Confusing Words Clarified: Group M; Homonyms, Homophones, Homographs, Synonyms, Polysemes, etc. +

(lists of "M" sections that are organized into what for some people are confusing groups of words)

If you have any problems understanding the pronunciation symbols, go to this Pronunciation Chart for clarifications.

mold, mold, mold, mold
mold (MOHLD) (noun)
Soft, loose earth that is especially suitable for plants because it is rich in decaying organic matter: James bought a bag of mold at the plant nursery for his garden.
mold (MOHLD) (noun)
1. A distinctive shape or characteristic: Reggie's personality was of the mold of a university academic.
2. An object used to create a certain shape: Trisha has a baking mold in the shape of a tree which she uses at Christmas.
mold (MOHLD) (verb)
To shape or to create a form often by using one's hands: Cara will mold the bread dough into a wreath before she bakes it.

The potter used his hands to mold the clay into a beautiful vase.

mold (MOHLD) (noun)
Any of a variety of fungus growths commonly found on the surfaces of decaying food or in warm, moist places, and usually having a woolly or furry texture: Albert saw three different types of mold on the decaying log in his backyard.

The bread was covered with mold; so, Lenora had to throw it away and get some fresh bread for her family's dinner.

As a potter, Charles uses a mold to mold pots and containers in which to put garden mold for his balcony garden. He sometimes tries to feed the birds on his balcony, throwing them bits of bread which he was not going to eat because it had some mold on it.

mole, mole, mole, mole
mole (MOHL) (noun)
A small permanently colored spot or raised spot on one's body: Winifred has a small brown mole on her left cheek.
mole (MOHL) (noun)
A spy or an individual who works inside an organization and gives secret information to another organization or country: This exciting novel is about a mole who worked for the government.
mole (MOHL) (noun)
1. An insect eating animal which burrows in the soil: The mole in Trisha's garden makes the lawn lumpy and difficult to mow.
2. A massive, usually stone wall constructed in the sea, used as a breakwater and built to enclose or to protect an anchorage or a harbor: The local harbor was enclosed by a mole.
3. A machine designed for boring through hard materials such as rock: The huge mole was brought to the work site when it was time to dig the new tunnel.
mole (MOH lay) (noun)
A spicy sauce made with chili and chocolate: The Mexican restaurant served a delicious mole with the meat dishes.

It is easy to see how a construction mole got its name; it acts like a garden mole, burrowing through the soil and rocks.

During a construction project, after the mole had bored through the rock, the broken and crushed rock was hauled to the harbor to reinforce the original mole.

Elisa, who also worked with Jim on a project, had a small mole on her cheek; and she said that after a hard day's work, she and her friends would often go to a restaurant to have chicken with a mole sauce.

momentary, momentous
momentary (MOH muhn ter" ee) (adjective)
Very brief, lasting for only a moment, or done in an instant: Jeremy had a momentary lapse of memory this morning and forgot to change from his house slippers to his street shoes.
momentous (moh MEN tuhs) (adjective)
Of significant or very great importance: It was a momentous occasion when the former football hero came to visit Ryan's school.

In a momentary flash of genius, Keith thought it would be a momentous occasion if the mayor invited the retired astronaut to speak at the unveiling of the new monument in the town square.

mommy, mummy
mommy (MAHM ee) (noun)
An informal expression meaning "Mother", often used by young children: The little child seemed to be lost and was calling for her mommy.
mummy (MUHM ee) (noun)
1. A dead body of a person, or of an animal, prepared for burial in the manner of the ancient Egyptians by treating it with oils and wrapping it in strips of cloth: This mummy was found in the ancient caves near the river.
2. An informal British term for "Mother", used especially by children: Timmy asked, "Where's my mummy?"

The first principle of Egyptian archaeology is for mommy to find the mummy.

monologue, dialogue
monologue (MAHN uh lawg", MAHN uh lahg") (noun)
A dramatic speech or sketch performed by one actor: Abigail memorized the monologue for her role in the theater production.
dialogue (DIGH uh lawg", DIGH uh lahg") (noun)
A conversation or verbal exchange between two or more people: The dialogue between the two lead characters in the play was fast paced and witty.

The construction of the new play was interesting in that it created a unique balance between each monologue every brilliant dialogue.

monopoly; polypoly, polyopoly
monopoly (muh NAHP uh lee) (noun)
1. Exclusive possession or ownership of something: The sugar mogul had a monopoly on the sugar import-export business in our city.
2. When capitalized, a board game developed in the 1930s involving money, purchase of property, etc.: The family decided to play Monopoly after dinner.
polypoly, polyopoly (PAHL ee PAHL ee, pahl ee AH pahl ee) (noun)
A market situation where there are large numbers of small buyers and small sellers, none of which can influence prices or a market situation in which there are no large sellers but many small ones: Patrick was just one member of the polypoly, or polyopoly, among many other businessmen who had no affect on the costs of his products beyond his sales outlet.

One advantage of a polypoly, or polyopoly, market situation is the limited possibility of a monopoly developing among the buyers or sellers.

mood, mooed
mood (MYOOD) (noun)
A temporary or predominant feeling or state of mind; an expression of that feeling: She seemed to be in a very good mood after the delicious meal.
mooed (MYOOD) (verb)
To make the vocal sound of a cow: The cows mooed when they were let into the fresh green pasture.

The cow mooed contentedly because she was in a good mood.

moose, mousse, mouse
moose (MYOOS) (noun)
A large cud-chewing member of the deer family, common in Canada and the northern United States: Patrice and Ronda watched the large moose standing in the shallow water chewing grass and other greens from the lake shore.
mousse (MYOOS) (noun)
A light dessert incorporating gelatin and/or whipped cream or beaten egg whites: Karin's aunt made a fabulous chocolate mousse for dessert.
mouse (MOUS) (noun)
1. A small rodent with a slender tail, a pointed nose, and small ears: Carol's cat perked up when it saw the mouse dash across the kitchen floor.
2. The small moveable device that is used to control and to move the cursor on a computer screen: The mouse for Henry's computer is very sensitive to movement.

Is it possible that a moose and a mouse both would like to have mousse for dessert?

Thomas told about driving down a winding road with his wife when he had to swerve suddenly to avoid hitting an animal with antlers.

As he and his wife recovered from the startling situation, she turned to her husband and said, "Now, that was really a near moose collision!"

moot, mute, mute, mute
moot (MYOOT) (adjective)
1. Argued about but not possible for anyone to prove: Bernhardt said that they should have foreseen the accident, but that point was moot now.
2. Not worth talking about; no longer important or worth discussing: Francine said that that argument was a moot point and not relevant to the topic they were trying to resolve.
mute (MYOOT) (noun)
1. An individual who is unable or unwilling to speak: The mute, who worked with the police investigator, could read lips and knew what people were saying.

The police have been mute about the results of the investigation.

2. A device attached to a musical instrument to soften or to muffle the sound: Sallie used the mute on the strings of her violin to create a new and pleasing sound.
mute (MYOOT) (adjective)
1. Something felt or expressed without the use of words: They hugged each other in mute sympathy over the death of their father
4. Contributing nothing to the overall sound or pronunciation of a word: The e at the end of the word mute is silent.
mute (MYOOT) (verb)
To make a sound softer, quieter, or less harsh: Bronson covered his ears to mute the sound of the guns being fired at the military funeral.

Abigail was asked to use the remote control to mute the excessive loudness of the TV.

Although Marla's uncle was a mute, he could play the trumpet, including using a mute to muffle the sound. In the family, it became a moot point to argue whether her uncle could communicate because he was able to do it to some degree through his music.

moral, moral, morale, morel
moral (MAWR uhl, MAHR uhl) (adjective)
1. Concerning or relating to what is right and wrong in human behavior: Each story in the book teaches an important moral lesson.
2. Based on what a person thinks is right and good: Marjorie felt that she had a moral obligation to help the poor people in her community.

James is a man with strong moral convictions who believes strongly that some things are right and others are not appropriate!

moral (MAWR uhl, MAHR uhl) (noun)
A lesson that is learned from a story or an experience: The moral of the story is to be satisfied with what you have and not to keep looking for more and more material things.
morale (muh RAHL, moh RAHL) (noun)
The feelings of enthusiasm and loyalty that a person or group has about a task or job: Despite the fact that the team is not playing all that well, their morale is still high.

The company has been improving with its profits which has resulted in greater morale for its employees.

morel (muh REL, moh REL) (noun)
Any of various edible mushrooms of the genus Marcella having a brownish sponge-like cap: In France, people go morel hunting by the thousands every year because of the taste of the morels and for the joy of the hunt.

The company management felt that it was their moral duty to plan events to improve the morale among the office staff. One activity was to plan a morel hunt, contracting with the local morel hunters to explain the hunt, the secrecy among the hunters, etc.

In a produce market, the manager instructed one of his employees: "Just tell customers that we have unpackaged mushrooms and stop saying, We have loose morels!"

—Based on the cartoon presentation,
"Frank and Ernest" by Bob Thaves; August 30, 2009.

"In a Tiny Montana Town, the Hunt for Mushrooms Can Be a Morel Imperative"

—An article headline by Lauren Etter and Janet Adamy as seen in
The Wall Street Journal, Europe; page 1; 2004(?)
morality, mortality
morality (muh RAL i tee, maw RAL i tee) (noun)
1. The degree to which something is right and good: Shelby's husband suggested that she consider the morality of telling lies in order to protect her friend.
2. Conformity to the ideals of interpersonal relationships: Marissa's standards of morality were very high and she refused to compromise on her ideals.
mortality (mor TAHL it tee) (adjective)
The quality or state of being a person or something that is alive and therefore certain to die: When people do not have good health care, the mortality rate among young children can be very high.

The death of Jim's brother reminded him of his own mortality.

When Karen's friend died mysteriously, the circumstances of David's death led her to consider her own mortality and to think about the morality of her relationships with certain questionable characters.

morbid, sordid
morbid (MOR bid) (adjective)
1. Characterized by unwholesome or very sad feelings: After reading the morbid novel, Jane was anxious to go for a walk to raise her spirits.
2. Characteristic of or induced by disease: The conditions in the slum were morbid and caused many people to be ill.
sordid (SOR did) (adjective)
Very dirty, gross, and/or vile: The novel was the sordid story of greed and avarice.

Josie had to be moved to a supervised home because the 100-year old woman was living in a sordid situation.

The public often displays a morbid curiosity about the sordid facts of life in the slums as described by socially conscious authors; such as, Charles Dickens.

more, more, mower, moor, moor
more (MOHR) (adjective)
Greater, additional, more than expected: Shelby and Terry were surprised that more visitors came to the gallery than they had expected.
more (MOHR) (adverb)
A greater number or quantity: Which is more, driving for three hours or driving for 120 minutes?
mower (MOHR) (noun)
A machine designed to cut grass and other tall standing plants: Ronald's summer job was to run the mower in the park every week to cut the grass.
moor (MOOR) (noun)
1. When capitalized, one of the Arabic or Berber tribes which conquered and occupied Spain in the Eighth Century: The architecture of the home of the Moor was developed in Spain and it is still beautiful.
2. Boggy, infertile land typically covered with grasses: Eric walked across the moor when he was on a walking holiday in England.
moor (MOOR) (verb)
To tie one's boat up at a dock: Carl will moor his boat at his neighbor's dock.

Lucinda and Arthur wanted to go one more time to the art gallery; so, they rowed their boat across the river to moor it near the gallery gardens. They noticed that the lawn mower had been busy and the grass was cut; resulting in the gardens complimenting the Moor style architecture of the gallery.

morn, mourn
morn (MORN) (noun)
The time of day taking place at sunrise until noon: It was a beautiful morn when the sun came up.
mourn (MORN, MOHRN) (verb)
To feel or to express grief at a time of death or other significant loss: We will all mourn the loss of our special friend, Brittney, who died just after her birthday.

Mike's mother died during the night and so it was not until the next morn that anyone could mourn her passing.

morning, mourning, mourning, mourning
morning (MOR ning) (noun)
The time of day between the rising of the sun and noon: Laurel had the most energy in the morning after she has had a good sleep and breakfast.

Trudy and Alisa discussed the situation that morning and they will get together the next morning to see if they can solve the problem.

mourning (MOR ning) (adjective)
Visible signs or apparel worn to recognize and acknowledge feelings of death or loss of life: Shanna decided to wear dark mourning to the funeral.
mourning (MOR ning) (verb)
To show sorrow for someone who has died: Susana is still mourning for her dead husband.
mourning (MOR ning) (noun)
Great sadness that is felt because someone has died: There was a period of deep mourning in memory of the death of the scientist.

Little did Mike and Dorothea know that they would be mourning in the morning until they discovered that their dog had died during the night.

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