Confusing Words Clarified: Group B; Homonyms, Homophones, Homographs, Synonyms, Polysemes, etc.
(lists of "B" sections that are organized into what for some people are confusing groups of words)
A classic story tells how Plato had defined man as a featherless two-tooted animal, and his students agreed. The next day, Diogenes pulled the feathers off a cock and took it to Plato.
"Here's Plato's man," he said.
It was an embarrassing moment for Plato. Thereafter he corrected the definition to "a featherless two-footed animal with flat nails".
Ever since Plato's description, man has never ceased to define man, and has constantly sought a more meaningful self-definition. Voltaire altered the Platonic version, in Candide, to "man is a featherless biped with a soul".
Another unknown author created, "Man is the only animal that eats when he is not hungry, and drinks when he is not thirsty."
Efforts have been made to help you grasp the meanings of various words that may be confusing so you can utilize them with greater accuracy in your communication.
Your comments and suggestions are always welcome by writing to: E-mail Contact (just click it for an e-mail form) or by typing, email@example.com, as the address in your e-mail heading.
If you have any problems understanding the pronunciation symbols, go to this Pronunciation Chart for clarifications.
2. To say something rapidly and incoherently without pausing, usually because of excitement or fear: Lorena babbled something about a car accident and then ran out to take a closer look.
3. Gurgle, murmur, coo: Elsa's baby babbled happily.
The term Babel comes from the Biblical "Tower of Babel", the tower which, according to Genesis 11:4-9, was started by the descendants of Noah to reach heaven but it was abandoned when God confused the language of the builders into many mutually incomprehensible languages. The city of Babel in Shinar is now thought to be Babylon.
The child loved to try to blow a big bubble in his milk using a straw.2. Anything that lacks firmness or permanence of substance or that may involve excessive speculation; often fraudulent: The investment officer encouraged his clients to invest in the real estate bubble.
Attending a conference of salespeople was like attending the building of the Tower of Babel; all babble and babble. It made Denis think that the whole thing was just a bubble of enthusiasm; however, the organizers gave him a charming bauble to take home as a memento.
Susan mentioned, "Jarrod, your car won't start if the battery is bad."2. Immoral, unethical, wrong: Lying is a bad thing.
3. Erroneous, wrong, incorrect: Gretchen's bad spelling kept her from becoming a secretary.
Hal bade his mother goodbye when he left for work.
2. Immorally, unethically, corruptly: The army behaved badly toward the war prisoners.
3. Very much, greatly, intensely: Lorena's tooth hurts badly.
Young Tyson wanted a new bicycle badly.
Mindy bade us good bye after we had a very bad meal. In fact, when Kendrick got home, his stomach was behaving badly and he felt ill the rest of the night.
2. Scoop, throw water out: Bail the water out of the boat as quickly as possible.
Hans, the stevedore, hauled one bale of cotton after another from the ship.2. That which causes ruin or sorrow: Meghan was suffering the bale of woe and torment in her mental anguish.
When Vance dropped a bale of cotton on his foot, it caused the bale of his career as a runner. So, he got a job with a small boat organization in the harbor to bail out the water that splashed into the boats so they could be used by people without getting their feet wet.
2. To get someone excited by exposing something desirable to that person while keeping it out of reach: Gus wanted to bait his wife by showing her a tantalizing necklace.
3. To put a lure or enticement such as a worm on a fishing hook: Carol's brother taught her how to bait her hook when they went fishing.
After Donovan made an attempt to bait the crowd to shout aggressively at the speaker, his effort seemed to fail as the energy of the crowd seemed to bate as the speaker continued her address.
2. Informal, to produce hurriedly: Eloise batted out a speech in a short time.
3. To discuss or consider at some length: Ricky batted the idea around.
4. To wink or flutter: Mindy batted her eyelashes.
Diana batted her long eye lashes as she waited with bated breath, watching her friend, Rory, as he baited the hook so she could start fishing.
2. Lacking a natural or usual covering; bare, without cover, treeless, denuded, barren: The mountain is bald above the tree line.
3. Open, bare, undisguised: That is a bald falsehood!
2. To have created a state of confusion or of getting things in a tangle or a mess: Because the overseer did not check all the details before giving the order, the workers balled up the project.
2. Cried out noisily; shouted, bellowed, yelled: The captain bawled for the sergeant to come immediately.
3. Said loudly; shouted by using a very loud voice: The manager shouted, "Come in here, now!" and the salesman was bawled out for showing up late.
Kirby was so upset by the letter from the doctor confirming that he was going bald that he bawled out loud and then balled the letter up and threw it into the trash.
2. Harmful or deadly; full of menacing or malign influences; pernicious: Lane and Trisha experienced the baleful effects of water pollution on their health.
In ordinary use, baleful and baneful are interchangeable, although baneful also means "poisonous" and is normally applied to substances, causes, and influences that result in death.
The gathering clouds indicated that a baleful storm was approaching.
Some poisons are merely injurious, but there are others which are baneful.
No one is likely to be arrested if Colby gives a rival a baleful glance, but watch out if he gives someone a baneful dose of arsenic.
2. Games which may involve using a round object to hit or to kick: Four boys were playing ball in the field.
3. Shot, bullets, projectiles: Each musket was loaded with powder and ball.
2. A large formal party for dancing: All of the students were invited to the university ball.
2. To speak very loudly: The children were misbehaving so badly and the father was so frustrated, that he could only bawl at them to settle down.
2. A loud party: Neighbors were disturbed by the brawl that was going on after midnight.
3. A loud, roaring noise: Vince was involved in a brawl at the bar.
Sebastian got into a terrible brawl at the end of the ball game and his wife started to bawl when she saw him being attacked by a player from the other team.
Later in the evening, Lenora and Scot went to a ball at the hotel and had a ball, dancing and eating fine food.
2. Folk song, a song: The group sat around the campfire, while a folksinger sang a wonderful ballad.
The ballet was based on a famous ballad about a community that used the ballot to elect law enforcement officers.
2. A small sac, typically of rubber or Mylar, inflated with air or a lighter-than-air gas often used in celebrations: The teacher explained that a rubber balloon may cause harm to birds and encouraged the children not to use them for their parties.
3. A rounded outline with a point directed toward a character in a cartoon that encloses the text of the character's speech or thought: Cartoonists often use one balloon after the other to express each character's spoken words or thoughts.
While Dudley was waiting for his ride in the hot air balloon, he watched the colorful sac slowly balloon as it was filled with hot air.
Josie made a down payment for her flight and was horrified after she landed and realized that she was facing a balloon payment that was twice as much as her down payment.
Balloonists are constantly defying gravity and they must continually be aware of the hazards of their hot-air activities with balloons.
The doctor prepared a balm using the resins and oils from various plants which helped the patient become more comfortable and quiet.
2. A container to store substances: such as, gas, paint, etc. stored under pressure: The store carried a paint bomb in several shades of red.
3. A blob of lava that has exploded from a volcano: The ancient lava bomb in the farmer’s field made plowing very difficult.
After the paint bomb accidentally exploded causing a burn on my arm, the doctor prescribed a balm to relieve the pain and hasten the healing process.
"This African banco term which refers to such "earthen construction practices" came from Manding, a widespread language group in West Africa."
The Manding languages are a fairly mutually intelligible group of dialects or languages in West Africa, belonging to the Mande languages.
Their best-known members are Bambara (the most widely spoken language in Mali), Mandinka (the main language of Gambia), Maninka (or Malinké, a major language of Guinea), and Dioula (Dyula or Jula) (an important language of the northern Côte d'Ivoire and western Burkina Faso).
When the Smith family went on a safari to Africa they stopped at a banco building and were intrigued to discover a casino.
When the tourists were visiting a group of natives in their village, the car that the foreign visitors were using, broke down and so they had to spend the night in a banko structure until the vehicle could be replaced the next day.
2. An ensemble or group of wood winds, brass instruments, and percussion instruments: The band played for the enthusiastic audience until midnight.
3. A strip, circlet, strap; belt, collar, or ribbon: Aurora's hair was held in place by a velvet band.
A dark band of clouds was on the horizon.
The school threatened to have the book banned because of its vulgar content.
The rock group was so bad that the audience wanted the untalented band to be banned.
True welfare reform is being bypassed by the U.S. Congress with band-aid solutions.
The nurse used a Band-Aid as a bandage to help the hiker who had fallen and skinned his elbow; however, it was an inadequate band-aid attempt because it was too small to properly bandage the bleeding injury.
2. Groups or gatherings of people with a common purpose or interest; a gathering of similar animals: Great bands of elk were roaming in the forest.
Several bands of local eco-activists gathered in the community hall.
There were two announcements made today: The banns for Tracie's friends who are planning to be married next year and the municipal bans on bands playing loudly in the public park after midnight.