Confusing Words Clarified: Group D; Homonyms, Homophones, Homographs, Synonyms, Polysemes, etc. +
(lists of "D" sections that are organized into what for some people are confusing groups of words)
The day-to-day arena of spoken and written communication has always been a perilous place, fraught with endless possibilities for embarrassing blunders by even the most wary.
People may have a fine grasp of grammar, be proficient with spelling and syntax, and still occasionally find themselves in a quandary about which word to use. These days it seems that those of us who want to be precise are having a harder time than ever because there is so much which is working against us.
For one thing, there is the constant bombardment of sloppy English that we are subjected to from what we hear and read; and not just what's overheard on the bus or read on the walls of buildings.
We are also subjected to the many errors audible on TV or radio and published in every conceivable kind of printed matter; especially, in blogs and other presentations on some internet sites. These are strong influences, and if we hear and see a word misused often enough, it takes on a certain "correctness".
If you have any problems understanding the pronunciation symbols, go to this Pronunciation Chart for clarifications.
Once again, we want you to know that efforts have been made to help you grasp the meanings of the following and the other word groups 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.
The definitive biography of the author’s life was definite in its statement that she had lived in the Far North of Canada.
2. To make less dangerous, tense, or hostile: The President made a diplomatic move that could defuse the crisis.
Before the basement could be safe again, a fan was used to help diffuse the fumes from the chemicals used for a bomb which the police had to defuse.
The interview with the director as reported in the paper diffused the rumors and defused the tension in the theater.
As a delegate to the congressional meeting, Kendra intends to vote for tax saving measures.
2. Descriptive of being easily broken or damaged: This cup is very delicate and fragile; so please handle it carefully.
3. Referring to being disturbed or upset: Many people struggle to maintain the delicate balance between work and family matters.
Andrew's mother asked him to go to the store to purchase delicate china cups from which to drink the new tea that has such a delicate taste.
Timmy was very careful because his mother’s nerves were very delicate and he was happy to be her deligate; especially, since he knew that the owner of the china shop would give him the best quality available.
2. To give authority to another individual: The president will delegate the union leader as a delegate to the convention.
When the head librarian decided to delegate Krista to represent her library at the conference, she was concerned about the efforts of a minority to relegate the discussion of new books for the library to the bottom of the agenda.
Chelsea was deluded into believing that the diluted sauce would taste as good as the original recipe.
Van stood up to denounce the crowd that was calling for the king to renounce his throne.
The dents on the bumper of Grady's car were caused when he was driving through dense fog and bumped into the guard rail paralleling the road.
The insurance provides coverage for workers and their dependents.
Those who are dependents of the social system for their daily life show considerable dependence on the bureaucracy that administers the system.
2. An instrument for the orderly and systematic destruction of something: When they renovated their kitchen, they installed a top-of-the-line disposal for the elimination of the household kitchen garbage.
2. The act of getting rid of something: Kari arranged for the disposition of the old tires by sending them to the recycling center.
3. A typical attitude, temperament, or mood: Rosalie had a sunny disposition which enhanced her teaching skills.
Leticia's strong public disposition motivated her to write a deposition to the city disposal agency to complain about the inadequate disposal of garbage in her neighborhood.
It is a political truth that the deprivation of a group of people may easily lead to their depravation and result in violence against a government that has deprived them of literacy and social justice.
The joke in Bennie's family is that if he is deprived of chocolate, he tends to become depraved as if he were starving.
When her friend studied genealogy, Marta was particularly interested in one descendant of her mother who had at one time been very wealthy; however, that relative experienced a descendent slide into poverty because of the bad investments that were made in the stock market.
If their nest is disturbed, birds will often desert it.
While Marta was having her dessert in the restaurant, she was wishing that she could desert her broken down car right there in the desert.
Wendy is desirous of acquiring that desirable piece of property down by the river.