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.
If you have any problems understanding the pronunciation symbols, go to this Pronunciation Chart for clarifications.
After the important contest, Perry's friend wanted to apprise his coach of the fact that he won a prize.
Dave's friend was asked by the reporters to appraise the value of the prize, but he declined to do it.
2. To realize the worth of, estimate justly: Dora, you don't have to be a connoisseur to appreciate good cooking.
3. To increase in value: Given the history of the company, Daisy's investment could appreciate over the months.
2. To belittle, to disparage: Enrique felt that he had to depreciate Naomi's efforts to help him.
The end of the fiscal year is a time to appreciate the value of the stocks which did appreciate significantly in the Stock Market.
There was a slight period during which the stocks seemed to depreciate but they rallied after a short time. .
2. To understand, to perceive: The public doesn't fully apprehend the complexity of space flight.
Kirk found it difficult to comprehend that, when the police had to apprehend the motorists who were speeding, the drivers seemed unable to apprehend the danger they created by speeding on the highway.
2. Quick to learn or to understand: Erika was an apt student; especially, in mathematics.
Courtney's apt response to Patsy's insult was to opt for calmness instead of anger.
2. To settle an argument or a disagreement in which the people or groups on both sides present their opinions and ideas to a third person or group for settlement: The teachers' union agreed to arbitrate its pay differences with the school board.
To mediate a dispute is to try to find a middle ground or compromise on which both sides may agree.
At first Rex thought there would be a need to arbitrate an end to the disagreement; however, once all of the parties sat down together, they realized that it was possible to mediate an agreement without difficulties.
Both arc and "arch" come from the Latin element arcus, "bow". Archery and archer also come from this same Latin element.
2. The boat mentioned in the Bible which God commanded Noah to build for shelter during the Great Flood: Noah was commanded to build an ark, big enough for two of each species of animals, in anticipation of the flood.
3. A large, flat-bottomed or awkward boat: They lived on an ark, or house boat, on the Seine River in Paris.
When Wilbur decided to move off the isolated island, he determined to build an ark to carry his possessions. The builder designed the ark using a long arc shaped bow.
Ira really enjoyed his summer job because he was working in the government archive department for local history. His job was to archive the collection of newspaper articles about the town.
We kept our promise even though we were criticized for our actions.
Our parents had to decide whether they would purchase an ar and build their house or if they would purchase a pre-fabricated house. They are going to meet with a lawyer tomorrow with their decision.
2. Region, territory, district: Alligators are found in this marshy area.
3. Field, sphere, realm: France has always excelled in the area of the arts.
The area of the stage and auditorium was vast; fortunately, Ramona’s voice was strong as she sang the lovely aria and everyone could hear and appreciate each note.
Armageddon is often used to mean simply an "apocalyptic-scale disaster"; for example, news sites refer to "financial Armageddon", "environmental Armageddon", "Toyota Armageddon", etc., where there is no indication of warring parties.
Mid-Atlantic residents in the U.S. were buried by a likely record-setting blizzard which President Obama jokingly labeled Snowmageddon as well as those who were brave enough to try to clear a path through the wet, heavy mounds, of thigh-high snow.
The Farmers’ Almanac predicted an Armageddon of rain and winds during the summer and a repeat of the snowmageddon which we experienced two winters ago.
2. To accuse; to call to account: The medical association met to arraign the doctor for his unethical behavior.
2. To plan; to schedule: The travel agent tried to arrange the trip with a stopover in Rome.
3. To orchestrate; to adapt: Roderick, the musician, will arrange the symphony so it can be performed by a marching band.
The police officer knew that it was important to arrange all of the evidence for the case before asking the court to arraign the man on criminal charges.
2. Without qualification; used informally as (often pejorative) intensifiers: Alton dismissed the rumors that he would quit his job as arrant nonsense.
2. Straying from the proper course or correct standard: Kristina could no longer tolerate her errant husband.
Neal thought it was arrant behaviour when he saw the doctor arrantly smoking while standing outside the hospital. Is it possible that Violet is also errant in her personal health practices?
Perhaps Lindsey should have errantly gone outside to get some fresh air before continuing with the strenuous work that she was doing.
When Katrina visited the dance artist at her studio, Claire recognized that she was a fine artiste in her interpretation of the music and choreography.
2. Becoming responsible for, undertaking: Damien's assumption of his brother's debts was considered to be very admirable.
The decision to climb the mountain range was based on the assumption that there was a meadow part way up the slopes; however, Elvin's and Mandy's ascension was slowed significantly when they realized that the meadow was on the other side of the mountain.
2. A fool, an idiot, a nitwit: Don't be an ass and quit your job before arranging for another one.
The director was very angry and exclaimed, "Don’t be such an ass! It was an asinine suggestion you just made to the actress that she should ride a real ass across the stage."