at his cold, intellectual glare.Herndon, William H.
nauseate

upset and make ill

After dialysis, patients can feel weak and nauseated, sometimes experiencing significant head, chest and stomach pain — and the tears often flow.New York Times (Nov 5, 2011)
nauseous

causing a sick feeling

I still grew nauseous after eating and experienced other stomach-related disorders such as food “Sticking” above my stomach and gastrointestinal disturbances.Isaacson, Lauren Ann
nautical

relating to ships or navigation

For this expedition Henry Hudson—already known as an experienced and intrepid seaman, and well-skilled in nautical science—was chosen commander.Whymper, Frederick
navigable

able to be sailed on or through safely

This, indeed, is an exaggerated vaunt; but the Flemish stuffs were probably sold wherever the sea or a navigable river permitted them to be carried.Hallam, Henry
navigate

direct and plot the path and position of a conveyance

Washed out roads grounded trucks in the muck, and precarious mountain passes were in some cases too risky to navigate.New York Times (Dec 27, 2011)
nebulous

lacking definite form or limits

“The time for nebulous, unspecified and non-detailed commitments is gone,” Fiat SpA Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said yesterday in London.
necessitate

require as useful, just, or proper

Bean’s famed hunting boots are seeing a surge in popularity, necessitating the hiring of more than 100 additional employees to make them.Washington Post (Dec 29, 2011)
necessity

anything indispensable

The rainy season was fairly under way and suitable shelter was an absolute necessity.Denny, Emily Inez
necromancy

the belief in magical spells that harness occult forces

In necromancy, spirits are summoned by means of spells and incantations.Leuba, James H. (James Henry)
nectar

a sweet liquid secretion that is attractive to pollinators

Nor was it understood that the beautiful blossom of the flower, with its sweet nectar, was an exceedingly important factor in attracting the bees.Sadler, William S.
nefarious

extremely wicked

To accomplish his nefarious designs the Evil Spirit assumed forms calculated to attain his object. Owen, Elias
negate

make ineffective by counterbalancing the effect of

Chances are, you’d also wind up paying more for housing in your new digs, potentially negating any money saved with a shorter commute.
negative

having the quality of something harmful or unpleasant

It is also used as means of coping with anxiety or other negative feelings and to relieve stress or pressure.New York Times (Apr 24, 2012)
neglect

fail to attend to

She found the men were getting sleepy, and neglected the fire, and so she kept awake, and sat up to throw on the wood.Field, Henry M. (Henry Martyn)
neglected

disregarded

“Human health is largely neglected, if not entirely ignored, in debates about climate change,” said Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization.Scientific American (Apr 5, 2012)
negligence

failure to act with the prudence of a reasonable person

That being the case, he said the spy agency had demonstrated ” negligence, ineptitude and failure” in failing to detect the world’s most wanted man.
negligent

characterized by undue lack of attention or concern

With his usual scant sympathy, Arthur, hardly glancing aside at him, gave a lofty negligent little nod by way of recognition, and was passing on.Werner, E. T. C. (Edward Theodore Chalmers)
negligible

so small as to be meaningless; insignificant

The changes that have taken place in human nature during the historic period are so slight as to be practically negligible.Cohen, Chapman
negotiable

able to be arranged by compromise

Often both are negotiable, or at least up for discussion.New York Times (Jan 21, 2011)
negotiate

discuss the terms of an arrangement

Children learn the art of problem solving, negotiating and making compromises.New York Times (Dec 5, 2011)
negotiation

a discussion intended to produce an agreement

Government negotiations with bankers and insurers broke up without agreement Friday, although officials said more talks are likely next week.
nemesis

something causing misery or death

The strange nemesis that had pursued them step by step had been permitted to wreck their lives completely.Berger, William Merritt
neologism

a newly invented word or phrase

Perhaps the solution is to be found in ” neologisms”, where words are taken from somewhere totally different and given an entirely new meaning.
neophyte

any new participant in some activity

The four first students went out, each escorting a less-accustomed neophyte and all fastened firmly together with space-ropes.Leinster, Murray
nepotism

favoritism shown to relatives or friends by those in power

Mr Yeddyurappa denies claims by political opponents he committed nepotism by selling government land to his two sons and relatives at throwaway prices.
nestle

move or arrange oneself in a comfortable and cozy position

“Father,” said Olive, thrusting her hand through the rector’s arm and nestling up to his side with the most bewitchingly affectionate gesture.Mitford, Bertram
nether

lower

The latest expeditions have looked at seep communities as deep as 1.7 miles — far down the continental slope toward the gulf’s nether regions.New York Times (Jun 22, 2010)
nettle

plant having stinging hairs that cause skin irritation

Unlike stinging nettle, which is harder to find in the city, purple dead nettle grows abundantly across the five boroughs.New York Times (Apr 30, 2011)
network

an interconnected system of things or people

“Success depends on personal relations with power,” said Mr. Evtushenkov, insisting that a tight personal network is as vital in New York as in Moscow.New York Times (May 4, 2012)
neurotic

affected with emotional disorder

Why are some left to insanity, psychosomatic disorders or neurotic behavior?Isaacson, Lauren Ann
neutral

possessing no distinctive quality or characteristics

Pure gelatin is an amorphous, brittle, nearly transparent substance, faintly yellow, tasteless and inodorous, neutral in reaction and unaltered by exposure to dry air.Various
neutrality

nonparticipation in a dispute or war

After renewed occupation in World War II, Luxembourg abandoned its neutrality and became a front-rank enthusiast for international co-operation.BBC (May 22, 2010)
neutralization

the removal of a threat by killing or destroying it

Three have been eliminated through incineration or neutralization.
neutralize

oppose and mitigate the effects of by contrary actions

Sweating aids in neutralizing the injurious effects of exposure to high temperatures.Various
newcomer

a recent arrival

Humans are newcomers to the planet compared to the 165 million years dinosaurs dominated before becoming extinct 65 million years ago.Seattle Times (Mar 1, 2012)
nexus

the means of connection between things linked in series

For many users, the Web site is an irreplaceable nexus of friends, relatives and colleagues online, making it difficult to abandon.New York Times (May 24, 2010)
nib

the writing point of a pen

My father began writing with an abominably scratchy nib.Crawford, Jack
nicety

conformity with some aesthetic standard of correctness

All the little niceties of platform procedure—bowings, exits, dealing with encores—are out of the question.Warner, Frances Lester
niche

a position well suited to the person who occupies it

Carroll is skilled at finding specific roles and carving out niches for players.Seattle Times (May 1, 2012)
niggle

worry unnecessarily or excessively

But investors are still jittery, thanks to their niggling anxieties about the bad debts held in Europe’s financial institutions.
nihilism

the delusion that things do not exist

In her despair she succumbed to a sort of nihilism that made her ask: “What is the reason of anything?…Couperus, Louis
nihilist

someone who rejects all theories of morality

He allied himself with quite another class, making no secret of the fact that he was an out-and-out Socialist, Anti-clerical, Syndicalist, Anarchist, Nihilist.Fisher, Dorothy Canfield
nimble

moving quickly and lightly

Are not many beasts physically stronger, more nimble and agile than man?Nordau, Max Simon
nirvana

any place of complete bliss and delight and peace

The wisest among them could not teach him true peace, that profound inward rest, which was already called Nirvana.Bulfinch, Thomas
noble

having high or elevated character

Honesty, frankness, generosity, and virtue are noble traits.Hartley, Cecil B.
nocturnal

belonging to or active during the night

Bats are a top nocturnal predator, eating night-flying insects that feed on agricultural crops.Washington Post (Mar 14, 2012)
noetic

of or associated with or requiring the use of the mind

It is a sort of mental equivalent for them, their epistemological function, their value in noetic terms.James, William
noisome

causing or able to cause nausea

Here the noisome smell of decaying vegetation nauseated us, for the air in those forest depths is deadly.Le Queux, William
nomad

a member of a people who have no permanent home

These Indians lived the old nomad life, wandering from place to place, setting up their tents like gypsies, wherever they could remain unmolested.Vandercook, Margaret
nomadic

migratory

They are a nomadic people living by collecting and hunting; the wilder ones will often not remain longer than three days in one place.Haddon, Alfred Court
nomenclature

a system of words used to name things in a discipline

Technical names of fishes are those that seem to qualify under the International Rules of Zoological Nomenclature.Deacon, James Everett
nominal

insignificantly small; a matter of form only

The ordinary course of dealings was so completely disorganized in many places that the rates were purely nominal, representing little or no actual transactions.Phillips, Chester Arthur
nonchalant

marked by blithe unconcern

“It’s really weird,” she said with that nonchalant shrug of her shoulders and go with the flow attitude.
noncommittal

refusing to bind oneself to a particular course of action

The worst of it was, that he had been so cautious and noncommittal in his declarations, that she could not upbraid him for his perfidy.Bouton, John Bell
nonconformist

someone refusing to follow established standards of conduct

They are nonconformists, mavericks even, in an age when clubs are burdened by regulation, challenging authority and provocatively crossing the boundaries of accepted behaviour.
nonconformity

failure to follow accepted standards of behavior

What society really cares for is harmony; what it dislikes is dissent and nonconformity.Hamerton, Philip Gilbert
nondescript

lacking distinct or individual characteristics

The centre’s own director, Robert Goodman, has described it as ” nondescript and characterless”.
nonentity

a person of no influence

The rest were nonentities, the set who drift through their six years, making no mark, hurting no one, doing little good.Waugh, Alec
nonetheless

despite anything to the contrary

But these researchers, working in relative obscurity, nonetheless have documented rich and surprisingly diverse communities of organisms in the deep sea.New York Times (Mar 27, 2012)
nonpareil

colored beads of sugar used as a topping

While the last icing is wet, ornament it with coloured sugar-sand or nonpareils.Leslie, Eliza
nonplus

be a mystery or bewildering to

This incredible patience, so little in harmony with Martial’s usual demeanour, puzzled and nonplussed his aggressors, who looked at each other with amazement.Sue, Eugène
nonplussed

filled with bewilderment

I shook my head and rushed from his presence, completely nonplussed, bewildered, frantic.Cole, E. W. (Edward William)
nonsensical

having no intelligible meaning

Talking nonsensically is the utterance of words which contradict each other, or which have no meaning, and the like.Acharya, Madhava
normative

relating to or dealing with typical standards or patterns

Ethics again is concerned with a norm of life, and in this sense it is frequently styled a normative science.Alexander, Archibald B. C.
nostalgia

longing for something past

The sense of exile was almost gone, the nostalgia for his own land no longer keen.Hayward, Rachel
nostalgic

unhappy about being away and longing for familiar things

Britain, to take one example, habitually wallows in a nostalgic and misleading version of its own past.
nostrum

patent medicine whose efficacy is questionable

These efforts are such conspicuous failures that even the patent medicine man has not found his “anti-fat nostrums” the happy means to fortune.Dewey, Edward Hooker
notable

worthy of notice

The Web is all about serendipity—people passing along things that are interesting or notable.Slate (Apr 13, 2012)
notice

discover or determine the existence, presence, or fact of

The new words came about after the Roger noticed people weren’t really singing along to the traditional national anthem.
notion

a vague idea in which some confidence is placed

The notion that Wall Street needs regulatory relief—rather than greater structural reform—is simply wrong.Slate (Mar 19, 2012)
notoriety

the state of being known for some unfavorable act or quality

But fear and frustration are on the rise in this small farming community, which has gained unwanted notoriety as Japan’s radiation village.New York Times (Apr 6, 2011)
notorious

known widely and usually unfavorably

The notorious Owen, as is well known, attempted the establishment of an Infidel community at New Harmony, in Indiana, and totally failed.Caswall, Henry
nourish

give sustenance to

He who swallows abundantly does not digest it, and instead of being nourished and strengthened, he withers insensibly away.Tissot, S. A. D. (Samuel Auguste David)
novel

an extended fictional work in prose

On Tuesday, Joyce Carol Oates returns to “New Fiction” shelves when her latest novel, Mudwoman, comes out in hardcover.
novelty

originality by virtue of being new and surprising

Yet they strove to gain novelty by inventing fresh situations, giving unexpected turns to dialogue, and varying their action on successive nights.Gozzi, Carlo
novice

someone new to a field or activity

She speculated: A novice starting a running program will probably jog only two or three times a week, for 15 or 20 minutes.Seattle Times (Dec 9, 2011)
noxious

injurious to physical or mental health

Investigators initially suspected customers fell ill to noxious fumes from cleaning chemicals.Washington Post (Sep 15, 2011)
nuance

a subtle difference in meaning or opinion or attitude

Beyond those broad contours, Mr. Muti dealt in nuance, focusing on voicings and details that are often lost in Berlioz’s narrative sweep.New York Times (Apr 18, 2011)
nubile

(of young women) attractive and eligible to marry

Louise, who, although barely nubile, impatiently longed to become a mother, gave birth to her first child after four years of wedded life.Saintsbury, George
nuclear

of, relating to, or constituting the dense center of an atom

He dove into mainstream topics, working on nuclear and particle physics at Harwell, Britain’s civilian atomic energy research center.Scientific American (Jan 30, 2012)
nugatory

of no real value

If the clause in question does not secure those political rights, it is entirely nugatory, and might as well have been omitted.Anonymous
nuisance

anything that disturbs, endangers life, or is offensive

But opponents see the birds as a potentially noisy, smelly, predator-attracting nuisance at best, and a health threat at worst.New York Times (Feb 7, 2012)
null

lacking any legal or binding force

“Agreements that Turkey decides to sign with the occupied territories in Cyprus are without any meaning, null and void by definition,” he said.Washington Post (Sep 24, 2011)
nullify

declare invalid

It was announced yesterday that Osayomi has been stripped of her gold medal, and all her results in the Games have been nullified.
numismatist

a collector and student of money, especially coins

The coins, however, are assigned by at least one numismatist to a later date.New, E. H. (Edmund Hort)
nuptial

of or relating to a wedding

Bates was to escort her on the nuptial journey, and all arrangements for the wedding of the distinguished pair had been completed.Rockwell, Norman
nuptials

the social event at which the marriage ceremony is performed

Atalanta could now no longer refuse to marry, and her nuptials were soon celebrated.Guerber, H. A. (H?l?ne Adeline)
nursery

a child’s room for a baby

In Germany, the biggest economy in Europe, most schools still finish at lunchtime, and full-time nurseries for children under 3 are scarce.New York Times (Jul 20, 2010)
nurture

help develop; help grow

But unlike most boys they nurtured and cultivated the passion and it stayed with them to manhood.Abbot, Willis J. (Willis John)
nutrient

any substance that can be metabolized to give energy

“Meat provides nutrients runners need like iron to help maintain energy levels.Washington Post (Apr 2, 2012)



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