Confusing Words Clarified: Group M; Homonyms, Homophones, Homographs, Synonyms, Polysemes, etc. +
(lists of "M" 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.
2. A reason for doing something: The motive for the kids in running away was to avoid being punished for breaking the window with the football.
The posted reward was a strong motive that inspired Emily to design the signature motif for the entrance to the new library.
The Boy Scout motto is "Be prepared".
The motto for the school, which was carved over the door, was gradually being hidden from view as the lichen, growing on the stone, created a mottle effect that disguised the motif.
2. Pertaining to, consisting of, or resembling a thick, slippery protective medium: The mucous membrane is a thin, wet layer of skin that is inside some part of the body; such as, the nose and throat, which produces mucus.
In Fay's favorite science fiction book, the victim was covered with mucous, which was disgusting because it reminded her of the mucus secreted by the slugs in her garden.
2. To have swindled someone or to have taken something by fraud, trickery, or deception: Bernard L. Madoff mulcted his victims of considerable amounts of money.
Ponzi schemes, named after Charles Ponzi, refers to situations where potential investors were mulcted by being wooed with promises of unusually large monetary returns that were usually attributed to the investment manager's superior skills or some secret knowledge.
Charles Ponzi was a fast-talking immigrant and college dropout, and his scheme, according to Mitchell Zuckoff, Ponzi’s biographer, rested on the eagerness of ordinary working people to benefit from the wealth they saw being generated around them as the economy recovered from World War I, which made it easier for them to be mulcted.
Mulct comes from French mulcter, "to fine, to punish" from Latin mulctare, altered from multare "to punish, to fine" from multa, "penalty, fine". The sense of "to defraud" is first recorded 1748.
Sometimes the lies that were told in court were perceived as having mulched the truth. When the judge realized that the accused had mulcted the public investors, she was determined that he should be mulcted, including being sent to prison.
2. A relatively quiet expression of an opinion or feeling: The conclusion of the speech by the senator brought a murmur of agreement.
3. A low, quiet, and continuous sound: While on the coast at night when Nathan went to bed, he could hear the murmur of the waves along the shore.
4. In medicine, an unusual heart sound that may indicate a problem with the heart's function or structure: Vincent's doctor detected a heart murmur during a routine physical examination.
2. To make a low, continuous sound: The breeze will murmur again tonight just as it has been doing for the last several nights.
An elderly man, with a slight hearing problem, went to get a medical examination and a few days afterward, his doctor saw him walking along the sidewalk with his arm around the waist of a beautiful young woman.
Five days later, the man had another appointment to see the doctor, at which time the doctor commented that his patient seemed to be doing very well.
The man replied by saying, "Yes, I feel great doctor. I did what you told me to do, get a hot mama and be cheerful."
The doctor corrected the man, "I didn't tell you that! I told you that you have a heart murmur and to be careful!"
Later, another patient heard the doctor murmur to the nurse, "That guy certainly has a very unusual heart murmur."
2. A leather or wire restraining appliance that, when fitted over an animal's snout, prevents biting and eating: The by-law in the city required that every dog wear a muzzle to prevent it from hurting people and other dogs.
3. The forward, discharging end of the barrel of a firearm: Martin pointed the muzzle of the gun at the target and pulled the trigger.
Obviously we cannot muzzle a mussel in order to see its muscle.
2. A theatrical production characterized by both song and spoken word: Lynn's favorite musical is My fair Lady based on the play by George Bernard Shaw in which Elisa Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl, takes speech lessons and rises to the status of a real lady.
One of Rosette's favorite musical pieces is from a famous rendition that her music instructor played at the musicale gatherings at her home.
2. A plant with yellow flowers, leaves that can be used for food, and seeds that are used in making the sauce to flavor certain kinds of edibles: When the field of mustard is in bloom, it is a beautiful sea of golden color.
2. Having worked hard to find or to get courage, support, etc.: The men mustered all the strength they could gather together to push the car out of the mud.
The restaurant employees gathered their yellow condiment together to make sure there was an adequate supply; or, in other words, they mustered all of their mustard to make sure they had enough for the next busy days.
It is a very mysterious experience to see a mythical story adapted for a stage presentation. The audience may understand the superficial aspects of the drama, but not necessarily the mystical renditions of the narrations.