Confusing Words Clarified: Group C; Homonyms, Homophones, Homographs, Synonyms, Polysemes, etc.
(lists of "C" sections that are organized into what for some people are confusing groups of words)
Three words that every student of language should understand are homonyms, synonyms, and antonyms.
Homonyms are words that sound alike, but have different meanings. Synonyms are words that are related in meaning but do not sound alike (begin and commence, for example).
Antonyms are direct opposites in meaning, as hot and cold; white and black.
With homonyms, the following set of to, too, and two are all pronounced exactly alike, but by no means are they interchangeable in writing. To be sure that you choose the correct spelling for any on these, you must know the meanings of all three so you will not make wrong choices with a feeling of vagueness and uncertainty.
Efforts have been made to help you grasp the meanings of these and other 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 protected], 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 mention or to bring forward as support, illustration, or proof: The supervisors were required to cite several instances of insubordinate behavior by the new employees.
The judge will cite Kelvin for contempt of court.3. To publicly and to officially honor someone for an outstanding performance: The mayor is going to cite the neighbor for his bravery in saving the three children from the fire at their house.
The police were ordered to shoot the killer on sight if he showed any sign of resistance.
Ramona caught sight of a rare bird during her trip to the island.2. The process or function of using one's eyes to obtain information: Grant and Velma used their sight to read the inscription on the wall of the old building.
3. The foreseeable future or a prospect: Preston could see no solution in sight.
4. Mental perception or consideration: Marco lost sight of the purpose of his visit.
5. Something that is notable and worth being seen: The view was quite a sight and was worth all the effort of climbing the mountain to see it.
6. Disorderly, messy: Shelly's apartment was a sight and needed to be cleaned up before her mother came for a visit.
Looking out of the window, Tosca could sight the thunderclouds that were approaching her neighborhood.
Now Ramona has a web site which can be of great value to anyone who wants to learn.
Hubert chose a site for his tent and set up camp for the night.
Evan had to cite the reservation data that was sent to him from the recreation authorities indicating that he was authorized to use this site for his summer camp because he wanted to have a beautiful sight of the lake.
2. A group of sycophants or fawning admirers: A claque of apparent worshipers was always around the actress praising her for everything she said or did.
Leona may be cynical but whenever she sees a claque of people together, she always expects to hear a clack clack as if the claque were gossiping like a clutch of hens in the farmyard.
We could only clamber up the steep hill.
2. Acting in a loud and noisy way: The children obviously wanted to clamor around the musicians, and to sing songs and to laugh.
When the tourists tried to clamber down the hillside, they disrupted a flock of geese, the clamor of which could be heard for miles.
A British member of the group wrote a message in his e-mail: "It was almost as if the geese were trying to clamour for attention."
2. Relating to European music during the latter half of the 18th and the early 19th centuries: Velma's preferences run to classical music; especially, that written by Mozart.
When Blake's mother went to a classical music concert, she liked to dress in a suit with a very classic design.
The eagle was carrying a rabbit in its sharp claws.
The opera diva always had a clause in her contract that stipulated that she would be served crab claws on ice after each concert.
2. To pass easily and quickly through something: The bow of the ship can easily cleave through the water.
2. To stick closely to something; usually used in a figurative sense: Archie's wife continued to cleave to the beliefs of her family's religious teachings.
Despite the storm, the cruise ship was able to cleave its way through the water; however, Angelo's wife was so frightened that he urged her to cleave to him and he would protect her.
2. Quick in thinking or learning; intelligent, quick-witted, etc.: Some clever students started a business recycling old computers.
The clever butcher was able to use the cleaver very skillfully when he was preparing the meat for his customers.
We could see Rudolph clench his teeth as he continued to look straight ahead.
Erika's superior work on this project should clinch her a promotion.
It's a cinch that when the debater is trying to clinch his arguments, he will clench his fists and pound on the table top.
2. Primarily British, information that leads towards the solution of a situation or problem: The detective was able to use one final clew to solve the murder.
In the mystery story, the inspector followed the clew of thread as a clue to finding the culprit.
The macho cop representations of Hollywood movies have become a cliché.
A cliche is a remark that's right, but quite trite.
The clique of newspaper writers often vied with each other to write articles using as many different clichés as possible, including the old knock-knock joke:
"Knock Knock. Who’s there?" "Click". "Click who?" "Click Clock, the mouse ran up the clock."
Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.
The year Claire turned 60 seemed to be the climacteric of her life.
Ira had reached the climactic point in his career and there was nothing more to do but retire and pursue his hobby which was to study the climatic changes in the environment.
Some people have noticed that as they climb in the mountains, the vegetation is obviously influenced by the clime and soil conditions.
2. A bringing to an end; a conclusion: The speaker announced that after one more question, he would bring closure to the meeting.
The motion of cloture was approved and the next item of business for the council was the closure of a city landmark which was a former cloister built in the previous century.
2. Descriptive of being near or at a short distance or time away: Myrtle was instructed not to drive her car so close to the one in front of her.
The time for a decision was drawing close.
2. Referring to people who know each other very well and care about each other very much: Dixie and Ginger were very close friends, having gone to school together.
Wilbur thought he was getting close to a close, but he was too close to the door to close it.
Warren hung up the wash cloths on the line just before changing his clothes.
Confusing Words: Homonyms, Homophones, and Homographs; explained and demonstrated.
"Standard English and Nonstandard English" article with a poem of confusing English words.
Confusing Words: Units, Groups A to Z.