1. a set of standardized college admissions tests developed by the College Board, the principal one measuring mathematical and verbal reasoning, and others measuring knowledge in specific subject areas.
Compare ACT(def 1).

Origin of SAT

originally an abbreviation of Scholastic Aptitude Test and later, Scholastic Assessment Test Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for scholastic aptitude test


  1. the past tense and past participle of sit


adjective Southern African
  1. very tired; exhausted
  2. drunk

Word Origin for sat



abbreviation for
  1. (in the US) Scholastic Aptitude Test
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for scholastic aptitude test



1961, initialism for Scholastic Aptitude Test.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

scholastic aptitude test in Culture

Scholastic Aptitude Test

A test that purportedly measures the aptitude of high-schoolers for college. Originally devised in 1926, it was not widely employed by colleges to select students until the 1950s and 1960s.


The SAT is controversial. College admissions officers have relied on it, but critics contend that it contains cultural biases that work against the admission of African-Americans and other minorities.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.