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.
Your comments and suggestions are always welcome by writing to: E-mail Contact (just click it for an e-mail form) or by typing, email@example.com, as the address in your e-mail heading.
If you have any problems understanding the pronunciation symbols, go to this Pronunciation Chart for clarifications.
2. A part inside the body of an animal or plant which is shaped like a bag and that usually contains liquid or air: The hernial sac in the peritoneum (abdominal cavity) is a sac-like protrusion that contains a herniated organ.
Roger bought a sack of peanuts to feed the squirrels in the park.
2. To dismiss from an employment or a job: The employer plans to sack Jack because he is late to work too often.
3. To loot, to plunder, and to steal that which is valuable: The pirates planned to sack the coastal town at the crack of dawn.
Last year, Tiffany's boss tried to sack her from her job. She appealed his decision and did not lose the job after all; so, she went out to celebrate at a pub and had a drink that was very sec.
While Wendy was at the pub, a friend showed her a lovely sacque that she had made for her niece.
Ray's friend, Edith, was feeling well that night; however, she has often experienced a pain in her chest and she was afraid that her pericardium sac was inflamed and so Edith has been seeing a doctor about it.
2. Plundering or stealing: Mythology has grown up about the pirate gang that sails the seas and sacks the sleeping villages on the shore.
There is a story about a thief who sacks an apartment and finds a sax which he takes home for his son to learn to play.
2. Important, devoted exclusively to one undertaking: Melissa believed that it was her sacred duty to care for children who lived in the slums and had no families.
Heather's grandmother believed that the order of the religious ceremonies was sacrosanct.
Terry and Diane were told that the government's most sacrosanct institutions had to be respected.
Anna considers it her sacred obligation to protect children who are vulnerable. It is also a sacrosanct teaching of many religions.
As a boy, Jeff seemed to enjoy acting in a sacrilegious manner; for example, shouting in sacred places. His mother would admonish him, reminding him that his shouting was a sacrilege.
Keith's grandmother, whom he teased about being a sage, always had sage advice for him. She taught Keith that sage was an important plant to keep in his garden because it had so many uses both for cooking and for medicinal applications.
2. To move or to proceed without resistance: The mayor expects the new tax bill to sail through the city council without opposition.
2. The selling of items that are offered at bargain prices: Christine went to the store that was having a sale of kitchen appliances.
3. A public event at which things are sold: The museum is having a sale of fine antiques the following week.
The nautical club was having boat canvas bargains last weekend or, in other words, they made it possible for people to take advantage of a sail sale.
2. A business establishment the purpose of which is to promote beauty and fashion: Darlene owned a beauty salon in the local mall.
3. An assembly hall or space for the exhibition of art: Leo owned a salon just off the main street where the new artists could show their creations.
2. A place on a train or ship that is comfortably and fashionably furnished for the comfort and ease of the passengers: On the transcontinental train, the saloon car was the best place for tourists to sit so it would be easier to see the scenery.
Next door to his aunt's hair dressing salon was a saloon that sometimes was noisy in the afternoon.
Once or twice a year, Ana would take the saloon car on the train into the city to attend a beauticians' conference which was often held in a large salon.
2. A soothing influence, typically in connection with an injury, either physical or emotional, to make something less painful: Veronica's gentle voice was like a salve on her friend’s hurt feelings.
The lifeguard was there to save anyone who swam too far from shore.2. To put aside money for a special purpose: Alex decided to save all the money from his paper route so he could buy a new bicycle.
4. To stop something from ending or failing: The new CEO (Chief Executive Officer) will make every effort to save the company from bankruptcy.
5. To store data in a computer file or on a storage device so, it can be used later: Derek told his friends that they should save their content on their CD (computer disk) before they shut down or they would lose everything they have done.
Michele realizes that she needs to save some money so she can buy the salve that the doctor prescribed.
Dr. Wesley said the salve would save Michele's skin from being burned by the sun. She was afraid that she might forget the name of the salve, so she wrote it down, intending to save it later on her computer.
While Dr. Francisco was reviewing old medical texts, he noticed that what we now know as a sanatorium used to be spelled sanitarium.
Now, a distinction is sometimes made between sanitarium (a kind of health resort) and sanatorium (a hospital); or both spellings are used interchangeably.
Sometimes, in order to feel sane at the end of a strenuous working day, Miguel imagines that he is sailing down the Seine River, using a seine to catch fish for his dinner.
2. Having a ruddy complexion: After a day hiking in the mountains, Jon had a fresh and sanguine complexion.
2. Having the color of blood; blood-red: Tommy's new sanguineous shoes were hard to keep clean.
Gail's sanguine personality was matched by her sanguineous cheeks which were a rosy red; however, her favorite reading materials have been murder novels and the more sanguinary they are, the more she likes to read them!
2. A leather-covered hand weapon; a blackjack: The robber used his sap on the poor victim when he tried to resist being robbed.
3. A slang term for a person who is easily tricked or cheated: The poor sap believed everything Audrey told him.
These unemployed people complained that months of not being able to get a job can really sap them of their self-confidence and even cause serious depression.2. To cause a person to lose courage, energy, strength, etc.: Calvin's illness tended to sap him of his mental and physical strength to such a degree that he was on the verge of giving up any further medical treatment.
According to company statements, by using SAP solutions, companies of all sizes; including small businesses and mid-size companies, can reduce costs, optimize performance, and gain the insight and agility needed to close the gap between strategy and execution.
Jim, the poor sap, thought he was working for the SAP program, but he didn't read the fine print: Stationary Alert Plan.
The realization of this seemed to sap his energy for a while; however, Jim rallied and went on to design the tools used to tap the sap in maple trees.
2. To have been inactive: The tractor sat in the barn because it had a flat tire.
3. To have lain or rested: The pot of soup sat on the stove where Jim's wife was cooking and it smelled very appetizing.
4. To have been in a location: The house sat in the middle of the green lawn and shade trees.
2. To attend with a fixed intention: Marcus had set his mind to solving the mathematical puzzle before he watched television.
3. To establish a standard or pattern for a performance: Megan set the standard for high jumping during the sports competition.
Jay's generosity set an example for his colleagues who also contributed to the relief fund.
2. A collection of books or other objects that belong together because of such circumstances as being by the same author, having the same pattern, etc.: Suzanne bought a new set of china to replace the set that she had had when she was at college.
At the auction, Alex bought the complete set of Thackeray novels.
2. To occupy an official position: Randall was elected to sit for a city council position after he resigned from the board of directors.
3. To allow to be inactive: Oscar and Eleanor will let the car sit in the garage over the winter because they don't have winter tires.
The sled will sit in the garage during the summer and then it will be used again when the snow covers the ground in the winter.4. To pose for a portrait, photograph, etc.: Lucille agreed to sit for the painter this week.
Edwin thought he would sit down for a few minutes and admire the set for the play which will premier tomorrow. The scene was set in the countryside in an old house that looked as if it had sat on the same location for at least a hundred years.
Debbie decided to buy a new dress in sateen instead of satin; however, it was a great temptation, as if the voice of Satan were whispering to her, to buy the satin dress.
2. A lecherous man: After too much to drink, Joel acted like a satyr and was removed from the saloon by the bouncer.
The satire which appeared in an arts magazine was on the same page as the photograph of a recently discovered ancient pottery with a satyr pictured on it.