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

(lists of "L" 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.

lightening, lightning
lightening (LIGHT uh ning) (verb)
To make something less heavy, difficult, or severe: Others helped out in lightening Bill's heavy load by carrying some of the packages.

Jodie will be lightening your responsibilities by hiring another staff person.

lightning (LIGHT ning) (noun)
The discharge of electricity in the atmosphere: The thunderstorm was accompanied by a display of lightning that was somewhat frightening.

The sharp crack of lightning startled Pete so much that he dropped one of the boxes he was carrying; and so, accidentally lightening his load.

likely, likely
likely (LIGHK lee) (adverb)
Possessing or displaying the qualities or characteristics that make something probable: Clarice is likely to become angry with Joseph because of his vulgar presentations on the radio.

There were several likely candidates for the manager's position.

likely (LIGHK lee) (adjective)
1. Apt to achieve success or to yield a desired outcome; promising: Greg presented a likely topic for investigation.
2. Attractive; pleasant: Cathleen and Justine found a likely spot under a shady tree for the picnic.

This nice area is such a likely place that it is likely to become our favorite family picnic destination.

linage, lineage
linage (LIGH nij) (noun)
1. The number of lines of printed or written material: The computer calculated the linage of the article for publication.
2. Payment for written work at a specified amount per line: Shareen's book contract was calculated on payment per linage which encouraged her to write lengthy paragraphs.
lineage (LIN ee ij) (noun)
The descendants of a common ancestor considered to be the founder of the line of ancestors: Marvin's family tree shows the lineage of his entire family.

In writing the lineage of Nanine's family, she paid a specific linage to the research assistant; whose final linage of her family lineage was about 700 lines.

lineament, liniment
lineament (LIN ee uh muhnt) (noun)
A distinctive shape, contour, or line; especially, of the face: The lineament of the actor’s face was classical, looking almost like a Grecian goddess.
liniment (LIN uh muhnt) (noun)
A medicinal fluid rubbed into the skin to soothe pain or to relieve stiffness: The liniment the doctor gave Maribel for her sore ankle is really helping a lot.

The classical lineament of the actor's face was spoiled by the black eye he accidentally received during a stage fight. The nurse applied a liniment to help soothe the discomfort.

linear, lineal
linear (LIN ee uhr) (adjective)
Relating to a direct route: The road proceeded in a linear manner, straight across the desert.
lineal (LIN ee uhl) (adjective)
Belonging to or being in the direct line of descent from an ancestor: Kevin's lineal heritage to the property was through his mother's side of the family.

Brian can trace his lineage in an uninterrupted linear fashion; following the direct lineal line of descent from his father's ancestors.

links, links, lynx
links (LINGKS) (noun)
1. With computers, segments of text or graphical items that serve as cross-references between parts of a hypertext document to other files or hypertext documents: This web site has thousands of convenient links connecting content pages to other content topics.
2. Something similar to a chain: Dina thought the sausage links were delicious.
links (LINGKS) (verb)
Coupled or joined: The strong chain securely links the two sections of the gate together.
lynx (LINGKS) (noun)
Any of a variety of wild cats in Northern Europe, Asia, and North America which are characterized by long legs, a stubby tail, a mottled coat, and tufted ears: When Helena and Jason drove through the mountains, they saw two lynx high on the cliff.

Is it possible that North American lynx have any links to the Eurasian wildcats with the same name?

liqueur, liquor
liqueur (li KUR, li KYOOR) (noun)
Any of various strongly flavored alcoholic beverages typically served in small quantities after dinner: Grace asked, "Timothy, do you want to have a liqueur after dinner?"
liquor (LIK uhr) (noun)
An alcoholic beverage made by distillation rather than by fermentation: There is a distillery in Cleo's town which makes a popular liquor.

The menu listed one locally made liquor which had been well reviewed; in addition, the menu had one locally made liqueur for an after dinner drink.

literal, littoral, littoral
literal (LIT uhr uhl) (adjective)
1. Being in accordance with, conforming to, or upholding the exact or primary meaning of a word or words: Debora wrote her essay, paying careful attention to the literal meaning of the words she used.
2. Word for word; verbatim: Ron presented a literal translation of the doctor's prognosis.
littoral (LIT uhr uhl) (adjective)
On a shore; especially, a seashore: Marcus referred to the littoral biogeographic zone on the coast.
littoral (LIT uhr uhl) (noun)
The region or zone between the limits of high and low tides of a shore: The sandpiper tiptoed across the littoral looking for things to eat.

Standing on the littoral of the lake, the speaker read a literal translation of the famous poem about a lady and a lake.

literary, literate
literary (LIT uh rer" ee) (adjective)
Relating to writers or the profession of written materials and creative writing: Matthew was well-known in literary circles for his literary criticism.
literate (LIT kuhr it) (adjective)
Having the ability to read and to write: Janine was literate in both English and French.
literate (LIT kuhr it) (noun)
Knowledgeable or educated in a particular field or fields: Dena was recognized as being a literate or a well-informed and educated person in the field of biology.

During the last century, to be considered a member of the best literary circles, a person needed to be literate in several languages and have a knowledge about the most promising authors.

litigation, mitigation
litigation (LIT i gay" shuhn) (noun)
A contested legal case before the courts: Alisa was an exceptional lawyer who specialized in litigation in the courts.
mitigation (MITI gay" shuhn) (noun)
Less harsh or not as painful: During the conference, the two lawyers agreed to the mitigation of the sentence of the court.

The mitigation of the sentence by the judge, from life in prison to time served for the accused, brought an end to any further litigation.

litter, litter
litter (LIT uhr) (noun)
1. Things that have been disposed of or thrown away and which are lying on the ground in a public place: Rosetta had difficulty in understanding why people throw so much litter in the streets.
2. Dry material which is spread in a container and used as a toilet by animals; such as cats, while they are in people's homes: The father placed litter in the cat's litter box and since the family also had a rabbit in their home, they also used litter in its cage.
3. A group of young animals that are born together: Kevin's dog had a litter of cute puppies yesterday, but not quite as cute as the litter of kittens that were born last month.
4. The uppermost layer of the forest floor consisting chiefly of fallen leaves and other decaying organic matter: During our walk in the nearby woods this fall, we shuffled our feet through the litter of newly fallen leaves.
litter (LIT uhr) (verb)
1. To cover a surface with many things in an untidy way: He was aware that he had a tendency to litter his desk with notes, books, and other items that should be organized and arranged for easier access.
2. To cover, clutter or to add many things or ideas in an untidy way to a place or to thoughts: Too many vulgar words litter his vocabulary whenever he talks.
3. To throw or to leave trash on the ground in a public place: It is illegal to litter the streets and some people have to pay a fine for littering when they are caught by the right city officials.

As usual, people will no doubt litter the streets with paper cups, food wrappings, and other kinds of litter during the parade tomorrow.

When we finished our picnic, we were careful to gather our litter and disposed of it in the litter can because we are not litter bugs.

After their picnic, Susannne and Rosetta went for a walk, shuffling through the litter of leaves in the forest, and they even saw a litter of foxes playing outside their lair.

lives, lives
lives (LIGHVZ) (noun)
The span of time which includes the whole of people's existence from conception, or birth, and precedes death: Sharon and Robert have spent their adult lives working for homeless people.
lives (LIVZ) (verb)
To exist, to reside; to dwell: The good that people do lives long after they are gone; regrettably, the evil that they do lives in the memories of those who have been harmed, too.

Tim lives in the same community where his parents spent their entire lives.

livid, vivid
livid (LIV id) (adjective)
1. Very angry and hotly flushed due to emotions: During the argument, Scott's face was livid and his voice harsh.
2. Discolored by bruising: After the car accident, Fay had several livid marks on her face and arms.
vivid (VIV id) (adjective)
1. Highly colored: After a walk in the snow, Christa's cheeks were vivid and glowing.
2. Creating a strong impression, usually positive: Jewell's vivid personality impressed her new employers.
3. Offering something for people to consider or to judge that is true or clear: Cleo gave a vivid description of the dangers that people can experience if they are not careful.

Because of the livid discoloring of Nell's face as the result of the overexposure to the sun, she presented a vivid warning to others to be careful.

lo, low, low
lo (LOH) (interjection)
Used to attract attention to something or to show wonder or surprise: The people shouted, "Lo, the king is approaching!"

The adventures we have shared for lo these many years.

low (LOH) (adjective)
1. Having little relative height; not high nor tall: The sun was low in the western sky.
2. Marking the bottom of something: Steve was at the low point of his career.
3. Not having typical strength or health: Sharon was feeling very low today and decided to stay in bed.
4. Characterized as not being loud: The singer was able to handle the low notes in the aria.
5. A description of something as being below the normal surface: The level of the water in the river was low because there had been no rain for weeks.
low (LOH) (noun)
The sound characteristic of a cow: Dina heard the low of the cattle in the barn.

"Lo, what a sight", said the sailor when he saw the sun setting over the low horizon. The sight was so impressive that the other sailors all spoke in low hushed tones.

load, load, lode, lowed
load (LOHD) (noun)
1. Something that is lifted and carried: Bradley was carrying a heavy load of legal papers in his briefcase.
2. Something that causes worry or sadness: Addie's death is a heavy load to bear.
load (LOHD) (verb)
To cause a program, file, etc. to start functioning or to be displayed on the computer's monitor: This new program takes less time to load now than it did before.
lode (LOHD) (noun)
An amount of material, figuratively or literally, that fills a space; such as, a crack in a rock or a deposit of valuable information: In Josie's books, she appeared to mine the seemingly endless lode of her personal life.

The library's collection of old newspapers has proven to be a mother lode of information about the town's early history.

lowed (LOHD) (verb)
To make or to utter the sound that is characteristic of cattle: Karin could hear the cattle as they lowed in the pasture.

When the miners were moving a load of sand, they discovered a lode of silver ore. They loaded the ore on the cart drawn by oxen which lowed quietly as they descended the mountain.

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