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.

perspicacious, perspicuous
perspicacious (pur" spi KAY shuhs) (adjective)
1. Pertaining to an individual who possesses or demonstrates penetrating mental discernment; clear-sighted: Mike always thought his mother was a perspicacious judge of character.
2. Regarding someone having or showing an ability to notice and to understand things that are difficult or not obvious: The movie critic made some perspicacious observations about the film.
perspicuous (puhr SPIK yoo uhs) (adjective)
1. Descriptive of something which is clearly expressed or stated; easy to understand: As an author and a speaker, Bert's written documentations were always very perspicuous and presented much vivid information.
2. Characterizing someone who expresses himself or herself clearly and effectively: The professor was known as a perspicuous lecturer who could explain topics exceedingly well.

Mildred's lecture was perspicuous and her scholarship demonstrated a perspicacious understanding of the topic.

peruse, pursue
peruse (puh ROOZ) (verb)
1. To study or to consider with close attention to details: Please peruse this essay carefully and check for spelling errors.
2. To look at or to read something in an informal, casual, leisurely, or relaxed way; sometimes believed to be misleading or incorrect: Manfred decided to peruse the newspaper during his break while he enjoyed a snack.
pursue (puhr SOO) (verb)
1. To find ways to achieve or to accomplish something: Madeline decided to pursue a career in music.
2. To proceed or to follow: Shanna and Sherman were determined to pursue a course directly across the snowy field in order to get to their winter lodge.
3. To haunt or to afflict: The nightmares continued to pursue Trudy after having witnessed the horrible boating accident.
4. To be involved in: After his retirement, Norman was very happy to pursue his hobby of fishing.
5. To chase or to follow something in order to overtake, capture, or to kill it: The hunter spent a long time in an effort to pursue the deer in the forest so he could shoot it and return home with venison for his family.

Glenn wants to pursue a career in library sciences because it will make it possible for him to peruse the newest books and magazines.

petrify, putrefy, purify
petrify (PET ruh figh") (verb)
1. To change into stone or a stony substance: Over thousands of years, the buried tree trunk will gradually petrify into rock.

Chad's icy glare served to petrify Debora and she was unable to run away.

2. To confound with amazement or fear: The harrowing tales of the author will petrify Janine and she will not want to walk in the graveyard after dark ever again.
3. To deaden or to stifle: Betty had the feeling that the long lecture was going to petrify her mind because it was so boring.
putrefy (PYOO truh figh") (verb)
To create a state of rottenness, physically or morally: If you bury the garbage, it will putrefy and eventually become compost.

Nathan was so evil he seemed to putrefy everything around him.

purify (PYOOR uh figh") (verb)
1. To sanitize or to clean: The brisk winds seemed to purify the air in the city.
2. To free from guilt or blemish: Rosetta's confession that she took her mother's ring helped to purify her conscience.

Howard wants to purify the air because the old cabbage has started to putrefy and to stink up the place and if he smells it for very long, he's afraid his brain will petrify.

phenomenon, phenomena, phenomenal
phenomenon (fi NAHM uh nahn", fi NAHM uh nuhn) (noun)
1. A rare fact, circumstance, experience, or event: It is considered a phenomenon when the home football team wins a game even with their poor record.
2. Any extremely unusual or extraordinary thing or occurrence that is known through the senses rather than known through thought or study: The neighbor was shocked with the phenomenon of a fire suddenly starting from an electrical explosion caused by her refrigeratorin her kitchen.
3. A fact of scientific interest that can be scientifically described, appraised, or explained: Gerald's chemistry instructor demonstrated the phenomenon of mixing chemicals to produce dyes for industrial purposes.
phenomena (fi NAHM uh nuh) (noun)
The plural form or "phenomenon"; occasionally used as the singular form, but such usage is considered incorrect: When Helena's essay was returned, her teacher had noted that she had correctly used the word "phenomena" when discussing the many sightings of a rare bird on the river.
phenomenal (fi NAHM uh nuhl) (adjective)
1. Extraordinary: Marla made phenomenal progress with her singing lessons because she practiced every day.
2. Very good or great; extremely unusual in a way that is very impressive: The book was a phenomenal success for several months.

Ed's phenomenal understanding of the single rare scientific phenomenon of ice crystals was amazing; however, he lost points in his essay by referring to it as a single rare scientific phenomena.

physic, physic, physique, psychic, psychic
physic (FIZ ik) (noun)
1. A medicine or remedy; especially, a laxative: The doctor recommended a physic to get rid of the patient's constipation.
2. Archaic usage: the art of medicine and healing: Polly wanted to follow in her mother's footsteps and planned to train as a physic as soon as she could because she wanted to help people with ailments .
physic (FIZ ik) (verb)
To treat with medicine or to administer medicine to: The prescription was to physic the patient as soon as possible in order to purge the blockage of his intestines.
physique (fi ZEEK) (noun)
The structure, strength, appearance, or form of a person's body: Bryan exercised every day to maintain his healthy physique.
psychic (SIGH kik) (adjective)
1. Relating to that which lies outside knowledge or physical science; immaterial or spiritual in nature; supernatural: There was a psychic quality about Mildred's personality which puzzled her friends.
2. Characteristic of extraordinary sensitivity to forces beyond the physical world: Cherie seemed to have a psychic understanding of Susana's problems.
psychic (SIGH kik) (noun)
A medium or individual who is sensitive to supernatural influences: Sean decided to go see a psychic to see if he could learn anything about his future life.

Randy's new doctor had a magnificent physique and the patients appreciated his administration of a physic. Once he even admitted to studying the art of being a psychic to gain an even greater understanding of the healing arts that exist beyond the mere physical concepts.

pi, pie
pi (PIGH) (noun)
1. The 16th graphic symbol of the Greek alphabet: Mike has memorized all the Greek letters up to and including pi (π).
2. A number approximately equal to 3.14159 which is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter and is represented by the symbol π: Learning what pi means has presented a mental block which is still unclear to Mildred.
pie (PIGH) (noun)
1. A dessert or savory dish that is baked in a pastry shell often with two crusts: Jennifer baked an apple pie for dessert which she and her friends ate with cheese.
2. A business or social activity: Janet wanted to have her finger in every social pie in town.
3. The whole of something which can be divided into shares: The bankers were determined to distribute the economic pie among their shareholders.

A farmer was proud of his son's educational development, but he was very puzzled one day when the boy came home from school and told his father that he had learned about "Pi R Square". "Son", said the farmer, "Pie aren't square"; "Pie are round".

Angie's aunt often bragged about her mathematical wizard of a son who was in junior high school. She once commented that he could calculate the pi of her homemade apple pie.

piazza, pizza, plaza
piazza (pee AZ uh, pee AH zuh) (noun)
1. A square open place surrounded by buildings in a town or city: The cafes lined the piazza in the charming urban center.
2. A porch that is arcaded and roofed: Michael and Jillian sat in the piazza to stay out of the sun while they drank their coffee.
pizza (PEET zuh) (noun)
A single crusted pie often made of bread dough that is covered with tomatoes, cheese, and spiced meats, etc., and baked: Martin likes to put onions and olives on his pizza when he makes it at home.
plaza (PLAZ uh) (noun)
1. An open air space in a city or town: The new plaza was designed primarily for bicycle parking and pedestrian traffic.
2. A shopping area often adjacent to a road or highway: Aaron's aunt has a bakery that is located in the plaza near the main route into the city.
3. An area on or next to a highway having restaurants, gas stations, restrooms, etc.: Besides the toll booth, the plaza also had a post office and coffee shop; also called a "toll plaza".

When Lorna and Denna went to Italy for their holidays, they sat in the piazza and enjoyed a fresh pizza; all of which was far from being in any way similar to a typical plaza back home.

picture, picture; pitcher
picture (PIK chuhr) (noun)
1. A painting, drawing, or photograph of someone or something: Patrice put the picture of the village church on the wall at her mother's place.
2. A conception of how something or someone looks or what something is like: After some discussion, Kevin is convinced that he has a clearer picture of what the group needs to do to enhance the project.
3. Something or someone that looks very much like another thing or person: The daughter was the picture of her mother.
picture (PIK chuhr) (verb)
1. To visualise, imagine, or to form a mental image regarding someone or something: After all these years, Harry can still picture the tiny house and the neighborhood where he lived in poverty.
2. To describe someone or something in a particular way: Unless people have experienced them, they can only picture the horrible devastations and suffering that are caused by earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones, etc.

pitcher (PICH uhr) (noun)
1. A baseball hurler who throws the ball to the batters and attempts to strike them out: The pitcher had an exceptional day when he was able to put out the first three batsmen in each of three consecutive innings.
2. A container with a handle and a lip that is used for holding and pouring out liquids of various kinds: Mark's mother poured milk out of a pitcher into the bowls of cereal that he, his brother, and sister were going to have for breakfast.
3. The amount of liquid held by a container: Karin drank more than one pitcher of cold tea during that hot summer day.

Matthew's grandmother said that she could still picture in her mind the picture his mother drew when she was just five years old. It was a remarkable drawing of a pitcher filled with flowers.

pidgin, pigeon
pidgin (PIJ uhn) (noun)
A simplified type of speech that is usually a mixture of two or more languages, has a rudimentary grammar and vocabulary, is used for communication between groups speaking different languages, and is not spoken as a first or native language: The explorer in the desert learned to speak a pidgin form of the national dialect so he could communicate with those who lived there.
pigeon (PIJ uhn) (noun)
1. An easy target, often in the context of exploitation: Henry flashed his money around in such a manner that it made him a pigeon for thieves.
2. A bird characterized by having a stout body, short legs, and smooth, solid, compact feathers: There is a handsome black and white pigeon that comes to eat birdfood every day in Ronda's backyard.

Elisa's cousin was sure that Andrew could teach his favorite pigeon to respond to verbal commands in pidgin language.

pike, Pike
pike (PIGHK) (noun)
1. A freshwater game and food fish of the Northern Hemisphere that has a long snout and grows to a length of over 1.2 meters (4 feet): Frank went fishing for pike as often as possible.
2. A road that people must pay to use: In this kind of weather, there probably will be too much traffic on the pike.

Eric decided to take the pike even though he knew he would have to pay a toll to drive to the city where his sister lived.

3. A long spear, formerly used by infantry, which typically consisted of a long pole with a sharp metal point: During the Middle Ages, foot soldiers would carry a pike and a shield to battle.
Pike (PIGHK) (noun)
An American army officer and explorer noted for his expedition up the Arkansas River to the Rocky Mountains from 1806 to 1807: Zebulon Montgomery Pike (1779-1813) had a mountain in Colorado named after him, now known as Pike's Peak, in the Rocky Mountains west of Colorado Springs.

Walter and Albert were going down the pike on their way to fish for some pike when they saw what turned out to be a pike (or spear) that fell off a truck in front of them.

Found near the foot of the Peak of Pike, consisting of a spearhead attached to a long pole or a pike (which was later superseded by the bayonet), it turned out that it belonged to a collector of historical medieval weapons.

pilot, pilot, pilot
pilot (PIGH luht) (noun)
Someone who flies an aircraft, helicopter, etc.: The pilot of the plane made sure that the people arrived at their destination on time.
pilot (PIGH luht) (verb)
1. To fly an aircraft or to lead a ship through a difficult or dangerous area of water: Keith was committed to pilot the passenger plane safely to the airport during the thunderstorm.
2. To try something with a small group of people to find out if it would be successful or popular: The school is going to pilot a program for daily breakfasts with a few students before trying to introduce it to the whole school.
3. To provide advice or instructions that would help people accomplish something: The coach was determined to pilot his team to the national championships.
4. To fly a flying machine or to steer a vessel: Jack's sister is learning how to pilot an airplane and his brother is getting experience learning to pilot ships into port during fair and stormy weather.
pilot (PIGH luht) (adjective)
Concerning something which is done as a test to see if a project, study, etc., should be done: The staff of the school conducted a pilot training program to see if students could improve their educational skills.

The pilot agreed to pilot a twin engine aircraft as part of the pilot project for an advanced pilot training program.

pine, pine
pine (PIGN) (noun)
1. Any of various evergreen trees of the genus Pinus, having fascicles of needle-shaped leaves and producing woody, seed-bearing cones: One kind of pine is widely cultivated for ornament and shade and for its timber and resinous sap, which can produce turpentine and tar.
2. A tree that has long, thin needles instead of leaves and which stays green throughout the year: The wood of a pine is often used to make furniture.
pine (PIGN) (verb)
1. To feel a lingering, often a nostalgic desire: It was sad to see Bill pine all these months for his college sweetheart.
2. To wither or to waste away from longing or grief: If Terry continues to grieve for his dead parents, he will pine away and die, too.

Marissa's friend Erick told her that he continued to pine for the pine he had planted in the mountains where he once lived.

In other words, Erick still has a tendency to pine for the pine of his youth.

pink, pink, pink, PINK
pink (PINGK) (adjective)
1. Descriptive of something very fashionable and up to date: Etta's pink style was often imitated by her friends.
2. Informal, very happy or amused: Justin was tickled pink by the attention he got from his girl friend.
pink (PINGK) (noun)
A hue of color ranging from pale red to slightly darker red: Josie's hat of a charming shade of pink was in contrast to her scarlet suit.
pink (PINGK) (verb)
1. To hurt or to wound by the use of irony or criticism: Stephen's efforts to pink his opponent in the election backfired and, as a result, he lost the election.
2. To cut fabric by using special scissors that scallop the edges: Jane's mother always wanted to pink the cloth with pinking sheers so that it wouldn't fray at the sides.
PINK (PINGK) (noun)
Thomas Pink, a retail clothing business, started in London, England, in 1984. The three Irish men who established the business named the company after an 18th century London tailor who was famous as a clothing manufacturer, specializing in fine cotton shirts: Trisha bought her PINK shirt when it was on sale.

When Bonita was wearing her pink PINK shirt, she felt quite pink when she was dancing and then she was tickled pink when a friend asked her to dance and she noticed he was also wearing a pink PINK.

pistil, pistol
pistil (PIS tuhl) (noun)
The long central part of a flower that extends from the ovary: Daniel could see the pistil or seed-bearing organ of the hibiscus on the table in his biology class.
pistol (PIS tuhl) (noun)
A small gun made to be aimed and fired with one hand: James practiced shooting his pistol at targets at least once a month.

The pistil of the flower Carl's friend was holding was the most commanding and colorful part of the flower. He held it in one hand and held a pistol in his other hand; sort of like old fashioned hippies, with flowers and guns.

pitch, pitch
pitch (PICH) (noun)
1. Any of various thick, dark, sticky substances obtained from the distillation residue of coal tar, wood tar, or petroleum and used for waterproofing, roofing, caulking, and paving: The workers will apply the commercial pitch on Trina's driveway today.
2. A resin derived from the sap of various coniferous trees, as the pines: Keith just found out how sticky the pitch from the spruce and firs can be.
3. The height or decreased level of a sound: Charles' voice has a low pitch or a bass tone.
4. Things which are said by someone, as a salesman, in order to make others want to buy, to do, or to accept something: The author of the novel started to make a pitch about her new book as soon as she was introduced to the audience.
pitch (PICH) (verb)
1. To throw, usually with careful aim: The baseball player will pitch his first ball as a professional today.
2. To discard by throwing away: Keith plans to pitch the trash in the first bin that he finds.
3. To fall in a headlong manner: Gary stepped on his shoelace and started to pitch down the staircase, but he was able to stop himself before being hurt.
4. To set at a particular level, degree, or quality: Is it possible that she will pitch her expectations as a singer too high?
5. To talk about or to describe something in a favorable way so people will want to buy it, accept it, etc.: They tried to pitch the TV show to several different networks before they finally found one that agreed to produce it.

As Jose walked across the floor, he suddenly started to pitch forward because his shoes got caught in some sticky pitch on the floor boards.

He shouted in such a loud pitch that he caught a woman's attention and she rushed to help him. He was so grateful that he used the occasion to give her a sales pitch about a new kind of flooring.

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.