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.
2. To break down food; especially, in the mouth, stomach, and intestines with special juices and bacteria into a form which can be absorbed by the body: After dinner, William likes to go for a walk because he finds that it seems to help him to digest his food.
In order for Tricia to digest the meaning of the digest of information provided to her by the internet, she needs to discuss the concepts with her colleagues; after which, she will be able to prepare a digest of the ideas to present to her students.
Forgive Ken if he seems to digress from our conversation, but he is concerned that his aunt's health will regress while she is hospitalized.
The trains went quickly across the country, seeming to diminish the size of the territory by their speed.
Elvira's efforts to minimize the importance of the discovery served only to diminish her stature as a government official.
After Marlon will dine with friends, he is going to a lecture at the science center about the dyne and how it relates to every day life.
2. Shabby, drab, or squalid: Tina and Antoine lived in a dingy room to save money so they could emigrate to a better country.
Since the boat was old and poorly maintained, it was obvious that the dinghy was dingy.
2. Pertaining to requiring urgent and immediate action or treatment: The government is in dire need of reform.
Edmond's cousin, who was a dyer in a fashionable hair salon, knew she was in dire trouble when the owner called her into the office.
The tourist asked, "Can you direct me to the best route to the next town?"
The shop teacher was able to direct the students so they could erect a safe fire tower outside.
Bernadine knows that there are those who disapprove of her efforts to disprove the gossip and rumors that are spreading in town about her cousin.
The high floods along the river caused a disaster to the farms. It was truly a tragedy that so many farmers lost their livestock; however, the oldest farmer was philosophical, reminding everyone that at least it was not a holocaust, because no buildings were burned.
The accounting department is scheduled to disburse Grover's travel expenses next week.
Right after the company will disburse the weekly wages, the workers plan to quickly disperse so they can get home before the thunderstorm starts.
2. To upset the composure or self-possession of; to embarrass; to confuse: The realization that Greta's slip was showing served to disconcert the pianist just as she was going on stage to perform.
It will disconcert Emmett and his friends if the perceived level of discomfort with the cabins serves to discomfit their plans for a long voyage.
Nola's friends could always rely her to be discreet.
The teacher presented a number of discrete categories for the students to learn.
There is a discrete difference in the two neighborhoods; so, we must be discreet when we are talking with the local residents.
2. Using an offensive word, or words, when a person speaks; to swear: Flossie started to yell and to cuss as soon as Jess came into the room.
We should discuss the discus competition that is coming up next week. Harley remembers when he first tried to throw a discus, he dropped it on his foot and he started to cuss.
We need a disinterested party to settle the argument.
A judge must be disinterested in the cases he or she tries if a fair outcome is to be achieved.
Emil said he likes music but that he is uninterested in doing any art work.
Vincent is afraid he is uninterested in the new novel that tells the tale of the seemingly disinterested person who served on the jury, but who was really a spy for the prosecution who was determined to get a conviction.
The dispassionate nature of the news coverage made it difficult to envisage the emotions behind the unimpassioned telling of the story of the crime.