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

(lists of "P" 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.

paced, paste, paste
paced (PAYST) (verb)
1. To have walked in a manner that is slow, measured, and deliberate: When Beth was worried, she paced the floor in her living room.
2. To have measured a distance based on a careful walk: Earl paced off the distance between the gate and the door of the barn.
paste (PAYST) (verb)
To stick something to a surface: The children are going to paste the stars that they made on to the painted-blue background.
paste (PAYST) (noun)
1. A dough mixture that is made with a high level of fat and can be used to make pastries: Latonya patted the paste into the deep baking dish and filled it with apple slices before baking it.
2. A mixture of flour and water that is used as glue: Mother made the paste for Helena so she could work on her notebook.
3. Jewelery that is made from glass that has a high lead content: The paste necklace was lustrous and looked almost real.

Shanna paced in front of the jewelery store trying to decide whether to buy the paste necklace which she admired.

Shanna couldn't make up her mind so she went home and discovered that the children had tried to paste pictures into their photograph book using a paste of flour and water.

After that, she went into the kitchen to make a paste for the apple pie she was going to bake.

packed, packed, pact
packed (PAKT) (adjective)
1. Compressed or filled to maximum capacity: The packed theater was ready for the opening performance.
2. An indication that someone has finished putting things into bags, boxes, etc.: Jesse and Jenifer were all packed and ready to move to their new apartment.
packed (PAKT) (verb)
1. To have created a compact bundle: Curtis packed his suitcase the night before for the trip the following day.
2. To have carried or to have worn: Dale packed his pistol in the holster on his belt when he went target shooting.
3. To be capable of having a significant impact: The hurricane packed a wallop when it came on land.
4. To leave without any expressions of farewell or good-bye: After the quarrel with her father, Susana packed up and left without saying good-bye.
5. To have created layers which are compact: The riverbank was packed into layers of sand, gravel, and clay.
pact (PAKT) (noun)
A formal agreement between two countries, people, or groups; especially, to help each other or to stop fighting: The ten nations signed a pact agreeing not to pollute the rivers.

The Senate supported a nonaggression pact between the two countries.

In front of a packed audience, the two national leaders signed a pact which allowed for the conventional trade between the countries.

packs, pax
packs (PAKS) (verb)
1. To fill to the maximum: The rock group really packs the stadium for the concert.
2. To assemble items into a compact space: Marvin packs his suitcase carefully so he won't forget anything.
3. To wear or to carry: Maud's mother always packs a lunch for her when she goes to school.
4. To cause a significant impact or impression: The Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis pacts quite an impression when you see it for the first time.
pax (PAKS) (noun)
1. A Latin word for "peace" used in the Catholic Mass as a symbolic embrace in which the participants place their hands on each other's shoulders: The priest urged the congregants to express their pax with their neighbors by shaking hands or placing their hands on each other’s shoulders.
2. A plaque or tablet containing a representation of a sacred subject and sometimes used in the Roman Catholic Mass during the pax: At Christmas we often see the sign PAX displayed at the church.
3. In Roman mythology, Pax, the goddess of peace; identified with the Greek goddess "Irene": The Latin term pax, meaning "peace", is utilized in modern English.

Whenever the famous speaker, Lorna Roberts, comes to town, she packs the local assembly hall and her speech packs quite an impression; especially, for those who are hearing her for the first time.

Ingrid always packs a lunch and a bottle of water when she attends the presentation. The theme of the speaker’s current talk is pax, urging neighbors to be friendly and forgiving.

In fact, the local church committee wants to put up a pax in the church to commemorate her visit.

pad, pad; pod
pad (PAD) (noun)
1. A piece of soft material used to protect something or to give it shape, to clean or to polish articles, or to absorb moisture: Brenda's father had to sit with a foam pad behind his back to help support it.

The doctor put a gauze pad over the wound of Mildred's father.

2. A covering for a specific part of the body that is worn to protect that part from injury: Football players wear a pad for each shoulder and on the hips.
3. A set of paper sheets for writing or drawing which are glued or fastened at one edge: Philip always keeps a pad and pencil, or pen, by the phone.
4. The soft part on the bottom of each foot of a dog, cat, etc.: During freezing weather, each of an animal's foot pad, or the pads of their feet, can be painful.
5. A flat area on the ground where helicopters can take off or land: Harry's city has a helicopter landing pad close to the hospital; especially, for emergency situations.
pad (PAD) (verb)
1. To cover or to fill something with soft material; especially, to protect it or to make it more comfortable: Louis wanted to pad the inside of the box with cloth and crumpled paper.
2. To make something larger, longer, or more attractive by addling things that are unnecessary, unimportant, or false: Too many politicians tend to pad their speeches with accusations that their opponents have caused the economic problems that exist in the country.

pod (PAHD) (noun)
1. A long, thin part of some plants that has seeds inside: This pea pod is amazing because it contains ten peas.
2. A group of ocean animals; such as whales, that are swimming together: During their ocean cruise, Janette and Todd were thrilled to see a whale pod and even a a dolphin pod swimming next to their ship.

James, the scientist, tried to pad the report about the whale pod; in fact he used a whole pad of paper to write about the pod.

What happened next was tragic. His dog sneaked up on his soft pads and grabbed the report and ran away with it to the nearby helicopter pad and the report was blown away by the draft created by the helicopter blades.

paddock, padlock
paddock (PAD uhk) (noun)
1. A fenced area, usually near a stable, used primarily for grazing horses: Yesterday Sally enjoyed seeing the horses in the paddock on the farm that she was visiting.
2. An enclosed area at a race track where horses, dogs, etc., are kept before a race: Before the horses were brought to the race track, they were waiting in the paddock for their turn to join the race.
3. In some places, any enclosed piece of land: There is a program in an African country that will subsidize a herdsman who wants to replace his bramble-enclosed paddock with a fence of metal and wood so he can protect his crops from bush pigs and other animals.
padlock (PAD lahk") (noun)
A detachable device with a U-shaped bar hinged at one end, designed to be passed through the staple of a hasp or a link in a chain and then snapped shut: Carolina put a padlock on her front gate and the garage door.

The man who takes care of the horses used a padlock to lock the paddock where the horses were stabled.

paid, payed; paid, paved, paved
paid (PAYD); payed is a misspelling of paid (adjective)
Receiving remuneration for a service: Carlos is a paid employee for the company.
paid (PAYD) (verb)
1. To have given remuneration for services provided or for property received: Fay paid for her purchase at the cashier’s desk.
2. To have made compensation for; to have discharged a debt: Fred paid his debt to society by doing volunteer work with street youth.
paved (PAYVD) (adjective)
Covered with a hard surface; such as, of stone, concrete, or asphalt: Some of the paved roads were done recently and so they were nice and smooth to drive on.
paved (PAYVD) (verb)
To have covered a surface with stone, concrete, etc. to create a solid surface: Some of the roads were paved with fresh asphalt.

After the contractors paved the driveways, they were well paid for their fast and superior work.

pail, pale
pail (PAYL) (noun)
A container that is open at the top and usually has a handle: Please fill the pail with water and pour it on the rosebushes.
pale (PAYL) (adjective)
1. Light in color: Marvin painted the walls with a pale blue color.
2. Having a skin color that is closer to white than is usual or normal: When Bernhart came home from the hospital, his illness left him weak and pale.

The father asked his son, Alan, to bring the light-colored bucket from the garage. "Do you mean the pale pail?" the boy asked.

pain, pain, pane
pain (PAYN) (verb)
To suffer or to cause distress: It will pain Harry to tell his friend about the accident.
pain (PAYN) (noun)
1. A bodily sensation characterized by discomfort and suffering: Mary was in severe pain with a broken hip that was caused by the fall down the stairs.
2. An individual who annoys or is troublesome to others: Lorna's brother is a pain when he gets into her school projects.
3. An acute emotional upset or disruption: The pain of separation broke Marie's heart.
pane (PAYN) (noun)
1. A sheet of glass framed for a window or a door: The glassier installed the new pane in the front door.
2. A side of a bolt head or nut: The flat pane of the bolt made it easy to hang on to while Luis tightened the nut with the pliers.

If a broken glass window were to have sense perceptions, isn't it obvious that it would feel a pain in the pane?

pair, pare, pear
pair (PAIR) (noun)
1. Characterized by two of something: Russel bought a suit with a new pair of trousers.

The new pair of shoes had buckles on the toes.

An extra pair of hands is just what Rosetta needed to get the work done.

2. A partnership of two often engaged in a competition against another partnership of two: Our champion pair of tennis players easily defeated the challenging pair from the other club.
3. Two animals that mate together: A pair of parrots can raise one chick each year.
pare (PAIR) (verb)
1. To diminish, to reduce, or to trim: The new budget is supposed to pare down on all excess expenses.

Steve used the clippers to pare his fingernails.

2. To remove the outer covering or skin of fruit with a knife or similar instrument: Jennifer used the short knife to pare the apples before she made the apple pie.
pear (PAIR) (noun)
A fruit which is wide at one end (bottom) and coming to a modified point at the other end (top): Dale ate a fresh pear from the tree in his backyard.

Having a sweet and juicy pear is a real delight.

When the phone rang, Jill was busy trying to pare a pear; in fact, she was thinking about making it a pair for her afternoon snack.

pairing, paring
pairing (PAIR ing) (noun)
Joining or associating one thing with something else: Who would have thought of pairing cheese with apple pie?
paring (PAIR ing) (verb)
Trimming or removing the thin outside layer of something: Jill's mother sat at the kitchen sink when she was paring the apples to make the pie.

The cook was thinking about the pairing of roast beef with potatoes; so, she asked her helper to start paring the potatoes.

palate, palette, pallet
palate (PAL it) (noun)
1. Roof of the mouth which separates the interior of the mouth from the nasal cavity: The shape of the palate in Kelsey's mouth gave her voice a distinctive quality.
2. The sense of taste, often in reference to a refined or informed sense of taste: Rodney had a fine palate for tea and drank several cups each day.
palette (PAL it) (noun)
1. A thin board upon which an artist mixes paints and which is held when the artist is painting: When Jenifer needed a new palette for her studio, the artist went to the art supply store.
2. A distinctive quality or use of color in a painting: The palette of the artist ranged from deep reds to gold.
pallet (PAL it) (noun)
1. A mattress or a small bed that is for temporary use: When Jillian has lots of company, she makes up a pallet on the library floor for the children to sleep on.
2. A portable platform used to move heavy objects which are placed on it: The tractor moved the pallet loaded with boxes to the end of the loading platform.
3. A small mechanism in a time piece which ensures the movement of the pendulum: Aaron's clock keeps losing time and he thinks the pallet needs to be checked so the pendulum will work properly.

The artist, Laurel, who was famous for her palate for fine tea, worked with a palette and brush using a wide palette of distinctive colors.

She would often stand on a small pallet which she could move around the room in order to get a better perspective of her work.

Her studio was also equipped with a day pallet for a quick nap and an antique clock, the pallet of which needed adjusting from time to time.

pall, pall, pawl
pall (PAWL) (verb)
To lose strength or to become tired of something: Mike's energy is beginning to pall and so he needs to stop for a cup of tea.

The old jokes presented by the comedian are starting to pall on the audience.

pall (PAWL) (noun)
1. Something that covers up or conceals: The smoke from the fire created a pall over the city.
2. The heavy cloth that is used to drape over a coffin in which a body is lying: At the request of the family, the pall on their grandfather’s coffin was deep red with gold embroidery.
pawl (PAWL) (noun)
A piece of machinery that is intermeshed with another piece in a manner that causes movement in one direction: With a loud clang, the pawl fell into place and the machinery started to operate.

Once the pawl started to work properly, Susana's energy started to pall and she had to stop for glass of milk and a muffin.

paltry, petty, trivial
paltry (PAWL tree) (adjective)
Trivial, meager, measly, inferior: The miser gave a paltry donation to the fund for hungry children.

The quality of the paltry language used by Ernest made it difficult for his listeners to understand what he was trying to say.

petty (PET ee) (adjective)
1. Of secondary or of little or no importance: Philip and Trudy often engaged in petty arguments that went nowhere.
2. Characterized as being narrow-minded: Bryan appeared to be a petty individual who was not interested in new music or challenging art.
trivial (TRIV ee uhl) (adjective)
Ordinary, not very important: It was a day filled with trivial activities.

Compared to the problems other countries are having, the trivial inconveniences we have are insignificant.

It seemed petty to argue about the paltry quality of the poultry when less trivial matters needed to be considered.

par, parr
par (PAR) (noun)
1. A typical or accepted standard: Jeremy's health was on par with other people his age.
2. The score standard for each hole during a golf game: When Shawn and Therese were on the golf course, they could not remember what the par for each hole was.
3. The established value of money of one country as expressed in terms of the money of another country, using an item of standard value for comparison; for example, gold: The exchange rates at the bank indicated Jillian's money was on par with that of the country she was going to visit the following week.
parr (PAR) (noun)
1. A young fish that feeds in fresh water: From the bridge, people could see the parr in the river below.
2. Young salmon before they migrate to the sea: The salmon are known as parr and live in fresh water streams before they swim out to the ocean, become adults, and then return to breed and lay eggs in the streams that they left.

The length of the parr which Wayne caught was par for the time of year; so, he threw it back into the water and continued his golf game, shouting PAR when he reached the next hole.

parameter, perimeter
parameter (puh RAM i tuhr) (noun)
A characteristic element or factor; a quantity or quality that gives a particular form to the thing it characterizes: Ralph told the group that they will discuss the main parameter of the project at their next meeting.
perimeter (puh RIM i tuhr) (noun)
1. The outer limits, edge, or boundary of an area: The perimeter of the pasture was marked with a fence.
2. A fortified strip or boundary usually protecting a military position: The soldiers were defending the perimeter of their camp for several days.

The parameter of Steve's job was clear; that is, he was to build a new fence marking the perimeter of the pasture.

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