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

(lists of "I" 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.

infidel, infidelity
infidel (IN fi duhl, IN fi del") (noun)
1. A person who does not believe in a religion which another person regards as the true religion: Even in modern times, we hear about someone who condemns another person of being an infidel.
2. An individual who does not profess a religious belief: As a free thinker, Jeremy thought of himself as an infidel with no religious affiliation.
infidelity (in" fi DEL i tee) (noun)
The act or fact of having a romantic or sexual relationship with someone other than one's husband, wife, or partner: Fay filed for divorce on the basis of her husband’s infidelity with a fellow worker.

Trudy was so distraught by her husband’s infidelity, that she completely lost her spiritual faith; she thought of herself as an infidel.

informant, informer
informant (in FOR muhnt) (noun)
An individual who discloses facts often in response to interrogation: Because Thomas had been an informant for the police, he was shunned by his neighbors.
informer (in FOR muhr) (noun)
An individual who discloses knowledge, facts, and details, usually about another individual, and who is typically paid for such information: The police informer was paid a large sum for the information leading to the arrest of the gang members.

In the mystery book that Mildred is reading, the informant for the police had also turned into an informer for the central government.

ingenious, ingenuous
ingenious (in JEEN yuhs) (adjective)
Descriptive of an aptitude for invention and resourcefulness; being clever, tricky, or shrewd: Cleo was ingenious in her ability to modify recipes.
ingenuous (in JEN yoo uhs) (adjective)
Characterized by a childlike candor, without subtlety; open, frank, innocent: Maude brought an ingenuous perspective to the problem at hand.

Although the scientist who was presented in social situations as being ingenuous, he was in fact ingenious in his research.

innocence, innocents
innocence (IN uh suhns) (noun)
1. Unsophisticated, lacking in worldly awareness: Mildred's visiting cousin from abroad demonstrated a delightful innocence when Tamika showed her the highlights of the city.
2. Not guilty of a crime or offense: The judge determined the innocence of the man on trial and released him.
innocents (IN uh suhnts) (noun)
1. Individuals who are not guilty of an offense or crime: The three men who had been charged were in fact wrongly accused innocents.
2. People who are lacking in the knowledge of evil: Children are often described as innocents, being quite trusting, naive, and natural.

Roger's favorite author is exceptional in describing his characters as charming innocents, displaying an innocence about their surroundings which was refreshing to see.

insidious, invidious
insidious (in SID ee uhs) (adjective)
1. Descriptive of a gradual onslaught of an illness or disease in such a manner that it is entrenched before being discovered: The insidious nature of Brian's ailment distressed both the patient and the doctor.

Most people with this insidious virus have no idea that they are infected.

2. Harmful, but seen as something which is desirable: There is an insidious aspect of drug addiction that some people apparently refuse to accept.
invidious (in VID ee uhs) (adjective)
Characterized by discontent, envy, jealousy, or resentment: The invidious nature of the newspaper article created a sense of anger among the home owners.

The invidious articles in the newspaper created an insidious atmosphere at city hall which was difficult to understand.

insolate, insulate, isolate
insolate (IN soh layt", in SOH layt") (verb)
To expose to sunlight: Kimberley and Shanna are going to the beach to insulate themselves and get a suntan.
insulate (IN suh layt", INS yuh layt") (verb)
1. To cause to be in a detached position: Being a scientific theorist tended to insulate the man from his surroundings.
2. To prevent the passage of heat, electricity, or sound into or out of something, especially by surrounding it with a nonconducting material: The electrician used a special tape to insulate the electrical cords.
isolate (IGH suh layt") (verb)
1. To set apart or to cut off from others: To prevent cheating on the examinations, the professor chose to isolate the students who were using their laptop computers.
2. To place in quarantine: The doctors decided to isolate the children with measles so other children wouldn't become ill, too.
3. To render free of external influence: Living in the remote mountains tended to isolate the residents from modern civilization.

On Sara's summer vacation, she intends to isolate herself on an island and insolate herself in hopes of getting a good tan.

In fact, staying on the island will insulate her from the hustle and bustle of everyday city life.

insolation, insulation, isolation
insolation (in" soh LAY shuhn) (noun)
The act, or an instance of, exposing to sunlight; including, therapeutic exposure to sunlight: People are cautioned against too much insolation which could result in sunstroke or heat stroke, which is characterized by convulsions, coma, and excessive body heat.
insulation (in" suh LAY shuhn, ins" yuh LAY shuhn) (noun)
A material or substance that is used to stop heat, electricity, or sound from going into or out of something: Nell used fiberglass insulationon the attic ceiling of her house to keep it cool during the hot summer months isolation.
isolation (igh" suh LAY shuhn) (noun)
The circumstance of being in a place or situation that is separate from others: The isolation of the mountain community has existed for many decades.

Most countries no longer sell asbestos for insulation; however, those countries that do may find themselves kept in isolation from international trade agreements.

Instead, countries should work together to develop safe insolation techniques and equipment.

insoluble, insolvable, insolvent
insoluble (in SAHL yuh buhl) (adjective)
1. Characterizing something that has no explanation or answer: The mathematics problem appeared to the students to be insoluble, so they asked their professor for help.
2. Referring to something which is impossible, or practically impossible, to dissolve in a liquid: The mixture appeared to be insoluble under those test tube conditions.
insolvable (in SAHL vuh buhl) (adjective)
Regarding something which has no solution or answer; not explainable: Ingrid reached an insolvable stalemate while playing her computer solitaire game.
insolvent (in SAHL vuhnt) (adjective)
Concerning the situation of not having sufficient funds to pay debts as they come due; bankrupt; unable to pay an obligation or something that was borrowed: The man was humiliated by having to admit to being insolvent when speaking with his creditors.

Bruce's company became insolvent the previous week.

When the company became insolvent, the directors felt that the situation was insoluble in terms of reporting to the investors. Finally the directors' report was released and it revealed that the status of the company was insolvable.

inspiration, expiration, expiration
inspiration (in" spuh RAY shuhn) (noun)
1. The inhalation, or breathing in, of air: The doctor measured Dina's rate of inspiration because she had been ill with a lung infection.
2. The action or power to influence emotions or intellect: Jill's work was an inspiration to others to volunteer to work in the remote village.
expiration (ek" spuh RAY shuhn) (noun)
Exhalation or breathing out: When Cleo fell, the expiration of her breath was sudden and she gasped for air.
expiration (ek" spuh RAY shuhn) (noun)
The end or termination of something: The date of expiration on the contract will be approaching soon.

With a sudden inspiration, the author described the expiration of the antagonist in the novel with great detail.

instigate, institute, institute
instigate (IN sti gayt") (verb)
To urge, encourage, goad, incite, or to provoke: The angry boy on the playground tried to instigate a fight with the others.

The rebels tried to instigate a revolution.

institute (IN sti toot", IN sti tyoot") (noun)
1. An organization to promote education and learning: Kevin attended the institute in the city so he could learn new teaching skills.
2. A group created for a particular purpose; such as, research or education: The psychiatrists founded an institute for research into the causes of mental illness, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, etc.
institute (IN sti toot", IN sti tyoot") (verb)
To begin or to create something; such as, a new law, rule, or system: The teachers sought to institute a reading clinic for students in the community.

The mayor is trying to institute new policies to increase public safety.

The orator tried to instigate the crowd to demand that the local institute for training factory workers institute a new safety training program for new workers.

integration, segregation
integration (in" ti GRAY shuhn) (noun)
The incorporation of individuals as equals into the mainstream of a social organization: The new law will ensure the integration of all students who attend school.
segregation (seg" ri GAY shuhn) (noun)
1. The practice or policy of keeping people of different races, religions, genders, etc., separate from each other: Parents fought to end the segregation of students in the public schools.
2. The enforced separation of groups in a manner that is discriminatory: The laws governing school segregation of children in classes have been declared illegal.

Some school boards are considering a new policy of segregation of boys and girls; however, the lawyers noted that the law of the country ensures total integration of all school children, including both genders.

intelligent, intelligible, intellectual
intelligent (in TEL uh juhnt) (adjective)
1. Referring to a person who possesses and uses good judgment, problem solving, and advanced thinking: Helena appeared to be intelligent as reflected in her positive choices and decisions.
2. Concerning an individual who has the ability to learn and to understand what is being learned: Dina's class was characterized as being quite intelligent.
intelligible (in TEL i juh buhl) (adjective)
Relating to something which can be understood or comprehended: In her speech, Ingrid made many relevant and intelligible comments on the topic of water conservation.
intellectual (in" tl EK choo uhl) (adjective)
1. Inclined towards or interested in things that require the use of thought and reflection: Jason always liked intellectual pursuits; such as, studying poetry and the classics.
2. Descriptive of the possession of a high level of critical thinking: Janine had a fine intellectual face that matched her wits and conversational skills.

The gathering was billed as an intellectual get together of doctors and the theme was an intelligible dialogue among the more intelligent members of the medical profession.

intense, intents
intense (in TENS) (adjective)
1. Descriptive of deep feelings or strong emotions: Tammie felt an intense loyalty to her old school friends.
2. Characteristic of extremes: The intense heat was almost unbearable.
intents (in TENTS) (noun)
1. Practical purposes or reasons: For all intents, Kevin's decision to fly to the west coast was a good one.
2. Planned or resolute actions; one's mental attitudes, including purposes, at the time of doing an act: Gary's criminal intents were well-known to the local courts.

For all intents and purposes, the air conditioner should be a big help against the intense heat of the summer.

intension, intention
intension (in TEN shuhn) (noun)
A determination or strong use of the mind: Jim's intension to go to the university and get his degree in medicine was encouraged by his parents.
intention (in TEN shuhn) (noun)
1. A resolution to act in a specific manner: It is Zelda's and Paul's intention to cross the desert at night to avoid the intense heat.
2. Something that a person plans to do or to achieve: Aurora seemed to think that her brother was trying to cause problems, but that was neither his intention nor his desire.

The intention of the landlord was to repair the basement and to paint the outside; however, his intension was soon diminished when he found out what it would cost.

inter, inter-, intern, intern, inturn
inter (in TUR) (verb)
To bury a dead person: The arrangements to inter Kevin's uncle were made by his children.
inter- (in TUR) (noun) [a prefix]
Added to the beginning of a word to modify its meaning: The inter, as in internet, is an example of the use of the prefix inter-.
The interface of printed pages and the colored illustrations made the book very interesting.

You may see many more examples of the prefix inter- at this link.

intern (IN turn") (noun)
A student of graduate academic standing completing professional training under the supervision of a qualified instructor: Trisha was an intern at the hospital where she was completing her training as a pediatrician.
intern (IN turn") (verb)
To place in confinement or a restricted environment for political reasons: Many governments choose to intern their citizens in response to certain governmental fears.
inturn (IN turn") (noun)
An inward turn or curve around an axis or fixed point: Steven wore special shoes to correct the inturn of his toes.

The medical intern was assigned to inter a cadaver that had inturn feet.

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