The New SAT: Words to Capture Tone – List #7 – 25 Words


showing intellectual penetration or emotional depth

For the Hawaiians, who invented the sport, surfing was no mere pastime but a profound expression of their religion and culture.Wall Street Journal (Aug 13, 2015)

brief and to the point

There was no explanation given in the curt, two-paragraph news release that the Dodgers sent out to announce the bizarre move.Los Angeles Times (Aug 17, 2015)

shy or modest, often in a playful or provocative way

Yes, it was see-through – and there was latex! – but it was oddly demure, covered up, with just a hint of suggestion.New York Times (Nov 21, 2012)

characterized by a firm, humorless belief in one’s opinions
[He] seemed overly slow and overly earnest, like a man explaining the government to toddlers.Washington Post (Jun 24, 2015)

from appearances alone

All around us, seemingly happy celebrity couples are calling it quits, prompting many people to declare that “love is dead.”Time (Sep 8, 2015)

establish or strengthen as with new evidence or facts

Photographic, video and eyewitness accounts have been assembled to substantiate the allegations, officials said.Los Angeles Times (Aug 6, 2015)

unfriendly and inclined toward anger or irritation

Managers who were perceived as kind and caring, and who could inspire and coach employees would do better than bosses who were mean and surly.Forbes (Jun 22, 2015)

vigorous and animated

We know these cities, at their best, can all be inviting, vibrant, and dynamic destinations.Time (Aug 31, 2015)

scold or reprimand; take to task

In their opening remarks, they admonished the jury to consider only evidence presented in the trial.New York Times (Jul 8, 2015)

perplexed by many conflicting situations or statements

He has often seemed befuddled and confused, along with wrong about just about everything.Salon (Jun 22, 2015)

deeply or seriously thoughtful

Some people become more contemplative as they age and take the time to reflect on the life they have lived.US News (Jun 26, 2015)

believing the worst of human nature and motives

While we know children are impressionable, they are also discerning and optimistic, often noting the best in people rather than taking a more cynical view.US News (Jul 27, 2015)

marked by or showing hopelessness

he image of forlorn bears on small rafts of ice has become a symbol of the dangers of climate change.New York Times (Sep 22, 2014)

having or showing arrogant superiority

What we can do is hopefully have a detached perspective, without being pompous and haughty.BBC (May 29, 2013)

characterized by undue lack of attention or concern

“Leaving a child unattended in a car or a house is negligent conduct,” Judge Mary Catherine Cuff wrote.US News (Aug 20, 2015)

marked by a narrow focus on or display of learning

They speak in an over-precise way with much pedantic insistence on letters not generally sounded, especially Hs.The Guardian (Jul 17, 2013)

keenly distressing to the mind or feelings

But a series of poignant, heart-wrenching tweets from Parker’s boyfriend laid bare the tragic human consequences of the horrific episode.Salon (Aug 26, 2015)

dignified and somber in manner or character

One step at a time, in solemn synchrony, the casket team carried the coffin up the grassy hill on Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery.Washington Post (Aug 25, 2015)

marked by or given to doubt

OpenDaylight’s success comes as a shock to those of us that were initially skeptical of its legitimacy and relevance.Forbes (Aug 2, 2015)

showing pensive sadness

At age 40, most men can take a wistful look back and think of a few things they wish they had done in their youth.Washington Times (Aug 7, 2015)

contented to a fault with oneself or one’s actions

He said his state was prepared for future hurricanes: “Our levies are stronger than they’ve ever been before, but we must not become complacent.”New York Times (Aug 30, 2015)

sour or bitter in taste

For the uninitiated, Hopkins rose to fame as a villainous contestant on The Apprentice UK, where she drew attention for her acerbic, insulting comments.Time (Mar 5, 2015)

showing little or no emotion or animation

No, it’s just something to encourage people to step out and stand up for themselves and not be apathetic.BBC (Aug 5, 2015)

ostentatiously lofty in style

It’s also not quite so over-the-top and bombastic as Ghosts, though it’s a far cry from what anyone might describe as realistic.Forbes (Nov 3, 2014)

tending to bring about; being partly responsible for

When they had Wally, the Ellensons decided the driving, long hours, low pay and nomadic lifestyle of coaching were not conducive to raising a family.New York Times (Nov 24, 2015)

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