100 SAT words Beginning with W,X,Y, and Z – 100 Words

wade

walk through relatively shallow water

At times it was even needful to take out the loads and, wading knee-deep in the ice-cold waters, drag the boats across the many shoals.Greely, Adolphus W.
waffle

pancake batter baked in an iron

Emmy Lou getting down from the breakfast table, her still unfinished waffle abandoned for all time now, was dumbfounded.Martin, George Madden
waft

be driven or carried along, as by the air

We were again wafted through the air, and were once more moving over the tops of countless houses on the way.Suyematsu, Baron Kencho
waggish

witty or joking

Dinner, however, came, and the little waggish doctor could not, for the life of him, avoid his jokes.Carleton, William
waif

a homeless child especially one forsaken or orphaned

Had they not been poor children, little waifs, they would not have been locked in the cabin to perish like rats.Debs, Eugene V.
wail

a cry of sorrow and grief

“Is our house going to be covered in mud forever?” she wailed, tears streaming down her cheeks.New York Times (Sep 11, 2011)
waive

do without or cease to hold or adhere to

Before Australian authorities would release Watson to the United States, Alabama had to agree to waive the death penalty as a possible punishment, prosecutors said.
waiver

a formal written statement of relinquishment

The new federal health care law prohibits lowering Medicaid eligibility, and only a few states have received waivers to do so on a limited basis.New York Times (Dec 23, 2011)
wallow

devote oneself entirely to something

It was a crushing blow, but instead of wallowing in depression and giving up on being active, Irish started biking more.Seattle Times (Aug 17, 2011)
wan

lacking vitality as from weariness or illness or unhappiness

Tom was leaning back, pale and exhausted, his breath was short, his face gray, wan and wasted.Wood, Mrs. Henry
wanderlust

very strong or irresistible impulse to travel

Perhaps a trip like this would have satisfied his wanderlust.Ferber, Edna
wane

a gradual decline (in size or strength or power or number)

India’s biggest producer, reported an 89 percent decline in second-quarter group profit because of waning demand and higher raw material costs at its European operations.
wangle

accomplishing something by scheming or trickery

You went sick When orders looked unwholesome: then, with trick And lie, you wangled home.Sassoon, Siegfried
wanton

spend wastefully

A hundred eighty days continuous feast He has oppressed the people of his rule With drunken revels and with wanton waste.Noe, Cotton
warble

sing or play with trills

Any singer who could warble away at runs and trills was a great artist.Cooke, James Francis
wardrobe

collection of clothing belonging to one person

Betty wore amazingly costly clothes, paying for a single dress far more than for her year’s wardrobe in Rhode Island.Terhune, Albert Payson
warrant

show to be reasonable or provide adequate ground for

An inmate needs additional evidence of a separate constitutional violation to warrant a federal court’s involvement, the high court ruled.
warranty

written assurance that a product or service will be provided

Such sales to investors typically came with promises, known as representations and warranties, to buy back defective loans.
warren

a series of underground tunnels occupied by rabbits

Their entrances were cunningly contrived to look like rabbit holes, so that strangers might think they led to nothing more than some sandy warren.Gask, Lilian
wary

openly distrustful and unwilling to confide

Many chronic homeless people, however, after years on the street, become wary of shelters and sleeping near others.New York Times (Jan 5, 2012)
watershed

the geographical area drained by a river and its tributaries

The Coles Hill watershed eventually drains into the drinking water supply for coastal cities.New York Times (Dec 1, 2011)
waver

be unsure or weak

Those among the tribes who had thus far stood neutral, wavering between the French and English, now hesitated no longer.Parkman, Francis
wax

go up or advance

Carols had existed for centuries, though their popularity waxed and waned as different governments and religious movements periodically declared them sinful.
waylay

wait in hiding to attack

Some of them even waited until I ventured from the house, and waylaid me on the road.Bartlett, Frederick Orin
wayward

resistant to guidance or discipline

Substance addiction and wayward behaviour are not unheard of in someone with such a stormy family background.
wean

gradually deprive of mother’s milk

If the mother becomes pregnant it will be necessary to wean, because pregnancy invariably affects the quality of the milk.Hague, W. Grant (William Grant)
weary

physically and mentally fatigued

The tired, wearied, exhausted cattle refused to struggle through the snow-mountains any longer.Harper, Charles G. (Charles George)
welfare

governmental provision of assistance to persons in need

High welfare costs in an impoverished country also ensure that the government does not have enough funds to spend on primary education and infrastructure.New York Times (May 23, 2012)
welter

a confused multitude of things

Of the nonseafood starters, artichoke hearts were slightly lost in a welter of cherry peppers, cubed eggplant, pine nuts and bits of chèvre.New York Times (Apr 7, 2012)
wend

direct one’s course or way

I thought a night of peace and quietness preferable, although perhaps very unsportsmanlike, and so we wended our way homeward.Various
wharf

a platform from the shore that provides access to ships

They would wonder why she was not on the wharf when the boat got in, to meet them.Prichard, Katharine Susannah
wheedle

influence or urge by gentle urging, caressing, or flattering

Horace knew exactly the right way to wheedle his mother, and very soon persuaded her to allow them to start on their expedition.Dixon, Arthur A.
whelp

young of any of various canines such as a dog or wolf

The wolf must have had several litters of whelps during the six or seven years that the boy was with her.Sleeman, William
whet

make keen or more acute

How good that dinner did smell to the hungry boys with appetites whetted by exercise in the keen air!Burgess, Thornton W. (Thornton Waldo)
whiff

perceive by inhaling through the nose

Perhaps he had even got a whiff of the sweet on the spring air, and his nose had told him what was going on.Copeland, Charles
whim

a sudden desire

Too many frivolous youngsters were falling in love and eloping on a whim, only to have their marriages end in divorce.New York Times (Jul 11, 2011)
whimsical

determined by chance or impulse rather than by necessity

Norway has bragged about her prerogatives without any feeling of responsibility, like an unreasoning whimsical child.Nordlund, Karl
whit

a tiny or scarcely detectable amount

Now, we are exactly what and where we used to be: not a whit wiser nor better, poorer nor prouder.Lever, Charles James
whittle

cut small bits or pare shavings from

“Too bad your horse fell,” he remarked stupidly, gathering up the handful of shavings he had whittled from a piece of pine board.Bower, B. M.
wholly

to the full or entire extent

Dalmatia has been possessed wholly or in part by Romans, Goths, Slavs, Hungarians, Turks, Venetians.Hichens, Robert (Robert Smythe)
whorl

a round shape formed by a series of concentric circles

Univalves are conical and spiraling, with a series of whorls coming down like widening steps from the tiny nucleus on top.Shell Union Oil Corporation
widespread

distributed over a considerable extent

As more women share their experiences, it is clear how widespread domestic violence is, cutting across community, caste and economic lines.New York Times (Mar 27, 2012)
wield

handle effectively

For all a chimpanzee’s impressive arm strength, he said, humans are much better at wielding a hammer to crack open a nut.New York Times (Feb 27, 2012)
willful

done by design

It was a plain case of willful, deliberate and premeditated murder.Post, Melville Davisson
wily

marked by skill in deception

“Thank you, my kind friend;” and the wily villain continued his deceiving tale, with an eloquence we will not trouble ourselves to repeat.Aguilar, Grace
wince

the facial expression of sudden pain

His fingers buried themselves in Meredith’s shoulder, till the pale face winced with pain.Goodchild, George
windfall

a sudden happening that brings good fortune

House prices doubled in the golden decade but that unearned windfall for the lucky generation went untaxed.
winnow

the act of separating grain from chaff

Mr. Thompson winnowed out the chaff from the heap, and has given us the golden grain in this volume.Upton, George P. (George Putnam)
winsome

charming in a childlike or naive way

She was an awkward-looking girl about fourteen, all arms and elbows, but with a rather winsome face lighted by big, serious eyes.Halsey, Rena I.
wispy

thin and weak

He was a little dark man, with a very big forehead, thin, wispy hair, and sad, large eyes.Lawrence, D. H. (David Herbert)
wistful

showing pensive sadness

She watched the firelight dancing on Al’s sombre face, softening its hardness, making it almost wistful when he gazed thoughtfully into the coals.Bower, B. M.
wistfully

in a pensively sad manner

While deeply absorbed in sad reflection, Dorothy stole to his side and, looking up, wistfully, in his face, said: “Dear papa, isn’t mama here, either?”Rice, Alfred Ernest
wit

verbal skill that has the power to evoke laughter

So saying, the duke, as if charmed with his own wit, burst into a loud and long peal of laughter.Sue, Eugène
withdraw

remove (a commodity) from (a supply source)

As most shops and businesses stayed closed in Cairo, people rushed to withdraw money from bank cash machines.
withdrawal

the act of ceasing to participate in an activity

Starting in the early 20th century, another key factor in diagnosing addiction was the occurrence of physical withdrawal symptoms upon quitting the substance in question.New York Times (Jun 5, 2012)
withdrawn

tending to reserve or introspection

But they were worried that their son, whose sister was eight years younger, was too solitary and withdrawn.
wither

shrink, as with a loss of moisture

While summer withered some crops, a hillside dip or rock outcropping might shelter just enough moisture for other plants to survive.
withered

lean and wrinkled by shrinkage as from age or illness

My old, withered, dry eyes are full of tears yet.Herndon, William H.
withhold

retain and refrain from disbursing, of payments

David A. Paterson, arguing that his decision to unilaterally withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in scheduled payments to school districts violated New York’s Constitution.New York Times (Dec 17, 2009)
withstand

resist or confront with resistance

Winter is coming and the scramble is on to amass enough warm sleeping bags and clothing so that the occupiers could withstand below freezing temperatures.
witless

lacking sense or understanding or judgment

Wah! they were like a flock of sheep, witless, huddling together, springing this way and that without any sense.Strang, Herbert
witticism

a message whose ingenuity has the power to evoke laughter

We laughed amazingly at your epigrammatic witticisms; your reputation is already established here.Various
witty

combining clever conception and facetious expression

“I accept the augury,” cried Frederick, laughing heartily at the witty misapplication of the phrase, and resumed his seat once more.Lever, Charles James
wizardry

exceptional creative ability

When it came to word wizardry, he had Billy Sunday, master of slang and argot of one language, skinned by miles.London, Jack
wizened

lean and wrinkled by shrinkage as from age or illness

Old Harry grinned, crinkling up his wizened face in a mass of fine wrinkles.Garrett, Randall
woe

misery resulting from affliction

Big businesses that have gone bankrupt: Facing scandal, shrinking profits or other woes, these big-name firms have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in recent months.Washington Post (May 14, 2012)
wondrous

extraordinarily good or great

Looking at his work now, though, it strikes me that what he actually did, more often than not, was make the commonplace wondrous and beautiful.
wont

an established custom

In the queen’s time he was wont to go out of town every Saturday at ten o’clock, or on holiday eves.Hindley, Charles
worldly

characteristic of secularity rather than spirituality

Not far away were all their worldly possessions, a rusty stove, two cots, bedding and a box of cooking pans.Wirt, Mildred A. (Mildred Augustine)
wraith

a mental representation of some haunting experience

R. R. is dead, thank God, and her unhappy wraith will haunt your path no more.Caine, Hall, Sir
wrangle

quarrel noisily, angrily, or disruptively

Their women are quarrelsome, and wrangle over payment when selling their wares.Russell, R. V. (Robert Vane)
wrath

intense anger

“ Wrath” differs from “anger” in so far as it may be called anger boiling over.Maclaren, Alexander
wreak

cause to happen or to occur as a consequence

Giant solar storms can wreak havoc on satellites and power grids.New York Times (Mar 8, 2012)
wrench

a hand tool that is used to hold or twist a nut or bolt

The housewife watched him as he gave the nut a final twist with his wrench and stood up.Knight, David C.
wrest

obtain by seizing forcibly or violently, also metaphorically

The crazed strikers fought without weapons, except such as they could wrest from the soldiers.Stocking, Charles Francis
wretched

deserving or inciting pity

She says, “No.” “Do have pity—I am so wretched; it is only a little favour I ask of you.”Webster, Wentworth
wring

twist, squeeze, or compress in order to extract liquid

When it had been finished, everyone was, in spite of slickers and gas suits, so drenched that water could be wrung out of every garment.Kilner, Frederic R.
writ

a legal document issued by a court or judicial officer

The court publicly decided against the writs but secretly issued them.Judson, L. Carroll
writhe

move in a twisting or contorted motion

His writhing, squirming twists would have made a circus contortionist gasp.Standish, Burt L.
wrought

shaped to fit by altering the contours of a pliable mass

Forging and Welding.—The process of pressing or hammering wrought iron when at a red or white heat into any desired shape is called forging.Low, David Allan
wry

humorously sarcastic or mocking

Matthew and Jonathan were trying to outwit each other, while Andrew, the oldest, looked on with a wry smile meant to trump all sarcasm.New York Times (Jul 14, 2010)
xenophobia

a fear of foreigners or strangers

Some fear a return of the xenophobia that led to violent attacks on foreigners two years ago.New York Times (Jul 11, 2010)
yahoo

a person who is not intelligent or interested in culture

What I wanted to bring to your distinguished notice is this—that you must not behave like a yahoo in my mathematical set.Hay, Ian
yearn

desire strongly or persistently

Now and then there is an extreme individualist who yearns to go through life absolutely unmolested, single file.Warner, Frances Lester
yearning

prolonged unfulfilled desire or need

Each generation of foxes grew more approachable, many showing doglike yearning for human contact.Slate (Mar 13, 2012)
yelp

a sharp high-pitched cry

While faintly heard from somewhere outside there was the yelping, barking, howling whine of a dog.Fenn, George Manville
yen

the basic unit of money in Japan; equal to 100 sen

In the last decade, most major coinages have been faked, including British pounds, Russian rubles, Indian rupees, Japanese yen, and Canadian dollars.Slate (Feb 27, 2012)
yeoman

a free man who cultivates his own land

On one extreme was the well-to-do yeoman farmer farming his own land.Reilly, S. A.
yield

give or supply

Cotton and coffee are both indigenous, the former yielding two crops per year.Alden, John B.
yoke

become joined or linked together

The reason was that it had been found unwise and unwholesome to mix up or yoke together believers and unbelievers.*Pierson, Arthur T. (Arthur Tappan)
yokel

a person who is not intelligent or interested in culture

Now, poor people, yokels, clods, cannot love what is incomprehensible to them.Meredith, George
yonder

distant but within sight

“ Yonder,” said he, pointing to some distance down the river.Borrow, George Henry
yore

time long past

Yore, long ago; generally used in the expression “of yore,” formerly, once upon a time.Turner, Winifred
zany

ludicrous or foolish

Style: Pleasantly earnest overall; on occasion displayed his goofy and zany side.
zeal

a feeling of strong eagerness

While many states, particularly in the West, have nonrestrictive gun laws, Arizona’s zeal for weapons has often made headlines.New York Times (Jan 9, 2011)
zealot

a fervent and even militant proponent of something

Finally having conquered his irritable bowel syndrome, he worked out like a zealot all winter, adding about 17 pounds of solid muscle.Seattle Times (Feb 29, 2012)
zealous

marked by active interest and enthusiasm

“You are so willing and zealous; but for that very reason I must guard against your enthusiasm carrying you too far.”Madison, Lucy Foster
zenith

the point above the observer directly opposite the nadir

Zenith, the point in the celestial sphere directly overhead.Warren, Henry White
zephyr

a slight wind

Nor I. On the contrary, all the allusions to the winds are of the gentler kind,—”balmy Zephyrs,” “whispering breezes” and so forth.Pope, Alexander
zest

vigorous and enthusiastic enjoyment

So I pursued my studies with zest and unabated enthusiasm.Farrar, Geraldine

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