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.
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.
Laura's prejudiced attitude appeared to be intolerant of the new neighbors because she said they seemed to have a bigoted idea of what being a friendly neighbor involved.
During the conversation, Brad admitted that his feelings about the new neighbors are probably biased, because he really liked his former neighbors much more.
Barry's thesis consisted of an annotated bibliography of all the biography books in the library.
2. Offering an invitation as a greeting: When the women met on the street, the older one bid her friends to join her for tea in the shop.
After their tea, the women bid each other farewell as they went on their various ways.
While Mike wanted to bide his time before making his bid at the auction, he thought he would go to meet a friend who bid him to come for a cup of coffee after the auction.
As promised, Mike met Cindy and then he bid her goodbye and he went back to the auction hall to submit his official bid.
Paula is biding her time until she can be bidding for the glass pitcher at the auction. She will be bidding on a beautiful set of glasses, too.
Bigamy is proof that two rites make a wrong.
Monogamy is a monopoly.
The media headlines about marriage lifestyles were rampant, exclaiming that those who practiced either bigamy or polygamy were carrying things too far. There was no mention about the success of monogamy.
2. Writing an announcement for public information: The actor was billed to play Romeo in the upcoming play.
Kim hired a contractor to build her new home; later, he also billed her for drilling a well.
2. A whirring sound: The bag pipes make a birr when the players attempt to tune them.
2. A rough or prickly part of a plant that easily sticks to a passerby: After walking through the rough grass, the traveler noticed that there was a burr sticking here, there, and everywhere on his trouser legs.
When Kim walked across the field, she noticed that she had picked up a burr or two on her pants.
In addition, Kim could hear a distinctive birr from the many insects that were in the tall grass.
The diagram showing us how to dissect the specimen directed us first to bisect it from right to left.
2. Having split or forked: The driver noticed that the highway was bisected by a median strip which consisted of many beautiful trees.
2. To have examined, analyzed, or criticized in minute details: They dissected the company plan afterward to learn why it failed.
The panel dissected each point of Oscar's argument.
Jorge and Annie got lost when they discovered that, when the highway had bisected, they took the wrong turn.
There was a great deal of discussion while the driver and the tour guide dissected the problem before deciding what to do.
Wanda started to gnash her teeth and bite her thumb because she was so frustrated trying to understand the byte capacity of her new computer.
2. A forcible stream of air, gas, or steam from an opening: Ronnie was hit by a blast of water from the hose when it burst open.
3. A violent explosion, as of dynamite or a bomb: There was a strong blast that destroyed the power plant that was under construction.
4. An informal expression indicating a very enjoyable and exciting experience: Edwin had a blast when he went on a trip to the mountains.
2. To kill or to destroy by hitting or shooting; or to have a harmful or destructive effect on: The navel gunship will blast the enemy submarine in order to stop the torpedoing.
3. To criticize or to attack someone or something vigorously; especially, in public: Several human rights groups plan to blast the government for its treatment of terrorist prisoners.
4. At full speed, volume, or capacity; to make a loud and usually unpleasant sound: The people next door always seem to blast the neighborhood with their TV during the day and even late into the night.
As Darrell and Cliff walked home from the party, they agreed that they had a blast. Fortunately, the neighbors didn't complain about the blast of music from the speakers.
When Leon walked around the corner, he was hit with a blast of icy wind that made his eyes sting. His friend, Jim, was so upset, that he started to blast the weather reporter who didn't forecast such an arctic blast.
2. Providing no encouragement; depressing: Many countries are obviously in a bleak global-economic situation.
3. Exposed to the elements; unsheltered and barren: The bleak weather is cold, rainy, and dark.
Josephine could see the bleak, treeless regions of the high mountains behind her.
2. To waver or back down, as in a contest of wills: During the international meeting, the U.S. was expected to be one of the counties that would blink and agree to remove the missiles.
It was a bleak and dreary day when Mike and Rita went hiking. The wind was so cold that it made both of them blink their eyes.
2. A French word for "blue": The group had cordon bleu cuisine for their evening meal.
3. A cheese containing a blue mold; such as, a semisoft cheese made of cow's milk and having a greenish blue mold and a strong flavor: At the end of Lillian's French meal, she had some bleu cheese.
The wind blew Edna's blue napkin onto the bleu cheese sandwich which was prepared by a cordon bleu chef who was working at the picnic.
2. A usually small amount of something thick and wet: Brad still must clean up the blobs of paint that he dropped on the floor while he was painting the porch.
Christine was writing a daily blog about her personal opinions, activities, and experiences.
2. Used in a figurative sense: The press is expected to flog the police chief for his failure to take appropriate action against the criminal elements in his city.
There are some people who believe that there are way too many blobs (indistinct shapeless forms) of blogs on the internet and there are those who believe that a few flogs from the press would be a good idea.
Karin's idea for a new blog is just a bit of a blob in Herb's mind right now. He must flog his imagination in order to create several blogs each week for his readers.
Readers are very critical and often flog Jim's blogs; so, writing about those experiences often become entries in his new blogs.
2. To get in the way or to interfere with an activity, e.g. sports: The football player tried to block the player of the other team who was running for a touchdown.
The bloc in Parliament attempted to block the new legislation which was intended to block the importing of a new sports team to the city. In Parliament, the members banged their shoes on the block of wood in front of their desks.