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Chris Lele

SAT Vocab Monday: Words of Summer


What do you think of when somebody says summer? Sweltering weather, endless baseball games, rising from bed at 1 in the afternoon? Whatever it may be, the SAT likely has a word to describe it.


It’s summer, a time when things heat up. In certain parts of the country, it can get so hot that when you sit down in your car it’s like sitting on a burning stove. These parts of the country tend to be near the desert, where it is also very dry. A word that describes such conditions is “torrid” (think scorched earth and cacti). Interestingly, torrid can also describe passionate, steamy relationships (think of any daytime soap opera).

The reason this word would show up on the SAT is not because the test writers are known for their penchant for talking about passionate encounters but because the word sounds a lot like “torpid”, which means lazy. Speaking of which, that can describe how many people feeling during the summer. If only there were more SAT words that meant “lazy”….


You know when it’s real torrid out and you awake in a sweat. The last thing you want to do is make any unnecessary movements, so you slink off to the couch with a gallon of ice cream. You NetFlix it, not moving for the next six hours. Indolent describes this level of laziness, in which you avoid doing anything that requires effort.


You don’t have to be a comatose sloth to be described as lazy. Laziness can also include lounging, whether it be poolside or at the beach. Languorous captures this pleasant sense of lazy and also connotes a lack of energy. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, wait till August.


Speaking of the beach, when you swim far out you’ll notice these funny orange objects bobbing in the water. Those are buoys, which point out hazards to boats looking to moor. What does that have to do with summer, besides the beach theme? Well, some people—such as myself—become extra peppy during the summer. So if summer is your favorite time (cue the Olaf song from Frozen), then you’re likely to be buoyant or upbeat and optimistic.


About Chris Lele

Chris Lele is the GRE and SAT Curriculum Manager (and vocabulary wizard) at Magoosh Online Test Prep. In his time at Magoosh, he has inspired countless students across the globe, turning what is otherwise a daunting experience into an opportunity for learning, growth, and fun. Some of his students have even gone on to get near perfect scores. Chris is also very popular on the internet. His GRE channel on YouTube has over 8 million views.

You can read Chris's awesome blog posts on the Magoosh GRE blog and High School blog!

You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

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