Confusing Words Clarified: Group B; Homonyms, Homophones, Homographs, Synonyms, Polysemes, etc.
(lists of "B" sections that are organized into what for some people are confusing groups of words)
A classic story tells how Plato had defined man as a featherless two-tooted animal, and his students agreed. The next day, Diogenes pulled the feathers off a cock and took it to Plato.
"Here's Plato's man," he said.
It was an embarrassing moment for Plato. Thereafter he corrected the definition to "a featherless two-footed animal with flat nails".
Ever since Plato's description, man has never ceased to define man, and has constantly sought a more meaningful self-definition. Voltaire altered the Platonic version, in Candide, to "man is a featherless biped with a soul".
Another unknown author created, "Man is the only animal that eats when he is not hungry, and drinks when he is not thirsty."
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. Something that rings: The fire bell woke the people up in the middle of the night.
Maude's cousin was the belle of the ball when she wore a silver bell around her neck that chimed softly when she danced.
2. To shout in a deep voice: Kirby was heard to bellow orders to one of his employees.
2. To move as a large cloud or mass: Clouds of smoke were seen to billow up from the chimney.
The billow of smoke caused by the blacksmith's bellows caused the cattle in the barn to bellow loudly because the fumes hurt their eyes and throats.
2. An expression of good wishes; something that encourages goodness or well-being: At the conclusion of the meeting of the members of the committee, the chairperson spoke a brief benediction, wishing everyone a safe summer holiday.
The pastor of the church was aware of the malediction which had been uttered against one of the parishioners.
In order to assure the congregation, the minister said a benediction each day at the end of the service and spoke a personal benediction to each person leaving the church.
Exercise is beneficial to good health.2. Receiving or having the right to receive proceeds or other advantages: A good trade agreement can be a beneficial program for all of the countries involved.
The beneficent organization helped the community in many beneficial ways; such as, drilling for clean water and building new sewers.
The malevolence of the mill owners seemed to poison the whole town; however, the town council had an attitude of benevolence towards the mill workers and made efforts to improve their living conditions.
During the summer, it is not unusual for a large berg to float down the coast of Newfoundland, providing a spectacular drama for those who live in the berg along the coast.
2. To place in a tomb, grave, etc.: The funeral procession walked slowly to the cemetery to bury the popular mayor of the city.
3. To hide something in the ground: Jonathan could see the dog in the backyard trying to bury a bone.
4. To hide something so it cannot be seen or is difficult to see: Janine has learned to bury her feelings.
The newspaper covered the story, but they tried to bury it in the back of section C.
Rosetta is fond of berry preserves; however, she has learned to bury her enthusiasm for them because her kid sister will try to eat all of the berry preserves if she has the chance.
Rosetta has also tried to bury the jar of berry preserves in the back of the cupboard, but her sister always finds it.
2. Any place in which a vessel may lie at anchor or at a dock: The ship tied up at the appointed berth.
2. The bringing forth of an offspring: As a new father, Karl was happy to announce the birth of his first son whom he named Karlson.
Once a woman wrote to a travel agent about a cruise she was planning to go on asking that he make sure that she would have a comfortable birth because she was susceptible to seasickness.
The travel agent responded with a note saying, "We can get you a comfortable berth, but as for the birth part, I'm afraid that is beyond our capabilities."
Phillip could hear Cleo beseech the vet not to put her poor dog to "sleep".
Reporters would besiege the winner of the contest for interviews until he could stand it no longer and so he finally gave in.2. In warfare, to surround with hostile armed forces: The king’s army sought to besiege the castle before nightfall.
Vincent wrote a letter to beseech the new mayor not to besiege the taxpayers with new taxes on his first day in office.
While sitting beside the fast running creek, it made Latonia feel thirsty besides feeling hungry after her hike.
As a more skillful wager, or gambler; Norman, was known as a better bettor among his friends.
2. A problem or situation that is difficult to solve: On Saturday afternoon, the family worked on the crossword puzzle that was in the newspaper.
The cause of the accident was a real puzzle for the investigators to resolve.
This word puzzle in the newspaper is going to perplex Clarence for a long time. There are several possible right answers and it will continue to bewilder him until he asks for help so he can finish the puzzle.
The festival was scheduled to be a biannual affair.
Standing next to the car, the children waved bye to the visitors.
Vincent went into town to buy a bicycle. He didn't realize it was the bicentennial celebration in town; so, he stood by the monument to watch. Then he saw Stanley, a friend. They chatted and then they waved bye to each other as Stanley was carrying his little son, who smiled and waved bye-bye to Vincent.
2. Coming or happening two times: Something which can occur on a biannual basis or that is happening twice a year.
2. Occurring halfway through a designated period of time: Vincent's semiannual visit to his cousin took place twice a year.
The festival was held on a semiannual basis.3. Partial or incomplete: Dale wanted to visit the semitropical area on his next vacation.
After the accident, the patient was only semiconscious.
The biannual celebrations in the town coincided with the semiannual spelling bee at the local school.
Edna's country cousins come to visit on a biannual basis; however, her cousins who live across the ocean come here on biennial trips. It is always great fun to garden together; Jane and Carmen like to plant perennial flowers which will be in bloom whenever their cousins come to visit them.