The New SAT: Words to Capture Tone – List #4 – 25 Words


possessing a distinctive feature to a heightened degree

“If you don’t want a session that is too competitive you can choose one that is less intense.The Guardian (Sep 7, 2015)

attracting or delighting

It is seductive, engaging, and lit, despite the odds, by a vitality that is in itself a form of hope.Slate (Sep 9, 2015)

joyously unrestrained

He had been his father’s exuberant companion, who had, Emerson wrote, “touched with his lively curiosity every trivial fact & circumstance in the household.”The New Yorker (Sep 7, 2015)

lasting for a markedly brief time

Much work goes into the ceremonies, market officials said, though they only last a fleeting few minutes.Wall Street Journal (Sep 3, 2015)

suspicious or fearful of being displaced by a rival

When they travel, rich 20-somethings are drawn toward gregarious pleasures that can be shared on social media to make their friends jealous.Economist (Aug 27, 2015)

easily irritated or annoyed

Nick Saban, the Alabama coach, stamped out of one news conference last week like a petulant child, all because reporters dared to do their jobs.New York Times (Sep 15, 2013)

having a strong desire for success or achievement

This could be a legacy project for an ambitious local politician with his eyes on bigger things.Los Angeles Times (Sep 2, 2015)

marked by defiant disregard for danger or consequences

It came after a night of drinking and reckless stunt driving at a construction site in which he and a passenger could have been killed.New York Times (Sep 2, 2015)

weaken or impair, especially gradually

Bypassing the system of checks and balances would only cause chaos and undermine the legitimacy of the state.Wall Street Journal (Sep 8, 2015)

courteous regard for people’s feelings

“I have waited in deference while others expressed their feelings, beliefs, confusions and even conclusions – absent the full story.”Reuters (Jun 15, 2015)

a communication that belittles somebody or something

The opera is no masterpiece, but disparagement of the score as uninspired has never seemed justified on the rare occasions we hear it.The Guardian (Jun 4, 2013)

marked by tenacious unwillingness to yield

An obstinate captive raven nearly brought photographer Vince Musi to tears last week when the bird refused to stand still for a picture.National Geographic (Aug 8, 2015)

being against something that you disapprove or disagree with

Growing up, she played football with brothers and cousins and rushed to join the team, despite opposition from relatives.The Guardian (Sep 9, 2015)

given to arguing

He’s quarrelsome on Twitter, always ready to tussle with any old nobody who’s talking trash.Washington Post (Apr 8, 2015)

showing an inclination to disagree

At this moment, the respectful, cordial tenor of the meeting took a noticeably different and more contentious tone.The New Yorker (Aug 27, 2015)

showing deep-seated resentment

The brothers had a rancorous split and have essentially not talked since.New York Times (Sep 5, 2013)

marked by harshly abusive criticism

If you read the online versions of newspaper columns you can click over to the reader comments, which are often critical, vituperative and insulting.Seattle Times (Feb 7, 2015)

open to arguments, ideas, or change

Sometimes she seems receptive to advice, but more often she just has an answer for everything and gets really defensive.Washington Post (Sep 9, 2015)

not eager

Montgomery officials are proceeding slowly in addressing the problem sidewalks, reluctant to move forward until they have more laboratory findings.Washington Post (Aug 30, 2015)

tending to entice into a desired action or state

He finds pleasure in thinking itself, surrendering to the seductive pull of creative association.New York Times (Aug 12, 2015)

exceedingly harmful

So, while there is pressure on young men and women to look like models there is another equally pernicious trend emerging – the normalisation of obesity.BBC (May 30, 2015)

threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments

Ominous foreshadowings at the film’s beginning hint how that story ends, but the derring-do along the way is something to see.New York Times (May 28, 2015)

a vague unpleasant emotion in anticipation of a misfortune

She feels like she is no longer as sharp as her colleagues, causing significant anxiety and depression.US News (Sep 3, 2015)

attempting to win favor from influential people by flattery

Their representative assemblies passed obsequious resolutions expressing loyalty and gratitude to the King, and the people; and erected his statue in a public place. James H.Stark

power to defeat

Of course football has its celebrated chess-like aspects, but the game’s primal appeal is in the physical domination of some men by some other men.Slate (May 18, 2015)

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