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

(lists of "R" 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.

rabbet, rabbet, rabbit, rabid
rabbet (RAB it) (noun)
A groove cut into the surface of an item designed to match another piece so they can be joined: The joiner cut a rabbet in the piece of cherry wood as he was building the new cabinet.
rabbet (RAB it) (verb)
To cut a groove in the surface of an item: To rabbet the piece of fine mahogany requires patience, care, and the proper tools.
rabbit (RAB it) (noun)
1. Any member of the family of mammals characterized by long ears, soft fur and strong rear legs: Janine watched the rabbit hop across the lawn.
2. The pelt or fur of an animal: Maude's new cloak is made of soft rabbit.
3. A member of a track team who sets the running pace for other teammates as part of a long distance run: Martin's cousin trained to be the rabbit for the cross-country racing team.
rabid (RAB id) (adjective)
1. Very violent, going to extremes in terms of expressing one’s emotions and feelings or opinions: Fern was a politician with rabid supporters.

Debora became almost rabid in her defense of her pet rabbit’s chewing behavior when visiting her friend.

2. Afflicted with an acute viral disease that is transferred by being bitten by an infected animal: People were fearful of a rabid dog that was running around in the neighborhood.

As Mack was taking a break from making the rabbet for the piece of furniture he was constructing, he noticed a rabbit being chased by what seemed to be a rabid dog.

rabble, rabble, rubble, rubber, rubbish, ruble,
rabble (RAB uhl) (noun)
1. A disorderly and unorganized group of people: The rabble gathered in the town square to demand the end of the monopoly on coal.
2. An iron bar, usually with a bent end, used to rake, to stir, or to puddle melted iron: At the smelter, the worker using the rabble to rake the melted iron requires extensive training.
rabble (RAB uhl) (verb)
To stir or to mix something by using an iron bar: Roy tried to rabble the melted iron but it was not hot enough.
rubble (RUHB uhl) (noun)
1. Broken fragments of something which is often useless: The pile of rubble left over from the building construction project needed to be hauled away.
2. Worn or broken stones, etc. that are used as filling in the construction of walls: The stone mason saved the rubble from his work to be used later when the wall was built.
3. Unfinished stone from a quarry: The sculptor used the rough piece of rubble from the quarry to carve a beautiful statue.
rubber (RUHB uhr) (noun)
A strong substance that stretches and which is made out of chemicals or from the juice of a tropical tree: Jeremy will be wearing gloves made of natural rubber and safety goggles while driving a car with tires of rubber through the circle of fire during the exhibition.
rubbish (RUHB ish) (noun)
Useless or rejected material; trash: The trucks will collect the rubbish on Tuesday.
ruble, rouble (ROO buhl) (noun)
A Russian coin: After Shanna's vacation in Russia, she saved a ruble as a reminder of the great time she had had there.

At the construction site, the worker used a rubber handled rabble to break up the cement into rubble which was considered rubbish. The worker was paid with a currency of rubles which were transferred directly into his bank account.

race, race, race
race (RAYS) (noun)
1. A current of water flowing through a narrow channel, often in an industrial context: The mill race was created by damming the river and diverting the flow of the water.
2. A contest of speed based on a set course and specific time frame: The cross-country race was set to begin in the afternoon and the runners would pass through both flatland and hills before returning to the starting gate.
3. A rivalry or contest between two or more groups with the goal of winning something; such as, a pennant: The two colleges participated in an annual race for the pennant and the prize money.
4. A track or groove through which something slides or rolls: The ball bearings rolled down the race and into the gear box for the car.
race (RAYS) (verb)
 1. To run or participate in a competition based on speed and timing: The team decided to race in spite of the mist and cold weather.
2. To move at maximum speed: Jillian's cousin will race his car around the track in hopes of breaking the speed record.
race (RAYS) (noun)
1. A family or group of people united by common characteristics or interests: The Nordic race has a history of bravery and seafaring explorations.
2. A grouping of people sharing traits that are passed on through generations and whose traits have become distinctive to that group: Typically the Aboriginal race in North America has darker hair than Europeans.

The descendants of an ancient race scheduled a race down the race of the local river.

rack, wrack, wrack
rack (RAK) (noun)
1. High clouds that are blown about by the wind: Sean could see the rack of clouds moving across the sky.
2. An instrument or tool designed for torture so as to cause extreme pain: The museum had an example of a rack that was used for torture during the Middle Ages.
3. The manger for holding food for livestock: The rack was filled with fresh hay for the cattle.
4. A net or framework to be placed in a river to catch fish or floating matter: The forester installed the rack in the polluted stream in hopes of gathering up the flotsam that was floating in the river.
5. Antlers, typically in sets of two, from such animals as moose: There was a fine rack of antlers displayed in the museum of wildlife from the park.
wrack (RAK) (noun)
1. Violent destruction of something: The storm is so violent that Alisha fears it will cause the wrack of the quay in the harbor.
2. Seaweed or kelp: Karl watched the people of the seaside village harvest wrack and sell it as a crop.

Once Maribel had some wrack pie, an experience she never wants to repeat.

wrack (RAK) (verb)
To ruin or to destroy completely: The loss of his livestock will wrack the farmer and he may have to sell his farm.

To stave off total wrack and ruin, the local people collected wrack to sell to the local dairy. In addition, they planned to design an artistic rack resembling the rack for cattle to be used to hold magazines.

racket, racket, racquet
racket (RAK it) (noun)
1. A clattering noise or excitement: Luis could hear quite a racket in the hall and wondered what was going on.
2. An illegal scheme or enterprise involving fraud: Patricia was a member of a criminal racket.
3. Lightweight sports equipment consisting of a handle at one end and a net of thread or gut in an oval shape at the other end which is typically used to bat a tennis ball or a badminton shuttlecock back and forth with an opponent: Antonio uses an aluminum racket which has helped to improve his tennis game considerably.
racket (RAK it) (verb)
1. To celebrate in a loud, boisterous manner: After the game Earl and Jim plan to racket down the street to the pub.
2. To hit a ball or shuttlecock back and forth between players: Tamika and her sister racket a tennis ball every day for an hour.
racquet (RAK it) (noun)
An alternative spelling for "racket", usually occurring in the plural to refer to a game involving two to four players; including, a racket (racquet), a ball, and played within a walled court: Victor grabbed his racquet and dashed to the tennis courts to play for an hour with his brother.

Please stop the racket because Russell is trying to concentrate on the racquet game on TV.

There are those who say tennis is nothing more than a racket (with a ball) and as far as the players are concerned, love means nothing.

raid, raid, rayed
raid (RAYD) (noun)
1. A hostile or surprise attack typically involving a small force: The children planned a raid on the cookie jar but their mother stopped them.
2. A sudden invasion or daring operation typically carried out by officers of the law against suspected criminals or wrongdoers: The police captain led the raid against the river pirates and captured the leader.
3. The recruitment by a company or business of personnel from a competitor: The personnel officer staged a corporate raid of senior employees from a competing company.
raid (RAYD) (verb)
To swindle public funds; an attempt to depress the stock market by selling off a lot of stock: The corrupt town treasurer attempted to raid the treasury and to defraud the townspeople.

The bank managers were manipulating the stock market by deciding to raid their bank stock.

rayed (RAYD) (verb)
1. To have emitted radiation: The laboratory equipment rayed the specimen for a brief period of time.
2. To have extended outward from a central focus: In her primitive drawing, Latonya drew yellow lines showing how the light rayed from the sun towards the earth.
3. To have been exposed to or placed in the path of radiation: The scientist was very upset because the box of specimens had accidentally been rayed by an unskilled technician.

The activities of the illegal gang had rayed into the corporate world where there was a scheme to raid public funds.

Their activities were curtailed when the police scheduled a raid. The criminals protested saying that they were only planning a corporate raid in order to recruit new members.

rail, rail, rail
rail (RAYL) (noun)
1. Any of a number of wading birds (Rallidae) similar to cranes but typically smaller with short round wings and long toes for running in the mud of the swamps where they live: Latasha went on a bird expedition and saw a rare rail in the swamp.
2. The fencing for a racetrack: The crowd pressed against the rail during the excitement of the race.
3. A pole extending between two posts and whose function is to create a barrier: The new rail at the gate was painted bright red.
rail (RAYL) (noun)
1. One of the bars of steel that form a train's track: The workers found a cracked rail on the intercity train's track today.
2. A system of traveling by train: Walter has to travel back and forth from his town to the city by rail every working day.
rail (RAYL) (verb)
1. To complain angrily about something: The old man felt he had to rail at the doctor because, as a patient, he waited two hours and was still unable see anyone for a medical examination.
2. To use harsh or abusive language: Trisha could hear the actress rail against the director even though she was not in the room.
3. To install fencing: The project of the day was to rail the corral for the horses that were being delivered next week.

Don't rail at me because the rail at the racetrack is broken; instead, why not form a committee and rail a more secure rail. The committee agreed and returned to the city by rail.

rain, rain, reign, reign, rein, rein
rain (RAYN) (verb)
To give in an abundant manner: During the holidays, Josie's relatives tend to rain presents on her because she is the only child.
rain (RAYN) (noun)
Drops of water formed by the condensation of vapor and which fall from the atmosphere: As Ryan stood by the window, he watched the rain begin to fall on the lawn.

It started to rain before Tracy could put up her umbrella.

reign (RAYN) (noun)
1. The time during which an individual who is considered royalty holds political influence or control: The reign of the king lasted over forty years and was believed to be a peaceful time in the country.
2. A prevalent or common occurrence: At the end of the school year, the reign of confusion was widespread as the students cleaned their lockers and said goodbye to their friends and teachers.
reign (RAYN) (verb)
To possess a position of presumed authority, often without much actual political influence or power: Ronda will reign as consort until her son is old enough to be the king.
rein (RAYN) (noun)
1. A controlling or restraining influence: Albert kept a tight rein on the finances of the town so there would be no wasteful spending.
2. Unhampered opportunity: Delories was given free rein in planning the party for the end of the year.
3. The strap which is fastened to the bit in an animal's mouth and by which the animal is controlled or directed: Sally held each rein for her horse in her right hand as she mounted it.
rein (RAYN) (verb)
To stop or to slow oneself or an animal: Pete had to rein in his enthusiasm for the new book because he was about to bore all his friends.

You may want to rein in your enthusiasm at the start of the reign for the new ruler. Your spirits might be dampened with the prediction of rain; however, the start of a new reign may be the signal to rain the new ruler with gifts, including a rein for is favorite horse.

rains, reigns, reigns, reins, reins
rains (RAYNZ) (verb)
1. Giving or distributing in a generous manner: Every Christmas season goodwill rains in our community.
2. To precipitate water from the clouds: It rains at least three times a week in the rain forest.
reigns (RAYNZ) (noun)
Time periods that an individual rules a country, often through a hereditary process: The reigns of the three kings extended for more than 150 years.
reigns (RAYNZ) (verb)
To exert power or management of an institution or place: Sally reigns supreme in her kitchen.
reins (RAYNZ) (verb)
To slow down or to stop oneself or an animal: Douglas noticed that, although the horse is very lively, the rider reins him in very well.
reins (RAYNZ) (noun)
The straps attached to the bit placed in the mouth of animals for the purpose of guiding or restraining them: Mildred holds the reins loosely in her hands while she is driving the team of horses and the wagon.

When you have spoken the word, it reigns over you. When it is unspoken, you reign over it.

—Arabian Proverb

Throughout the reigns of the great lords, the members of parliament have held the reins of power and a sense of peace and security rains throughout the land.

raise, raise, rays, raze
raise (RAYZ) (verb)
1. To lift something or someone to a higher position: A small box to stand on will raise the speaker so she can speak comfortably into the microphone.
2. To elevate in terms of status or position: The promotion will raise Pete's colleague to a managerial position at the factory.
3. To enhance or to invigorate: Such a sunny day will raise Jill's spirits.
4. To collect funds to finance a special undertaking: Carl hopes to raise a large sum of money to contribute to the children's charity.
5. To bring an animal or child to maturity: There is a saying which indicates that it takes a village to raise a child.
6. To question or to bring forth a topic for discussion or debate: Terry said he would raise the question of new prices for bus tickets at the next board meeting.
7. To cause the creation of a blister or sore: If Marissa does not wear gloves when she rakes leaves, the friction will raise blisters on her hands.
8. To increase the bid or offer on something: At the auction, the auctioneer attempted to raise the bids on the priceless piece of silver.
9. To increase or to cause the elevation of the level or baseline of something: The heavy rains will raise the level of the river.

The landlord told Etta that he was going to raise her rent significantly the following year.

raise (RAYZ) (noun)
An increase in the amount of money paid for a task or undertaking: With her new position, Andriana asked for a raise in her salary.
rays (RAYZ) (noun)
1. Any of a number of fish with flattened bodies and eyes appearing on the flat upper surfaces: Dennis could see a colony of rays drifting in the bay not far from his boat.
2. Beams of light: The sun rays shined through the window illuminating the room and making it feel warm and comfortable.
3. Lines drawn from a common center: Shelby depicted the sun by drawing several rays emanating from the round yellow circle in the corner of her picture.
raze (RAYZ) (verb)
To demolish, tear down, or to reduce something: The bulldozers will raze the grove this afternoon to make way for new buildings.

The carver used a small knife to raze the surface of the block of wood he was working on so he could make an ornament.

They had to raze the old building and build a new one before so the sun’s rays wouldn't raise the temperatures so much.

A landlord told his tenant, "I'm afraid I will have to raise your rent." The renter responded by saying, "I wish you would; I'm sure I can't raise (get) it."

raised, razed
raised (RAYZ'd) (verb)
1. To have lifted or elevated something or someone to a position higher than originally indicated: Celeste's election as mayor raised her status among her colleagues and included a raise in salary.

The crane raised the box from the floor to the shipping dock.

2. To have collected funds in support of an undertaking: Aimee was surprised to realize that she had raised enough money for her trip by selling her homemade cookies at the Farmers' Market.
3. To have cultivated, to have influenced, or to have brought an individual to a point of maturity: Jaime raised her son to love books and to use the library regularly.

Listening to the radio broadcasts of opera every weekend raised Ebony's interest in this style of singing and she often bought tickets to attend her favorite presentations.
4. To have created a sore or blister: Frank raised a blister on his foot because his shoes were too tight.
5. To have caused an increase in the cost of something: The merchant raised the price of the carpet when he realized that the tourist was interested in buying it.
6. To have caused the elevation or base level of something: Camille raised her test performance scores significantly by studying everyday after school.

razed (RAYZ'd) (verb)
To have torn down or destroyed something: When Scott returned from his vacation, he was surprised to see that his favorite building had been razed and a golf course was being built in its place.

Roger raised his eyebrows in astonishment at the equipment the crew used as the old building was razed to the ground. He thought the Committee to Save the Old Building had raised sufficient funds to protect it; however, inflation seemed to have raised the costs for everything.

rake, rake
rake (RAYK) (noun)
1. A long-handled implement with a row of projecting teeth at its head, used especially to gather leaves or to loosen or smooth earth: In the fall, the gardener used a rake to tidy up the yard before the snow came.

The blacksmith repaired the broken rake so the farmer could complete his chores.

2. A man who leads an immoral life and is mainly interested in physical pleasure: The handsome neighbor became a selfish rake when he grew older and was not welcome in his family home.
rake (RAYK) (verb)
To slant or cause to incline from the perpendicular: The stage designer decided to rake the stage for the opera in such a manner that it made it difficult for the singers to walk easily.

The old rake used a rake to rake the lawn.

rally, rally
rally (RAL ee) (verb)
1. To call together for a common purpose to support or to oppose something; to assemble: The senator's political party will rally tomorrow afternoon to support his re-election.
2. To reassemble and to restore to order: As the deadline approached, the Captain worked to rally the troops before the next attack.
3. To rouse or to revive from inactivity or decline: Andrew was hoping that his team would rally in the fourth quarter and win the game.
rally (RAL ee) (noun)
1. A public meeting to support or to oppose someone or something: Protesters staged a rally to push for greater efforts by governments to come up with solutions to solve global warming conditions.
2. An increase in price or value after a decrease in such values: The stock prices have improved after the U.S. dollar's rally in today's trading.

The call went out over the internet and twitter to rally all the students at the rally tomorrow. Justin wants to rally the students from their apathy which has resulted from the high cost of tuition.

ramp, ramp, rant, rant
ramp (RAMP) (noun)
1. An inclined surface or roadway connecting different levels: She increased her speed as she entered the ramp leading onto the highway.
2. A mobile staircase by which passengers board and leave an aircraft: The airline steward stood at the base of the ramp assisting the passengers as they departed from the plane.
3. A concave bend of a handrail where a sharp change in level or direction occurs; such as, at a stair landing: She held onto the ramp as she went down the stairs to make sure that she wouldn't fall.
ramp (RAMP) (verb)
To increase or to cause something to increase in speed, size, etc.: The work started slowly, but now the participants will ramp it up to full speed.

The company will simply have to ramp up production in order to complete the orders.

rant (RANT) (verb)
To talk loudly and in a way that shows anger: Margaret said, "Mark, you can rant and rave all you want, but it's not going to change anything."
rant (RANT) (noun)
An unreasonable complaint: Just about every day, Trina had to listen to Jack's rant about the evils of the auto industry.

Sometimes a rant can achieve a purpose. Pat's aunt used to rant about the lack of a ramp at the doctor's office; now, not only is there a ramp for her wheelchair, but also a ramp for her to hang onto.

rap, rap, rap, rap, wrap, wrap
rap (RAP) (noun)
1. A sharp blow or criticism: The critic wrote a powerful rap about the new play, describing it as slow paced and boring.

The teacher delivered a rap on his knuckles because Billy tried to blame his friend for the broken window.

2. A criminal charge or adverse consequence for an action: Steven took the rap for having been involved in the holdup at the gas station.
3. The least or minimum interest: Brian does not care a rap about the rock concert that is coming to town the following week.
rap (RAP) (verb)
To make a short, abrupt sound: Paul would often rap his baton on the music stand so he could get the attention of the musicians in the orchestra.
rap (RAP) (noun)
A type of music that has words that are spoken with rhythm instead of being sung: Michael listens mostly to rap these days.
rap (RAP) (verb)
To perform a kind of music with a spoken rhythm: Joshua plans to rap with the band tonight.
wrap (RAP) (noun)
A piece of clothing, typically worn as a coat or covering: Estella has a new wrap to wear to the concert next week.
wrap (RAP) (verb)
1. To embrace or to encircle: Myrna tried to wrap her little cousin in a big hug but the child ran away to play.
2. To put on a piece of clothing: Deloris would wrap herself in the heavy jacket before going outside into the cold.
3. To enfold, to bundle, or to conceal: Josie will wrap the delicate china in many layers of paper before putting it into a box.

Britney bought a recording of rap music to send to a friend. Although she doesn't usually care a rap for it, she will wrap and mail it to Jim next week.

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