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

(lists of "T" 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.

table, table, table, table
table (TAY buhl) (noun)
A certain kind of furniture: "We usually eat breakfast at our kitchen table."
table (TAY buhl) (noun)
An arrangement of words or numbers: "The table, or chart, shows you the grades of each of the students."
table (TAY buhl) (noun)
A plateau or a tableland which is a broad, level, elevated region, usually treeless: "While traveling in the desert we came upon a table of land and were able to see scenic views of the valley down beyond the edge of this flat area."
table (TAY buhl) (verb)
To postpone or to delay something: "The staff decided to table the topic until next Thursday afternoon."

The professor laid out on the table the table showing the students’ grades.

Since the conference at which he was speaking was held high on the table overlooking the valley, the attendees decided to table their discussion until the following day so they could go sightseeing.

tablet, tablet, tablet computer
tablet (TAB let) (noun)
A portable writing pad, typically paper: "Trina used a tablet and pencil to take notes while in class."
tablet (TAB let) (noun)
A small, flat form of compressed medicine, a vitamin, etc.: "Did you take your vitamin C tablet as well as the other tablets this morning, Monroe?"
tablet computer (TAB let kuhm PYOO tuhr) (noun)
In general, a tablet computer, or tablet laptop, is a wireless personal computer that allows a user to take notes using natural handwriting with a stylus or digital pen on a touch screen: "A tablet computer is similar in size and thickness to a yellow paper notepad and is intended to function as the user's primary personal computer as well as a note-taking device."

"Someone has written that a tablet computer, or tablet laptop, is fast and runs many programs at the same time without lagging and freezing."

The doctor wrote directions for the change in medication about a new prescription tablet which stated that the patient should take one tablet of the new medication every three hours; then, he also recorded the information on his tablet computer.

tack, tact
tack (TAK) (noun)
A small sharp nail usually with a wide, flat head: "The teacher used a tack to hang up the notice on the bulletin board."
tact (TAKT) (noun)
1. The ability to do or to say things without offending or upsetting other people: "The success of the international conference depends a great deal on the tact of the political leaders who will be trying to solve some of the economic problems that are on the table for the meeting."
2. The skills to appreciate the delicacy of a situation and to do or to say the kindest or most fitting things; diplomacy: "The boy's father used tact in dealing with their tragedy."

Tact is the knowledge of how far is too far or the skill in making a point without making an enemy.

A tactful husband told his wife, "How do you expect me to remember your birthday when you never look any older?"

People with tact have less to retract.

Tact is the ability to make a person see the lightning without letting him feel the bolt.

—O.A. Batista
tacks, tacks, tax, tax
tacks (TAKS) (verb)
1. To change the direction of a sailing ship using the direction of the wind: "This ship tacks in the wind very easily."
2. To fasten something to a surface using a short sharp pointed pin or nail: "The principal of the school usually tacks the sports schedule on the bulletin board for the coming week."
tacks (TAKS) (noun)
Short sharp pointed nails with a flat head used to attach items to a surface: "She used colorful tacks to indicate the new buildings on the city map."
tax (TAKS) (verb)
1. To make difficult or rigorous demands: "Don't tax my patience by yelling at me like that!"
2. To charge or to administer the collection of a specified amount of money for the use of or ownership of something: "The city council decided to tax each household for the amount of water that was being used in each residence."
3. To expect a great deal from or to put demands on someone or something: "That job will tax her strength because she will be required to use a lot of physical effort."

"Will you have to tax your budget so you can go on this trip?"

tax (TAKS) (noun)
An amount of money that a government requires people to pay according to their income, the value of their property, for items purchased, etc., which is used to pay for the things done by the various levels of government: "The new tax on gasoline is supposed to pay for the renovations of the roads in local areas, districts, and the country."

"It's sad to say, but the more a person makes, the more he/she will have to pay a tax on such income."

Bulletin board: Tacks' haven.

—Ellen Schneider

A tacks' haven is far from being the same as a tax haven.

Tax is another thing that, once started, declines to decline.

—Evan Esar

The principal said that all the tacks that were needed to tack up the schedules for the year would tax her supply.

tail, tail, tale
tail (TAYL) (noun)
The lower, inferior, or rear end of something: "The cat loved to chase her tail around in circles."

"The tail of the car was damaged in the accident."

"He was at the tail end of the line waiting to buy tickets for the film."

"The tail of the airplane was broken off when the pilot had to make an emergency landing after running out of gas."

tail (TAYL) (verb)
1. To follow or to keep watching a suspect: "The detective had to tail the suspect for three hours."

"My silly cat tried to tail me when I left home for a walk, but she soon got tired and went back to the house."

2. To become more faint or scattered: "Her voice started to tail off after she had been reading out loud for several minutes."
tale (TAYL) (noun)
1. A story either based on fact or fiction that is told in printed or oral form: "The man told his tale of the huge fish which he caught but that got away."
2. An imaginative telling of an event: "A myth is often a tale used to explain puzzling events or circumstances."
3. Gossip or stories that can be libellous: "The tale that was told about the couple's elopement was scandalous and was later proven not to be true."

The teacher was telling a tale about a dog's tail.

A tail is something attached behind the behind.

A tale is the largest part of a fish story.

—Evan Esar
tailgate, tailgate
tailgate (TAYL gayt) (noun)
A door at the back of a vehicle; such as, a station wagon or pickup truck, that opens downward and which can be lowered or removed to make it easier to load things into or out of the vehicle: "We opened the tailgate of the station wagon so we could load our baggage for our vacation trip."
tailgate (TAYL gayt) (verb)
To drive too closely behind another vehicle: "Be careful that you don't tailgate that red car in front of us because the driver might stop all of a sudden."

At the scene of the accident it was obvious that the driver of the red sports car had been tailgating and rammed into the tailgate of the station wagon in front of him.

Be careful that we don't tailgate the car in front of us because it belongs to my friend and we are planning to have a tailgate party at the beach and we want to use the tailgate on the back of his station wagon as the "stand" for the picnic.

talent, talent
talent (TAL uhnt) (noun)
1. A marked innate ability, as for artistic accomplishment: "His creative talent as a writer has resulted in many successful novels and cinematic presentations."
2. Natural endowment or ability of a superior quality: "The computer company has hired some of the best talent for its software development."

"Her brother's experience, skills, and talent have been recognized and will make him the perfect choice for the new position on the staff."

talent (TAL uhnt) (noun)
A variable unit of weight and money used in ancient Greece, Rome, and the Middle East: "The term talent was used as any of various ancient Hebrew or Attic monetary units equal in value to that of a talent weight of gold, silver, or other metal."

"In Greek and Latin, talent was used for a sum of money (a Greek talanton was equivalent to 6,000 drachmas)."

"In the New Testament of the Bible (Matthew 25:14-30), the passage known as 'the parable of talents' has been interpreted to mean that the monetary talent was a God-given endowment which, if not used, would be lost and this 'endowment' sense gave rise to its extended use as 'mental ability, skill, or aptitude'."

The antique dealer had a special talent of being able to determine the difference between an authentic-ancient talent and a clever reproduction.

talents, talons
talents (TAL uhnts) (noun)
1. The natural abilities or endowments of a person: "She has many talents including being a gourmet cook."
2. The general abilities that someone has: "His winter sports talents were diverse including snowboarding, skiing, and skating."

"Our friend's experience, skills, and talents make him perfectly suited for the new position in the company."

talons (TAL uhns) (noun)
1. The sharp claws of an animal or bird of prey: "The hawk flew away carrying the field mouse in its talons."

"The talons of the mountain lion are sharp and useful for hunting its prey."

2. Any objects that are shaped like a claw: "The child used two crooked sticks as talons when he tried to reach the ball he lost in the bushes."

His talents as a sportsman included working with falcons whose talons were very sharp and dangerous.

tame, tame
tame (TAYM) (adjective)
1. Not wild; domesticated or submissive: "My cat is tame and loves to play with me and never uses her talons to scratch me."
2. Insipid, lacking spirit or zest: "We were disappointed because we thought the sports event was merely a tame game."
tame (TAYM) (verb)
1. To control or to bring into a domestic and submissive state: "The zoo keeper would like to tame the wild elephant, but so far he can only admire it from a distance."
2. To soften or to tone down: "He struggled to tame his temper while talking with his supervisor at work."

He was trying to tame the hyperactivity of his kitten by using a very tame voice when he had to scold her; however, he didn't want her to be too tame so she would be just another tame household pet.

tangent, tangent
tangent (TAN jent) (noun)
Something that is only slightly or indirectly related to the original subject: "The student went off on a tangent about what happened during his trip to London."
tangent (TAN jent) (noun)
In geometry, a straight line forming an angle or a straight line that intersects the circle or sphere in one and only one point: "The math teacher demonstrated how a tangent touches another curve or surface but does not cross or intersect it."

I know I should be studying geometry; especially, the lesson on the tangent and the hypotenuse of the triangle, but my mind seems to have gone off on a tangent because I was day dreaming about going swimming at the beach.

tank, tank, tank, tank
tank (TANK) (noun)
A large container for liquid or gas: "We filled the gas tank before we left on our trip."

"Our neighbor cleaned the fish tank before he went camping."

tank (TANK) (noun)
A kind of military combat vehicle: "The tank was developed and first used in combat by the British during World War I as a means to break the deadlock of trench warfare."
tank (TANK) (noun)
In a very bad state or condition: "The global economy is in the tank right now and no one really knows when it will get out of the tank."
tank (TANK) (verb)
To be very unsuccessful; to fail completely: "The economic situation has tanked and it could tank for some time to come."

The driver of the army tank must have been in a tanked condition when he filled the gas tank because he filled it with water.

tap, tap, tap
tap (TAP) (verb)
To strike with light blows: "They could hear the rain tap on the metal roof."
tap (TAP) (noun)
A water faucet: "She forgot to turn off the tap in the kitchen and the sink overflowed and flooded the floor."
tap (TAP) (noun)
A piece that makes a heel or sole of a shoe thicker: "He had a metal tap put on each of his shoes so he could pretend that he was a tap dancer."

When the plumber came to fix the water tap, she used a hammer to tap the pipes. It was obvious that she also had taps on the heels of her shoes because the clicking was quite loud when she walked on the floor.

taper, taper, tapir
taper (TAY puhr) (noun)
A tall slender candle; a waxed wick used for lighting candles: "She put a single red taper in the holder on the mantle."

"He used the waxed taper to light the taper on the mantle."

taper (TAY puhr) (verb)
1. A graduated narrowing of something towards one end: "You can see many leaves that taper to the ends."
2. To diminish or to become smaller: "Her voice began to taper off as she was reading the long story."
tapir (TAY puhr, tuh PIR) (noun)
Any of several large, chiefly nocturnal, odd-toed ungulates of the genus Tapirus of tropical America, the Malay Peninsula, and Sumatra, related to the horse and the rhinoceros, and having a heavy body, short legs, and a long, fleshy, flexible upper lip: "On our expedition to Sumatra, we took several pictures of a tapir in its natural habitat."

While we were camping out on the Malay Peninsula, we heard a noise outside our tent and when we used a lighted taper to see what was going on, we were surprised to see a tapir near the tent entrance and then our sight of the animal tapered off as it ran away.

tar, tar
tar (TAHR) (noun)
A very thick, black, sticky liquid made from coal that becomes hard when it cools and which is used especially for road and street surfaces: "During the winter, the roads have many holes which will need to be repaired with tar and its components for use on highways."
tar (TAHR) (verb)
To cover something with a thick covering: "We will be so very glad when the city will tar the roads again because it is very difficult to drive on them now."

When they tar the city streets again, the people hope the new tar will make driving much smoother.

tare, tear; tear, tears; tier
tare (TAIR) (noun)
1. An undesirable weed in a field or something that is not desirable: "The tare in the field seemed to have sharp points which hurt the mouths of the cattle when they were feeding."
2. A counterweight or an empty container that is the same size as a filled container, used to determine changes in the original cargo caused by changing conditions: "The merchant used a tare when weighing the containers of grain to ensure a fair price for the actual produce."

"The shipper made a tare of the container and deducted it from the gross weight to obtain the net weight of the contents."

tear (TAIR) (verb)
1. To separate or to pull apart something or to make an opening by ripping: "I had to tear out the hem on my skirt so I could mend it properly."

"I tried to tear a piece of cloth to use as a cleaning rag."

2. To injure as if by pulling something apart: "My ankle sprain felt so bad it felt as if someone were trying to tear my foot off my leg."
3. To move with haste: "He started to tear down the hill at breakneck speed on his motor cycle."
tear, tears (TIR, TEER; TEERZ) (nouns)
1. A drop of the clear salty liquid that is secreted by the lachrymal glands of the eyes to lubricate the surfaces between the eyeballs and eyelids and to wash away irritants: "She wiped the tear, or tears, from her cheek."
2. A profusion of this liquid spilling from the eyes and wetting the cheeks; especially, as an expression of emotion: "She was crying tears of frustration and anger."

"Why do your eyes tear when you cut onions?"

tier (TIR, TEER) (noun)
An arrangement of something, for example chairs, in an ascending manner one above the other: "The janitor arranged a tier of benches in the auditorium for the student assembly."

"With his promotion, my cousin joined the tier of upper management in the office where he worked."

For our science lecture, the speaker was going to talk about a particular tare found in the fields nearby; unfortunately, she turned out to be allergic to the tare sample that was brought to the class and her eyes started to tear up.

A member of the class didn't have a handkerchief to give her, but he was able to tear a strip of cloth off the lab coat he was wearing and give it to her because he was sitting in the first row of the tier of seats in the auditorium.

When the artist saw the tear in his painting, you can be sure that he shed more than one tear over it.

Tears are glum-drops.

—Evan Esar

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