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

(lists of "P" 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.

providence, province
providence (PRAHV i duhns, PRAHV i dens") (noun)
A reference to divine guidance or direction: It was by divine providence that the ship did not sink after it hit an iceberg.
province (PRAHV ins) (noun)
1. The proper or characteristic function of something: Balancing the budget is the province of accountants.
2. An administrative division of a country or district: The Province of Ontario in Canada is large and the capital city of the province is Toronto.
3. The division of a country outlining the jurisdiction of an archbishop: The province for the administration by the archbishop included the Far North.

People may have to seek divine providence if they hope to understand the division of taxes between the governments of each province and the national government and the city governments.

prude, prudent
prude (PROOD) (noun)
An individual who appears excessively attentive to proper behavior or decorum: The school principal seemed such a prude when it came to noise in the hallways during recess.
prudent (PROOD n't) (adjective)
Behavior that is described as circumspect or showing careful and wise judgment: Marla's prudent management of household expenses meant the family could go on vacation in the summer.

Marian didn't mean to sound like a prude, but she was convinced that it would be prudent to evacuate the town before the cyclone strikes.

psychiatrist, psychologist, psychometrician, psychotherapist
psychiatrist (si KIGH uh trist, sigh KIGH uh trist) (noun)
A medical doctor who specializes in the study of mental and emotional issues or problems: It takes many years of advanced medical studies to become a psychiatrist.
psychologist (sigh KAHL uh jist) (noun)
A person who has studied the mental and behavioral characteristics of individuals, but who does not have a medical degree: As a psychologist, Jerry's sister works in schools where there are children who have emotional problems.
psychometrician (sigh kahm" i TRISH uhn) (noun)
1. An individual who has trained to understand how the mind influences the behavior of people and who has studied and trained to understand the way the brain influences the behaviour of individuals who may have mental and emotional problems: The psychometrician was very good with young children and gained their cooperation during the testing procedures.
2. A person who has been educated to understand how the mind influences the behaviour of people and who deals with the design, administration, and interpretation of quantitative tests of intelligence, aptitude, and personality traits: Tracy had a psychometrician who provided an evaluation of her son who was having problems adapting to relationships with other people.
psychotherapist (sigh" koh THER uh pist) (noun)
Someone who treats people with mental and emotional disorders: The psychotherapist who worked with Dennis provided healing procedures that helped him to achieve more self-control over his excessive anger reactions.

Myrna was concerned about the well-being of her friend; so, she urged Henry to get a referral from his psychiatrist to see a psychometrician who was also a well-known psychologist.

The psychometrician administered several tests the interpretations of which were intended to help her friend understand his psychological problems.

At the end of the assessment period, the psychologist recommended that Henry meet regularly with a psychotherapist.

punk, punk
punk (PUNGK) (noun)
1. A light, brownish, spongy preparation that burns very slowly, usually made from fungi: Walter used a stick of punk to light the fireworks.
2. Decayed wood used in a dry state for tinder: Terry and Tracie used some punk on the fire to keep them warm.
3. An individual who is perceived to be too loud, too rude, too violent, or excessively misbehaving: Greg asked, "Why can't that punk behave himself?"
punk, U.S. slang (PUNGK) (noun)
1. Poor or bad in quality: Pete was told that he did a punk (punky) job of painting the walls.
2. In poor health; not well; feeling terrible: Marina was just too much of a punk today so she stayed in bed instead of going to work.

The punk that Gerald bought at the bargain counter in the discount store proved to be just that, PUNK, and not good for anything.

pupil, student, scholar
pupil (PYOO puhl) (noun)
1. The round opening in the iris of each eye which contracts or opens depending on the kind of light to which it is exposed: The ophthalmologist used a special magnifying flashlight to look through the pupil of each of the patient’s eyes.
2. A child or youth who is being taught in a school or by a tutor: The new tutor presented her pupil with drawing paper and pencils.
student (STOOD n't, STYOOD n't) (noun)
A person who attends school with the purpose of learning: Jerry's aunt was a student of entomology and often went to the meadow to study the butterflies there.

Estella was the newest student to enroll at the craft school.

scholar (SKAHL uhr) (noun)
1. An individual who has done advanced studies in a specific academic field: Harriet's son was an eminent scholar studying the flight patterns of birds.
2. A man or a woman who has received an award typically accompanied by cash to enable that person to study a specific subject: Lenora was a prize-winning scholar who received a prestigious grant to study art in Italy.

The internationally recognized scholar had in fact been a student at the local high school.

As a college student, JoAnn was visiting her junior high school and she wanted to meet Mr. Walter again because she was his pupil when she was there years ago.

puttee, putty
puttee (puh TEE, PUHT ee) (noun)
A strip of cloth that is wrapped around the leg from the ankle to the knee or a legging made of leather and fastened around the leg with laces or straps: When Bruce wore his full uniform, it included his plumed helmet and the white cloth puttee around each of his legs.

The leather puttee felt soft and comfortable when Jeremy fastened it around each of his legs.

putty (PUHT ee) (noun)
1. A sticky substance often made of whiting and linseed oil used to fasten glass into window panes or to fill cracks in wood: The glassier used putty to install a new pane in the window frame because the old one was broken.
2. A color that is brownish gray: The naval ships were painted putty which was a color that was a perfect disguise on the ocean.
3. Someone who is easily manipulated: Carl was so in love, he was like putty in Stella's hands.
4. Any of a variety of sticky substances used to fill cracks or to mend items: The plumber used a special putty to repair the leaky pipes under the sink.

The colors of Kenneth's uniform were subdued; the puttee on each leg was a brownish gray, just like the color of putty.

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