SAT: Build Your Vocabulary with Chapter 9 of Twilight

Use this chapter from Defining Twilight — written by Brian Leaf for CliffsNotes — side-by-side with your own copy of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight to build your vocabulary and improve your score on the SAT, ACT, GED, or SSAT exams. The chapter gives you eight words taken from Twilight, with page references for you to read the words in the context of Stephenie Meyer's popular novel. Based on how the word is used in Twilight, guess at its definition; then check your answers, write the exact definitions, and reread the sentence in Twilight where each word appears. Then complete the rest of the test prep example questions.

Defining Twilight

Find each of the following words on the Twilight page number provided. Based on the way each word is used in the book, guess at its definition.

  1. Complacent (p. 187) might mean what?
  2. Recoiled (p. 187) might mean what?
  3. Unscathed (p. 189) might mean what?
  4. Ruefully (p. 189) might mean what?
  5. Anguished (p. 190) might mean what?
  6. Appalled (p. 190) might mean what?
  7. Unconditional (p. 192) might mean what?
  8. Mechanically (p. 193) might mean what?

Answers

Let's see how you did. Check your answers, write the exact definitions, and reread the sentence in Twilight where each word appears. Then complete the drills.

  1. Complacent (p. 187) means smug and self-satisfied. This word is often used to indicate that one is too at ease and therefore unaware of actual danger, such as the danger of dating a vampire.
  2. Recoiled (p. 187) means flinched back. This word means exactly what it sounds like. Imagine a snake that's coiled up and comes forward, but then recoils — it backs away and winds itself back up. Re- means again, as in reborn, reclaim, reapply, and resend.
  3. Unscathed (p. 189) means unharmed. One way to remember this word's meaning is that scathe sounds like scar, so unscathed sounds like unscarred.
  4. Ruefully (p. 189) means regretfully. Family Guy's Stewie has been known to say, "You shall rue this day!" (Fox, Family Guy, "Mind Over Murder," 1999)
  5. Anguished (p. 190) means pained. Anguish is a synonym for despair. Other synonyms are desolation, despondency, and wretchedness.
  6. Appalled (p. 190) means greatly distressed. This word actually comes from the word pale, as in losing color in your face when unexpectantly meeting vampires on the baseball field.
  7. Unconditional (p. 192) means total or subject to no conditions. Synonyms: absolute, categorical, unequivocal, unmitigated, unqualified, untempered. The SAT, ACT, and SSAT love to use these words!
  8. Mechanically (p. 193) means automatically or without thinking, like a machine.

Synonyms

Select the word whose meaning is closest to the word in capital letters.

1. COMPLACENT

  1. smug
  2. recoiled
  3. unscathed
  4. anguished
  5. despondent

2. RUEFUL

  1. qualified
  2. mechanical
  3. regretful
  4. complimentary
  5. animated

3. UNCONDITIONAL

  1. saturated
  2. sodden
  3. disheveled
  4. inexplicable
  5. absolute

4. TEMPER

  1. elude
  2. prevaricate
  3. equivocate
  4. moderate
  5. lumber

Analogies

Select the answer choice that best completes the meaning of the sentence.

5. Unconditional is to qualified as

  1. complacent is to self-satisfied
  2. recoiled is to anguished
  3. broached is to mechanical
  4. unmitigated is to attenuated
  5. appalled is to pallid

6. Unscathed is to catastrophe as

  1. pallid is to alabaster
  2. placid is to censure
  3. scrutinized is to furrowing
  4. recalcitrant is to exam
  5. enigmatic is to downpour

Sentence Completions

Choose the word or words that, when inserted in the sentence, best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

7. Rose ________ recoiled after she accidentally rested her hand on the hot stove; the speed of her response left her hand ________ and totally free of burns.

  1. automatically . . anguished
  2. appallingly . . mechanical
  3. fervently . . modulated
  4. gravely . . furrowed
  5. mechanically . . unscathed

8. Sitting in detention, Sam remembered ________ the events of the day that had landed him there, and was appalled at his behavior.

  1. ruefully
  2. unconditionally
  3. complacently
  4. indifferently
  5. obstinately

Answers

1. A. Complacent means smug. Recoiled means flinched back, unscathed means unharmed, anguished means pained, and despondent means miserable.

2. C. Rueful means regretful. Qualified means limited, mechanical means automatic, complimentary means praising, and animated means energetic.

3. E. Unconditional and absolute mean complete. Saturated and sodden mean soaked, disheveled means messy, and inexplicable means unexplainable.

4. D. Temper can mean lessen. That's also what moderate means. Use the process of elimination. Elude, prevaricate, and equivocate all mean avoid. Lumber means walk awkwardly.

5. D. "Unconditional (without conditions) is the opposite of qualified (with conditions)."

  1. Complacent is the opposite of self-satisfied . . . no, they are synonyms.
  2. Recoiled (flinched back) is the opposite of anguished (pained) . . . no.
  3. Broached (brought up) is the opposite of mechanical (automatic) . . . no, they are unrelated.
  4. Unmitigated (unqualified) is the opposite of attenuated (reduced) . . . yes, this is the best of the answer choices.
  5. Appalled (distressed) is the opposite of pallid (pale) . . . no.

6. B. "She is fortunate to be unscathed after a catastrophe."

  1. She is fortunate to be pallid (pale) after an alabaster (white) . . . no, that makes no sense.
  2. She is fortunate to be placid (peaceful) after a censure (harsh criticism) . . . yes.
  3. She is fortunate to be scrutinized (closely examined) after a furrowing (wrinkling) . . . no.
  4. She is fortunate to be recalcitrant (stubborn) after an exam . . . no, that makes no sense.
  5. She is fortunate to be enigmatic (mysterious) after a downpour . . . no.

7. E. "Rose quickly recoiled after she accidentally rested her hand on the hot stove; the speed of her response left her hand unharmed and totally free of burns." Use the process of elimination, one blank at a time. Choice E is best. Mechanically means automatically (like a reflex), and unscathed means unharmed.

8. A. "Sitting in detention, Sam remembered regretfully the events of the day that had landed him there, and was appalled at his behavior." Ruefully means regretfully.