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

(lists of "H" sections that are organized into what for some people are confusing groups of words)


I don't mispell, as others mite,
But allways right each item rite;
So I emit resounding hoops
At other righter's speling bloops.
—From The Game of Words by Willard R. Espy;
Bramhall House; New York; 1972; page 124.

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If you have any problems understanding the pronunciation symbols, go to this Pronunciation Chart for clarifications.

hurdle, hurdle, hurtle
hurdle (HUR d'l) (noun)
1. A barrier, an obstacle; a fence in steeplechase racing, a hedge, a wall: The racer cleared the last hurdle and dashed toward the finish line.
2. An obstacle or difficulty, a hindrance, an obstruction: The final exam is the student's last hurdle before graduation.
hurdle (HUR d'l) (verb)
To jump, to spring over, to clear: The horse was able to hurdle the fence and run into the pasture.
hurtle (HUR t'l) (verb)
1. To speed, to rush; to run quickly, to gallop; to go like the wind: The motorcycle was able to hurtle along the road at 200 miles an hour.

Karl could see the car hurtle down the highway with great velocity.

2. To throw forcibly, to fling with great force; to whirl: The quarterback was able to hurtle the football toward the receiver who caught it and ran for a touchdown.

The bicyclist hurtled into the pedestrian with such swiftness that he fell down and sprained his ankle!.

The cross-country runner was faced with many hurdles over which she had to hurdle herself as she attempted to hurtle towards the finish line.

hyperbola, hyperbole
hyperbola (high PUR buh luh) (noun)
A mathematical term indicating a part of a curve: Every draftsman must learn the formula for the hyperbola.
hyperbole (high PUR buh lee) (noun)
1. An extravagant overstatement or exaggerated language that distorts facts by making them much bigger than they are if looked at objectively: Too much use of hyperbole can cast doubt on anything a person says.
2. A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect: Examples of hyperbole are illustrated by the following statements:

I'm so tired, I could sleep for a year.

This book weighs a ton.

I could eat a million of these cookies.

It is taking an eternity to finish the research!

It might be a hyperbole to describe the hyperbola as reaching to the moon instead of just stating that is was large and graceful.

hypercritical, hypocritical
hypercritical (high" puhr KRIT i kuhl) (adjective)
Carping, judgmental, unfair to an excessive degree: A hypercritical parent or teacher can discourage a child from trying to improve.
hypocritical (hip" uh KRIT i kuhl) (adjective)
Concerning a person who pretends to have certain beliefs about what is proper or right, but practices the opposite or contrary behavior of those beliefs: A hypocritical teacher demands respect from students, but he or she does not show respect for them.

It would be hypocritical if a teacher overlooked the serious errors in his or her student’s homework, but it would be hypercritical if that instructor criticized other teachers for being too loose with their grading systems.

hyperthermia, hypothermia
hyperthermia (high" puhr THUR mee uh) (noun)
Unusually high body temperature: The doctors were worried because the patient seemed very hot as if suffering from hyperthermia.
hypothermia (high" puh THUR mee uh) (noun)
Abnormally low body temperature: People who enjoy hiking in the winter need to be very careful that they don't develop hypothermia and frostbite.

The doctors were very worried about Josie's well-being because her temperatures kept fluctuating between hyperthermia and hypothermia without a medical explanation.

Pointing to explanation of homonyms, homophones, and homographs, etc. Confusing Words: Homonyms, Homophones, and Homographs; explained and demonstrated.

Pointing back to Confusing Words Quizzes, Part AConfusing Words: Units, Groups A to Z.

Pointing back to Confusing Words Quizzes Confusing Words: Vocabulary Quizzes Listed.