Confusing Words Clarified: Group A; Homonyms, Homophones, Homographs, Synonyms, Polysemes, etc.
(lists of "A" 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 writer, or historian, who compiles the records and reports of an organization or a learned field in chronological order: The historical annalist compiled a book about the city covering the last 100 years.
The author, who was the annalist for the town historians, invited an analyst to review his writing before publication, to ensure that the facts were correctly explained.
Jane told an anecdote about her early childhood.
2. Anything that works against an unwanted condition; a remedy or a cure: A hobby is considered a good antidote for boredom and for keeping our minds active.
Is there an antidote for strychnine poisoning?
Be sure to spell and pronounce anecdote properly. Don't confuse it with antidote; for example, James told an anecdote about his Canadian travels.
Does the doctor have an antidote for the food poisoning our friend got when he ate at the restaurant?
2. A financial backer for a play; a patron, a sponsor: Gilbert is an angel of the new play on Broadway.
"An angel is a person who puts up money for theatrical plays when it's a case of dough or die."
2. A bend, a corner, or an edge: The road makes a sharp angle just over that hill.
3. Point of view or a viewpoint; a perspective: Brian, try to look at the situation from my angle.
The view of the valley is beautiful from this angle.
2. Trying to get something in a clever or indirect way: Glenda will angle for a promotion when she tells her boss about her new selling technique.
Our uncle or Family Angel is an avid fisherman and enjoys angle fishing.
This seems to require following the old country road with all the twists and angles in it to get to the stream.
Although Kevin prefers to fish by himself, John will often angle his way into going with him. Kevin usually set his rod at a sharp angle and then he would lie back and relax in the sun.
Pearl is in an angry mood.
2. Suffering from a disorder of the mind; insane, deranged: Some people have periods during which they are absolutely mad or out of their heads.
Leo must be mad not to feel angry about the rude comments the radio announcer made.
2. To long for something that is being denied; to pine for: After days in the hospital without visitors, Brad could only languish for the sight of his family.
When Tim had to languish in his bed for such a long time because he was ill, he started to experience a sense of anguish that he might not ever be well again.
2. To record history in general, as it is recorded in books and other documents: Marlene was known to annalize the historical past of her city.
2. A plant that lives for only one year or season: Pearl planted some annual flowers in front of her house.
2. Lasting indefinitely; perpetual, continual: Lydia is sitting there with that perennial grin on her face.
3. In botany, having a life span of more than two years; such as, a recurring plant: There are many perennial plants that produce flowers every year.
It is that annual time of year when Tara plants several new perennial flowers in her garden.
Greg chose this year’s annuals and perennials from the new seed and flower catalog which he received on an annual basis. Last year, he had to annul his old subscription for a different catalog.
An ant is said to be a small insect that’s always busy; yet, always finds time to go on picnics with everyone's aunt.
2. One of the main characters in a book, play, or movie whose values or behaviors are in conflict with those of the primary character: The objective of the antagonist in the story was to destroy the protagonist in battle.
"An "antagonist" is really someone who is opposed to another person; an "opponent".
At a recent production of story of the prince and the poor girl, the character of the stepsister who was the antagonist was exaggerated and made the audience laugh; however, the poor girl who was the protagonist in the story was portrayed as gentle and sweet.
2. Often used figuratively to mean to put up money, to cover costs: Parents are usually expected to ante up, or to pay, for their children's college education.
3. To increase an amount or level; such as, to raise the cost or price of something: The popular actress first demanded twice the salary offered to her but then she kept upping the ante.
4. To increase the risk or possible harm that could result from something: The new law ups the ante, or increases penalties, for people who cheat on their taxes.
Exceptions: antipasto (Italian, where anti-, means "before" + pasto "food") and anticipate.
Tanya's favorite auntie was always interested in the life styles and customs of the antebellum Southern states; however, she was also known to be very anti-oppressive of the poor and oppressed.
So, Tanya's aunt used her influence to ante up the commitment of the community to create a food bank.
One of Shelly's antecedents on her father’s side of the family attempted to write a chronology of the family, making sure that the antecedence of events was in the correct order.
Not more than twelve new members are admitted to the club in any one year.
Stuart, if anyone calls, please take a message.
Any one of the graduating class could be distinguished as a scholar; however, anyone can apply for entry to the college and hope to be identified as such.
While designing the garden, Leah's aunt planned to place an apiary along the south edge of the garden and she also planned to build her aviary on the north side. There were beds of flowers in between them which the bees would certainly appreciate during the summer.
At the conclusion of the country fair, the organizers had to determine how to apportion the proceeds, ensuring that a generous proportion was designated for the local charities.
2. Facing the other way; moving or tending away from each other: Enrique and Felicia went in opposite directions.
When Mabel attended her first political meetings, she was seated opposite the contesting candidates. During the meeting she asked several apposite questions of each candidate.