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Chris Lele

SAT Vocab Monday: Words of Different Degrees

Today, we have words that are related to one another, but some are more extreme versions of another:


A team is down three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Most are predicting that the game is over. But the losing team seems to find a way to hang-on. They run down every ball, giving their all on every play. As a result, they edge back and win the game in overtime.

This team is tenacious: not easily discouraged or likely to give up; persisting in the face of adversity.

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A rubber band is resilient. It always seems to pop back into shape (as long as you don’t snap it, that is). People, too, can be resilient. Maybe you know somebody who plays sports, but gets injured a lot. Yet, they always seem to recover and keep playing as though nothing ever happened.

This person is resilient: he or she readily bounces back from difficulty.


This word is like tenacious but more extreme. This means unstoppable: no matter what, nothing can get in your way. A football team that wins 55-0 is inexorable. You definitely don’t want your enemy to be inexorable. That means that no matter what you’ll never be able to shake them, like that guy from X-men who runs through walls. Good luck stopping him.


Shrug your shoulders a lot? Everybody is talking about the Super Bowl, and you are thinking Super Bore. Nothing excites you that much? Well, maybe you are nonchalant. You act kind of cool and casual about everything. There was this one time that Michael Jordan scored 55 or so points in a game, and he just smiled and shrugged his shoulders. Pretty nonchalant I must say. I couldn’t even get a shot off in the NBA.


Think you are too cool for everybody? You don’t even want to hang out in the same room? Well, you are probably aloof. In fact, most teenagers (I was once a teenager) are aloof around adults. When your families get together and you are the only one who is old enough to drive but not old enough to vote, then you are likely to act aloof. You’re probably not chit-chatting it up with the octogenarians, nor playing Wii with the little ones. You are probably going to keep to yourself and answer questions in a nasal grunt.


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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