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Fun & Free SAT Words Starting with “D”

Updated on May 29, 2012

DISSEMBLE: to conceal

Rachel dissembles her disappointment about Ross's new relationship.
Rachel dissembles her disappointment about Ross's new relationship. | Source

SAT Help from Friends & Seinfeld

Learn SAT words with characters from Friends and Seinfeld. These sentences, pictures and videos from pop culture can help you learn SAT words that start with "D." You'll also get unique practice questions. These sample SAT questions were written by a professional test writer (me) and can help you become familiar with SAT words in context.

SAT "D" Words

The SAT words explored here include: deleterious, deprecate, dissemble and dither. I also define diaphanous.

The DELETERIOUS effects of smoking tobacco

Jerry observes the deleterious effects of smoking upon Kramer's appearance. "Look at your face! It looks like an old catcher's mitt!"

Low-Flow Showerheads Have DELETERIOUS Effects Upon Hairdos

Kramer and Newman deal with the underworld to circumvent the ban on powerful showerheads.
Kramer and Newman deal with the underworld to circumvent the ban on powerful showerheads. | Source

DELETERIOUS - adj. - harmful

Sample Sentences

  • Cosmo Kramer expected smoking to cause emphysema but he didn't anticipate its deleterious effects upon his appearance.
  • A woman at the frozen yogurt shop considered Jerry Seinfeld to be a deleterious influence after he cursed in front of her young son.

Sample SAT Question

Fill in the blanks.

Citing _______ effects upon the building's water supply, Jerry's superintendent _______ the removal of powerful showerheads.

(A) deleterious, circumvented

(B) remedial, fabricated

(C) deleterious, mandated

(D) fabricated, feigned

The best answer is C. (Remember to read all the choices!) Citing deleterious effects upon the building's water supply, Jerry's superintendent mandated the removal of powerful showerheads.

  • Mandated means "ordered." (Something that is mandated is mandatory.)
  • Circumvented means "went around."
  • If something is remedial, it is designed to bring improvements.
  • Something that's fabricated is manufactured or untrue.
  • Feigned is synonymous with pretended or faked.

DEPRECATE: Jason Hanky Puts Down George Costanza

DEPRECATE - v - to belittle, to put down

Sample Sentences for Deprecate

  • Before James Spader played the crude Robert California on The Office, he was deprecating George Costanza on Seinfeld as Jason Hanky.
  • Although Frasier Crane makes many self-deprecating remarks, he seems to have an over-inflated ego.

Sample SAT Question

Fill in the blank.

When George asked Jason for an apology, the unrepentant man made yet another ________ remark.

(A) orthodox

(B) conciliatory

(C) diaphanous

(D) deprecating

The best answer is D, deprecating. Something that's orthodox is customary or conventional. If Jason had been conciliatory, he would have been trying to make up with George. Diaphanous means sheer and light and usually refers to see-through fabric.

DISSEMBLE - v - to conceal, to put on a pretense

Don't confuse dissemble with disassemble (to take apart). Here's a more complete definition:

  1. To conceal one's motives, feelings or beliefs
  2. To disguise or conceal (a feeling or intention)

Here's a sample sentence with a related video example:

Despite his professional training as an actor, Joey Tribbiani couldn't dissemble his excitement about a poker hand.

DISSEMBLE: Joey Tries to Hide a Winning Hand

Rachel dissembles her true feelings and pretends to be happy for Ross.
Rachel dissembles her true feelings and pretends to be happy for Ross. | Source

Here's another example of dissemble in a sentence:

  • Rachel dissembled her heartache when Ross, her longtime love, started to date Julie.

Sample SAT Questions

Here's a "dissemble" SAT question from 1926:

Which two of the following words are opposites or nearly opposites?

(1) obedient

(2) sincere

(3) dissembling

(4) torpid

The best choices are options 2 and 3. Dissembling is the opposite of being sincere. Something that's torpid is inactive (e.g., a hibernating bear). An obedient person complies with orders.

Here's a question that uses the modern SAT format:

Fill in the blank.

As a teenager living on the streets of New York City, Phoebe was quick to ________ and swindled many innocent tourists.

(A) nullify

(B) dissemble

(C) presume

(D) reiterate

The best answer is B, dissemble. To nullify is to make void. To presume is to make an assumption. To reiterate is to repeat.

DITHER: Jerry Is Indecisive About Alternate Babka

Jerry and Elaine don't buy the cinnamon babka right away; they dither because it might be "lesser babka."

DITHER - v. - to be indecisive

Sample Sentence Using Dither

Not knowing whether it was equivalent to chocolate babka, Jerry and Elaine dithered about buying the cinnamon babka.

Sample SAT Question Using Dither

Phoebe was simultaneously dating an attractive fireman and a sensitive teacher. She _______ about which man to date exclusively.

(A) convoluted

(B) dithered

(C) advocated

(D) abrogated

The best answer is B, dithered. Phoebe was indecisive about which man to date. Convoluted is an adjective that means "complex or twisted." Advocated means "to support and promote." Abrogated means "abolished."

That's the end of this SAT word review. See links below for more SAT definitions and sample sentences.

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