Confusing Words Clarified: Group S; Homonyms, Homophones, Homographs, Synonyms, Polysemes, etc. +
(lists of "S" sections that are organized into what for some people are confusing groups of words)
English can be very confusing; for example, a house burns up as it burns down, a form is being filled in as it is being filled out, and an alarm goes off by going on. How about when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible?
As you examine the groups of words in this unit, you will find many examples of confusions; sometimes, just one or two letters in a word can change its meaning completely. There are also times when two different words get confused because their meanings apply to things that are very similar.
Efforts have been made to help you grasp the meanings of various words that may be confusing so you can utilize them with greater accuracy in your communication.
If you have any problems understanding the pronunciation symbols, go to this Pronunciation Chart for clarifications.
2. Corrupt in a spiritual or moral sense: "His sense of humor was vulgar and no one laughed at his sick jokes."
3. Filled with anxiety: "She was sick with worry before her daughter finally came home late from school."
4. Emotionally unsound or disordered: "Her mind was sick and she had to be psychologically treated for several months."
At first she thought that she was sic [sic] with fear that her angry neighbor would sic his dog on her; however, she later determined that she was just sick with the flu.
2. A group of contestants or a team: "We cheered for our side as our spelling team won the spelling bee."
2. To have taken a deep breath that may be heard by others: "When she stood up, she sighed because she was tired and her feet hurt."
"Oh, dear", she sighed, "I have a terrible pain in my side."
2. A form of address used to refer to a man of authority: "When the butler spoke to the landowner, he referred to him as 'sire' as a form of respect."
The sire of the farmer's favorite calf was ill. He said that the animal seemed to be a sigher because of a lung infection which could be cured.
2. To take in and let out a long and audible breath in a way that shows that someone is bored, disappointed, relieved, etc.: "It was possible to hear some sighs of relief from students when they found out that they had passed the final exam."
2. An indication of an item of graduated measurements or proportions: "I tried on a size seven dress and it fit me perfectly."
"What size shoe do you wear?"
2. To cover something; such as, wallpaper with a sticky substance called sizing (glue, flour, or varnish) in order to make it stiff or smooth or to attach something else to it: "The paper hanger had to size the paper before he could attach it to the walls."
With many sighs, she had to agree that her foot size was a little too large.
2. A defined set of signals or gestures used for communication by individuals who are unable to hear properly: "He used his hands to make signs to his friends that it was time to go to the ball game."
3. One of two characters (+, -) used to indicate positive or negative factors in mathematics: "The student missed one question on the math examination because she forgot to put the correct sign in the answer."
4. A poster or bill board typically used for advertising or providing information: "The directions said to turn right at the sign pointing to the bridge."
"We noticed that our neighbor had a For Sale sign on his car."
It was a sign that she would not be much of a mathematician when she couldn't figure out what the sine was on the geometry question in the quiz.
"Simmer the stew for 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened."2. To be filled with a strong feeling that is difficult to control or to hide: "It was easy to see the customer simmer with anger when he couldn't get anyone to take his payment."
"Her children have wonderful memories of camping each summer over the years."
It is so hot this summer, that he feels as if he were a pot which has been set to a slow simmer.
2. Unconditional, readily understood, and uncomplicated: "The conditions of the warranty for the new vacuum cleaner were simple to understand."
3. Not special or unusual: "He enjoys the simple pleasures of spending time with his wife and children when he gets home from work."
2. Not complete or thorough enough, or not treating or considering all the possibilities or parts: "The scientist's simplistic interpretation of the results failed to clarify what actually happened."
It is not so simple just to give simplistic explanations for the current situation. Much more research is required before an adequate solution can be determined.
"The jeweler agreed to simulate the antique necklace so the original could be kept in safe storage."
"A salary raise for employees could very well stimulate more production for the company."
It might stimulate more learning if someone could design a game to simulate the peaceful uses of space ships.
"Since he has retired, he will only sing opera for his family and friends, but not for others."2. Informal, to give information, often in a clandestine or secret manner: "He agreed to sing on his criminal comrades in exchange for his freedom."
It was an amusing incident that could have turned tragic. Just as the soprano was getting ready to sing her famous aria, she leaned too close to the candles and her wig started to singe; so, she grabbed the wig off and threw it on the floor.
2. To fall or to drop to a lower level; especially, to go down below the surface of water, mud, etc.: "We could see the car sink into the muddy river after it ran off the highway."
"The water in the lake is expected to sink several feet during the long, dry summer."
"We had to clean the stopped-up drain in the kitchen sink."
It was sad to hear that he had to sink so low as to hoard so much water during the drought. Apparently he not only filled the sink every day, but also his bath tub and a big-plastic barrel.
2. To look over or to read something quickly; especially, to find the main ideas: "She only had time to skim the reading assignment before the class started."
3. To move quickly or lightly along, above, or near the surface of something: "It was interesting to see the ducks skim over the lake before landing in the water."
"For the sake of our health, we should not skimp on sleep."
"His written instructions certainly don't skimp on details."
2. The outer cover of a fruit, vegetable, etc.: "He was told that potato skin is nutritious."
Don't skimp on your efforts to skim the fat from a cooled soup base that was made from boiling the skin, the flesh, and the bones of a chicken; as well as, from vegetables.
2. To criticize someone or something harshly: "The workers voted to slam the company for not paying decent wages."
2. U.S. informal, something which is certain to happen or to be successful: "The legal decision of guilty as charged was a slam dunk because there was no doubt that he committed the crime."
You don’t need to slam him just because the door closed with a slam when a strong wind forced it to suddenly shut.
2. To reduce something by a significant amount: "They decided to slash prices to increase their sales."
2. The punctuation mark / which is used to mean "or" as in and/or; "and or" as in bottles/cans; "per" as in kilometers/hour; or as a division sign in fractions as in 1/2; also called a slash mark: "The slash symbol, or slash mark, is often used in computer programming, website addresses; as well as, in the situations shown in the examples presented in this #2 definition."
The store manager decided to slash the prices on many kitchen utensils. The poster for the sale listed many different utensils with a slash mark between the names of each one.
2. A fine-grained rock that splits easily into layers and is widely used as a roofing material and on walls: "The house was constructed with a slate roof."
3. A list of people who are attempting to win a political election: "The local political party presented an impressive slate of candidates for next year."
4. A record of some past performance or activity: "The party members will have to start over with a clean slate if they want any of their candidates to win during the next election."
5. A portable computer that does not have a keyboard input device physically attached to it: "The slate is essentially a computer that consists of a touch input screen and relies on input to come from finger or stylus input and on-screen keyboards for textual input."
"A slate is a class of notebook computers that accept input from an electronic pen rather than from a keyboard."
"The singer will slate her new album for release next month."2. To be chosen for some position, job, etc.: "The company apparently plans to slate our supervisor to become the company's next CEO."
His former boss is on the slate of directors for the new museum that presents an exhibition of roofing styles, materials, and equipment. There is also a very ornate slate roof on the museum structure that was imported from another country.
2. To delight or to amuse someone, or others, very much: "You slay me when you tell such outrageous jokes."
The way he tells the story of the runaway sleigh was so amusing, it could only slay (amuse) the audience.