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Chris Lele

SAT Vocab Monday: The Good Life

Ah, the good life. That of course doesn’t mean the same thing for each of us. Look below to see if any of the SAT words describe you.


This word comes from the epicureans, a group of ancient Greek philosophers who focused on pleasure. Not surprisingly, they found great pleasure in sitting around in gardens—or the Greek equivalent—and philosophizing. Today, though, the word has taken on a slightly different meaning: an epicure is one who takes pleasure in good food and drink. I picture some old dude eating filet mignon and drinking red wine (I also picture him with a white beard but that’s probably because of the whole philosopher connection).

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Somebody who is a gourmand doesn’t just like good food, they like to eat too much of it. In this instance, I picture one of those adorably corpulent French chefs who is always dropping a pound of butter in everything he cooks (and tasting it with a finger and saying “voila”). Of course to be a gourmand all you have to do is eat lots of gourmet cooking. The verb form of the word “gourmandize” might also pop up on the SAT.


If your one pursuit in life is pleasure, you are a hedonist. You can usually spot a hedonist on some beach in Greece (sorry, no philosophers allowed), tanning by day and partying by night on some yacht. When I think of hedonists, I typically think of Paris Hilton (though I try not to think of her when I can avoid it).


Back in the middle of the previous millennium (give or take a hundred years), the city of Sybaris, located somewhere on the southern Italian coast, was noted for its luxury. I’m thinking svelte types in flowing silk robes (they didn’t have Lamborghinis back then). Today, a sybarite is anybody who indulges in luxury. If tomorrow you are going to wake up and eat some caviar before heading to your two-hour massage (in your Lamborghini, of course) you are likely a sybarite.

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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 10 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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