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.

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.

hack, hack
hack (HAK) (verb)
1. To cut something many times and usually in a rough and violent way: Bonita could hear Pedro hack the tree down with an ax.
2. To make a path by cutting plants: Each of the hikers used a machete to hack a path through the thick growth of brush.
3. To secretly get access to the files on a computer or network in order to get information, to cause damage, etc.: Those guys were trying to hack into the network so they could hack into the bank's financial records.
hack (HAK) (noun)
1. The act of hitting something roughly with an ax, a knife, etc.: Eric took a hack at the branch of the tree in his backyard.
2. A writer who hastily or routinely produces a lot of work without much quality just so he or she can make some money without regard for accuracy or consequences to others: Charles was obviously a hack as an author because he couldn't find anyone who wanted what he was producing.

Almost every day the local hack on the staff of the paper used her computer to produce a column in her blog.

3. Someone who does work that is not important or original: Mildred was just an insignificant political hack, only doing menial desk jobs.

Too often there is a radio hack who just wants to verbally hack at those whose positions he or she disagrees with.

This link about hack, hacking will provide more information.

hail, hale
hail (HAYL) (noun)
1. Rain that freezes and falls from the sky in the form of spherical or small balls of ice: The hail from the sudden storm came down without any warning.
2. Typically an amount of small objects or words that are thrown forcefully: There was a hail or a pelting of pebbles as the mountains were shaken by the earthquake.

Manfred received a hail or an outcry of criticism because of his political position.

hale (HAYL) (adjective)
Concerning a person who is free from infirmity or illness; of sound health: The nurse said that the elderly man was hale and hearty, assuring him that he was in fine shape and in good physical condition.

Ryan's uncle, who is a farmer, was feeling less than hale after being hit on the head by so much hail during a hail storm while he was plowing in the field.

hair, hare
hair (HAIR) (noun)
A thin, threadlike growth of the epidermis characteristically on mammals that covers the skin and which may contain pigmentation or color: The hair on Trisha's head was bright red as were her eyelashes.
hare (HAIR) (noun)
One of several fast running, shy mammals with long ears of the family Leporidae or rabbits: The hare lived in Mary's garden and was always on the lookout for dogs.

Some people say that rabbit fur is really simply hare hair.

haircut, haricot
haircut (HAIR kuht") (noun)
1. The act or an instance of trimming human locks, curls, etc: Lisa went to the salon to get a stylish haircut.
2. A style in which people's tresses, ringlets, etc. are shapened and trimmed: The haircut Lenora got looked just like that of a famous rock singer.
haricot (HAIR i koh") (noun)
1. The edible pod or seed of any of several beans; especially, the kidney bean: The chili recipe said to add one can of red haricot to make it rich and tasty.
2. A highly seasoned mutton or lamb stew with vegetables: After a long hike in the hills, the haricot at the inn tasted wonderful; especially, since the members of the group were very hungry.

After eating a hearty helping of spicy haricot, Karin noticed that her hair felt as if it were standing on end, as if she had had a new haircut. So, Karin went to the barber who gave her a haircut; then she went home and made a red haricot soup for dinner.

hall, haul
hall (HAWL) (noun)
1. A large, often imposing room, in a building, often used for meetings: The workers assembled in the hall, not in the little chamber, to vote for a new union president.
2. A designating term for a building or part of a university complex: Rena and Sherrie attended classes at Smith Hall when they were at the university.
haul (HAWL) (verb)
1. To pull an object from one place to another: Albert used the tractor to haul the bricks for the new building.
2. To change the direction of a ship's course to take advantage of the wind: The sailors decided to haul the ship's course by raising new sails.

It was moving day and Peter and Trisha had to haul the furniture out of the hall so it could be put into the moving van.

hallow, halo, hollow, hollow, holler
hallow (HAHL oh) (verb)
To set aside for sacred or holy use: The priest thought to hallow the land next to the church as a burial ground.
halo (HAY loh) (noun)
1. A nimbus of light surrounding a celestial object; such as, the sun, caused by the reflection of light on ice particles in the atmosphere: On some nights the moon seems to have a halo surrounding it.
2. A sense of idealized glory invested in a person: The woman who worked among the poor seemed almost to have a halo surrounding her.
hollow (HAHL oh) (adjective)
1. Referring to an empty space or cavity within an object: The tree was old and hollow.
2. Descriptive of a sound made by hitting or beating a object that has an empty space in it: Striking the hollow log created a hollow thud that seemed to echo.
3. Pertaining to an utterance which is empty and lacking in sincerity: Mildred gave a hollow promise to do all her homework.
hollow (HAHL oh) (noun)
A low or sunken space, often in a field: At the base of the hollow was a spring of water for the cattle.
holler (HAHL uhr) (verb)
To shout, to cry, or to call out: When James hit his thumb with the hammer, his first response was to holler in pain.

Lucinda and Keith stood at the edge of the hollow in the remote valley and tried to holler loudly so they could hear the echos of their voices.

While they were standing there, they saw a halo surrounding the moon which seemed to hallow the place where they were.

halve, have
halve (HAV, HAHV) (verb)
1. To divide something into two equal portions or parts: Trina agreed to share the last slice of toast and her friend agreed to halve it with a knife.
2. To lessen or reduce by half: Francine decided to halve the meal with her sister so the two of them could eat the same amount.
have (HAV) (verb)
1. To maintain ownership or possession: Jacob decided he had to have a new car and so he bought one!
2. To experience or to suffer from something: Josie said, "I feel terrible because I have a bad cold."
3. To come to a conclusion about an idea or an object: Ronda said, "I have an opinion about the new fashions."

Jill's mother said, "I have to halve the last piece of chocolate with your sister."

hammer; hammer, hammering; yammer, yammering
hammer (HAM uhr) (noun)
1. A tool that has a heavy metal head attached to a handle and which is used for hitting nails or pounding and breaking things apart: The carpenter used his hammer to secure the wooden panels on the walls.
2. The part of a gun-lock that hits the primer or firing pin and causes a gun to shoot: When he pulled the trigger of the revolver, the hammer caused the bullet to fire and to leave through the barrel.
3. One of the padded wooden pieces of a piano that strikes a long piece of wire that is fixed across a musical instrument, like a harpsichord, when the player presses a key: When a musician depresses the black or white pieces of wood at the front of the piano, each hammer hits a tuned string that produces music.
hammer, hammering (HAM uhr, HAM uhr ing) (verb)
1. To force something into a particular place or shape by hitting it with a hand tool: Jason will hammer the dent out of the fender of the car today.
2. To use a striker that is covered in felt and that causes the piano strings to vibrate: Mary's mother commented, "Mary, if you hammer the cembalo keys, you might actually be hammering some good tunes!"
3. To hit something in a very forceful way: The people in this area can be sure that the next hurricane will hammer many more towns.
4. To keep talking about something or trying to get something done: Julia apparently is hammering her political opponent for his failure to cut taxes.
yammer, yammering (YAM uhr, YAM uhr ing) (verb)
To talk on and on in an annoying way: Every time Mildred gets on the phone, all she can do is yammer and yammer about how her husband disappoints her.

No matter where Sally goes, it's amazing how many people she sees who are yammering on their cell phones.

A carpenter is yacking or yammering while he is hammering
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While listening to the politician yammer away, trying to hammer out the party platform to the group of people, it made Ed think that the politician was like a hammer banging up and down on the members of the audience.

handsome, hansom
handsome (HAN suhm) (adjective)
1. Pleasing and dignified in form or appearance: The young woman could not be described as pretty, but in her fine new outfit, she looked very handsome.
2. Generous or copious: The family offered a handsome reward for the return of their lost dog.
hansom (HAN suhm) (noun)
A two-wheeled horse-drawn covered carriage with the driver's seat above and behind the passengers: The travelers took advantage of having a ride around the city in the old hansom.

The handsome young man reserved a hansom and driver for the afternoon for which he paid a handsome fee to take him and his friend for a ride through the park.

hangar, hanger
hangar (HANG uhr, HANG guhr) (noun)
A large structure for aircraft or airplanes: There is no more room in the hangar for additional planes.
hanger (HANG uhr) (noun)
1. A device on which to place apparel or garments for storage: The common wire clothes hanger may be used for things besides simply hanging up dresses and shirts!
2. Someone whose job is to affix or to place something in a specified location: Celeste hired a house painter who also worked as a paper hanger.

Jonathan rented an abandoned hangar to use as an art gallery; then, he hired a professional hanger to help him hang his works of art.

In the entry hall, Rebekah set up a cloak room equipped with hangers on which to hang the patron’s coats.

hanged, hung
hanged (HANG'd) (verb)
The past tense and past participle of "hang"; to kill someone by using a rope that goes around the neck and holds the person's body in the air without any support from below: Jose was legally hanged for his crimes.
hung (HUNG) (verb)
The past tense and past participle of "hang"; to attach or to place something so it is held up without support from below: David hung the painting on the wall.

In our history books, we read about the pirate who was hanged for his crimes. Julia's father had a painting that hung in his study which portrayed that event.

hard, hard, hardly
hard (HAHRD) (adjective)
Resistant to pressure; not readily penetrated, bent, cut, etc.: This loaf of bread is as hard as a rock.
hard (HAHRD) (adverb)
Regarding how great effort or endurance is required: You have to work hard in order to succeed and Joe knows how hard Laura tried.

That test was hard because the teacher asked a lot of difficult questions.

hardly (HAHRD lee) (adverb)
Regarding how something is true, but only relating to an insignificant amount; barely; scarcely: The changes in service have hardly been noticed by anyone.

Hardly anyone showed up for the meeting that day.

Lenora, although you claim that your work is hard, you are hardly making any effort to get any work done.

hardy, hearty, hearty
hardy (HAHR dee) (adjective)
Concerning a person who is able to withstand negative conditions; such as, poor weather: The hikers were both hardy and enjoyed hiking in the rain.
hearty (HAHR tee) (adjective)
1. Regarding unrestrained enthusiasm: The visitors were given a hearty welcome when they arrived.
2. Concerning excellent and vigorous good health: The elderly man enjoyed a hearty lifestyle and was rarely ill.
hearty (HAHR tee) (noun)
A brave sailor: Each hearty on the ship was well-trained in the use of sails.

The hearty enthusiasm of each hearty on the ship was supported by the hearty meals which the ship's cook prepared.

It made each hearty hardy and strong so all of them could climb the rigging and furl the sails.

hart, heart
hart (HAHRT) (noun)
A male red deer typically over the age of five; a generic reference for any male deer: Lottie was amazed to see the hart just outside her tent in the woods.
heart (HAHRT) (noun)
1. The chambered muscular organ in vertebrates that pumps blood received from the veins into the arteries, thereby maintaining the flow of blood through the entire circulatory system: The doctor listened to the patient's heart with the stethoscope.
2. The vital center and source of one's being, emotions, and sensibilities: Jake's heart swelled with pride when his friend was determined the winner of the contest.
3. The firmness of will or the callousness required to carry out an unpleasant task or responsibility: Mike didn't have the heart to send the poor children away without something to eat.
4. The central or innermost physical part of a place or region: Samuel worked in the heart of the financial district of New York City.

The heart of the hart was pounding when he got confused and was roaming on the streets in the heart of the city before finding his way back into the large park.

haunch, hunch, hunch
haunch (HAWCH, HAHNCH) (noun)
The hip, buttock, and upper thigh in humans and animals: The farmer slapped the haunch of the horse to send it to the barn.
hunch (HUHNCH) (verb)
To bend forward in a position of crooked posture: Sitting on the tall stool, the clerk had to hunch forward to read the ledgers.
hunch (HUHNCH) (noun)
An intuitive sense regarding something that has happened or might happen: Jeb had a hunch that his sister would come for a visit during the summer.

After Justin's horse galloped away with him, he found himself hunched over the saddle which had slipped back onto the haunch of the horse. He had a hunch that he was destined for a fall and sure enough, he fell off.

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.

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