Conquer the ACT: Essential Vocabulary List for High Scores

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Vocabulary list for the ACT exam: A strong foundation in English vocabulary is essential for achieving a high score on the ACT. This foundation allows test-takers to progress beyond comprehending the literal meaning of passages. By possessing a robust vocabulary, students can delve deeper into the text, grasping the nuanced arguments and perspectives presented in the questions. 


This enhanced understanding empowers students to craft clear and persuasive responses to ACT prompts. A vocabulary mastery equips them to tackle these prompts with confidence and precision. That said, we have curated and enlisted a comprehensive vocabulary list for the ACT exam for those wishing to improve their lexicon and ace the test. 

100+ Vocabulary Words for the ACT 2024 Exam 

ACT vocabulary: The English section of the ACT assesses a candidate’s ability to formulate well-structured, lucid, and comprehensible responses to designated themes or prompts under time constraints. To achieve success in this section, a comprehensive understanding of a broad range of vocabulary is paramount.

Refer to the ACT vocabulary list below to bolster your chances of success in the said standardised exam. A thorough comprehension of these words can significantly enhance a test-taker’s performance.

Word Meaning 
Abate To reduce in intensity or amount
Abdicate To give up a position, right, or power
Aberration A departure from what is normal
AbhorTo hate deeply
AbstruseDifficult to understand
AccoladeAn award or honour
AcquiesceTo agree or consent without protest
AcrimonyBitterness or ill feeling
Adamant Refusing to be persuaded; firm in opinion
Adroit Skillful and clever
Adulation Excessive praise or flattery
AestheticConcerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty
AlacrityBrisk and cheerful readiness
Alleviate To make less severe
Amalgamate To combine; to mix together
Ambiguous Open to more than one interpretation
Ambivalent Having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas
Ameliorate To improve, make better
AmicablePeaceable, friendly
AmorphousShapeless, formless
AnachronisticOut of date, not attributed to the correct historical period
AnathemaA cursed, detested person
AnecdoteA short and amusing or interesting story
AntithesisThe direct opposite, a sharp contrast
ApatheticFeeling or showing little emotion
ApocryphalOf doubtful authenticity
ApprehensiveFearful or anxious, especially about the future
ArchaicAncient; old-fashioned
Arduous Difficult; requiring much effort
ArticulateAble to speak clearly and expressively
AscertainTo find out for certain
AspersionA damaging or derogatory statement
AssiduousPersistent, attentive, diligent
AstuteShrewd, crafty, showing practical wisdom
AtrophyTo waste away
AudaciousBold, adventurous, recklessly daring
Auspicious favorable; fortunate
Austere  severe or stern in manner
Avarice Greed; desire for wealth
Banal So lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring
Benevolent Kindly, charitable
Bequeath To give or pass on as an inheritance
Berate To scold sharply
Beseech To beg, plead, implore
Bilious Bad-tempered; cross
Blasphemy –Speech which offends religious sentiments
Boon a gift or blessing
Brevity Briefness; short duration
Bucolic Pertaining to the countryside; rural; rustic
BurgeonTo grow and flourish
Cacophony A harsh, jarring noise
Cajole To persuade with false promises and flattery
Callous Emotionally hardened, unfeeling
CapitulateTo surrender
Capricious Sudden and unaccountable changes in mood or behaviour
Carping finding fault; complaining
Catharsis Censure – to criticize harshlyA release of emotional tensionCensure – to criticize harshly
Chagrin embarrassment; a complete loss of courage
Chicanery trickery; deception
Churlish Rude in a mean-spirited and surly way
Circuitous Roundabout, not direct
Clandestine Secret, concealed; underhanded
Clemency Mercy
Cogent Forceful, convincing; relevant, to the point
Commensurate Proportional
CompunctionRemorse, regret
Concomitant Existing concurrently
ConflagrationA large destructive fire
Conundrum A difficult problem
Copious Abundant; plentiful
Cordial Warm and friendly
Corpulent Fat; having a large, bulky body
Coterie A circle of close associates or friends
Craven Cowardly
Credulity Readiness to believe

Deserving blame
Cupidity Greed
Cursory Hasty and superficial
Daunt To make afraid; to discourage
Debacle A complete failure; a total collapse
Debilitate To weaken
Debunk To expose as false
Decorum Proper behaviour
Deference Humble submission and respect
Defunct No longer existing or functioning
Deleterious Harmful
DemagogueA leader who exploits popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power
DenigrateTo attack the reputation of; to speak ill of
Deride To ridicule, laugh at with contempt
Diatribe Despot A bitter and prolonged verbal attackA dictator with absolute power
Dichotomy a division into two parts
Didactic Intended to teach
Diffident Shy, lacking self-confidence; modest, reserved.
Dilatory Tending to delay or procrastinate
DisparageTo belittle, speak slightingly of; to undervalue
Disseminate To scatter or spread widely
Dither To be indecisive
Docile Easily taught, led, or managed; obedient
Dogmatic stubbornly opinionated
DormantInactive, sleeping
DubiousDoubtful; of unlikely authenticity
Duplicity Treachery, deceitfulness
Ebullient Cheerful and full of energy
Eclectic Selecting from or made up from a variety of sources
Efficacious Effective, producing results
Effrontery Shameless boldness
Egregious Outstandingly bad
Elicit To draw forth, bring out from some source
Elucidate To clarify, explain
Emaciated Unnaturally thin
Emulate To imitate with the intent of equaling or surpassing the model
Enervate To weaken
Engender To produce, cause, or bring about
Ennui boredom
Ephemeral Lasting a very short time
EpiphanyA moment of sudden revelation or insight
Equanimity Composure; calmness

Best Tips to Improve Your Vocabulary for the ACT Exam 

ACT Vocabulary:  A strong vocabulary is an invaluable asset for success on the ACT exam. It empowers test-takers to not only grasp the surface meaning of passages but also to delve deeper, unravelling the intricacies of arguments and appreciating the author’s nuanced perspective. Furthermore, a robust vocabulary equips students to craft articulate and persuasive responses to ACT prompts, demonstrating their critical thinking and analytical abilities.

This guide outlines several effective strategies specifically designed to enhance your vocabulary in preparation for the ACT:

  • Extensive reading across various genres is paramount. Expose yourself to complex and well-written literature, news articles, and academic journals. Pay close attention to unfamiliar words, underlining or making note of them for further exploration.
  • Don’t simply memorize isolated vocabulary words and their definitions. Instead, strive to understand how these words are used within a sentence or passage. This contextual understanding fosters a deeper retention of the word’s meaning and its various applications.
  • Don’t be a passive recipient of information. Actively engage with new vocabulary by employing flashcards, creating mind maps, or even writing sentences using the newly acquired words.
  • Utilize memory aids like mnemonics to bridge the gap between unfamiliar words and your existing knowledge base. A well-crafted mnemonic can significantly enhance your recall of challenging vocabulary terms.
  • Make a conscious effort to incorporate your newly acquired vocabulary into your everyday conversations and writing. This continuous practice reinforces your understanding and strengthens the neural pathways associated with these words.

Top 5 Books to Help You Improve Your Vocabulary for the ACT Exam in 2024

When it comes to purchasing the finest ACT preparation books, it may get somewhat complicated. Here are the best vocabulary books for the ACT that you can purchase to bolster your chances of success in the exam. Have a look. 

Name of the BookName of the Author/PublisherPricePurchase Link
Cambridge Idioms DictionaryCambridge University PressINR 346Click Here
Oxford Idioms and Phrasal VerbsBen Francis and Dilys ParkinsonINR 450Click Here
Pinnacle SSC 60 Days English Vocabulary bookPinnacle PublicationsINR 1,288Click Here
Blackbook of English VocabularyNikhil K.R. GuptaINR 329Click Here
Everyday Vocabulary More Than 6100 WordsKumkum Gupta INR 75Click Here

So that was all about the vocabulary list for the ACT exam. Hope the blog has answered your queries regarding the topic. 

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Q1. How important is a strong vocabulary for the ACT?

Ans. A strong vocabulary is crucial for the ACT English section. It allows you to grasp deeper meanings and nuances within passages, enhancing your reading comprehension and improving your score.

Q2.  What are some effective strategies to improve my ACT vocabulary?

Ans. There are several! Reading widely, using context clues in practice tests, actively engaging with new words (like flashcards), and incorporating them into daily use are all effective methods.

Q3. Should I just memorize vocabulary words for the ACT?

Ans. Memorization alone is not ideal. Focus on understanding how words are used in context. This fosters deeper retention and improves your ability to apply them effectively on the ACT.

Visit the Leverage Live page of Leverage edu or contact our study abroad experts at 1800-57-2000 to strengthen your scores and application to secure your spot in your dream college. 

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