Confusing Words Clarified: Group I; Homonyms, Homophones, Homographs, Synonyms, Polysemes, etc. +

(lists of "I" sections that are organized into what for some people are confusing groups of words)

If you have any problems understanding the pronunciation symbols, go to this Pronunciation Chart for clarifications.

idiopathic, idiopathy
idiopathic (id" ee oh PATH ik, id "ee uh PATH ik) (adjective)
Characterizing something that happens spontaneously or develops from an unknown cause: Pete's brown eyes were idiopathic because everyone else in the family had blue eyes.

Any disease that is of uncertain or unknown origin may be termed idiopathic.

idiopathy (id" ee AHP uh thee) (noun)
1. A disease of indeterminate cause; a spontaneous or primary disease: Lucinda was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer which seemed to appear as an idiopathy.
2. Something which happens spontaneously or develops from an unknown cause: The idiopathy of the new gene puzzled everyone in the laboratory.

The sore on Trina's leg appeared to be idiopathic. The doctors were puzzled especially when another idiopathy with different characteristics erupted on her other leg.

idle, idle, idol, idyll, idyllic
idle (IGHD'l) (adjective)
1. Describing something which is inactive, not working, or not being used: Too many factories have been idle during these last months.
2. Pertaining to a person who is unemployed; unoccupied; redundant: So many people have become idle because they can't find jobs.
idle (IGHD'l) (verb)
To pass one’s time without working or having something to do: Because of the bad economy, thousands will have to idle their time away because they don't have jobs.
idol (IGHD'l) (noun)
1. An object or picture that is worshiped as a god: The idol in the temple had many visitors who were present to worship it.
2. Someone who is greatly loved or admired: Lenora was an actress who was the idol of thousands of people.
idyll, idyl (IGHD'l) (noun)
1. A work of art, including writing, that includes rustic or rural life: Samuel wrote an idyll about his childhood on his father's farm in the country.
2. A narrative poem about an epic or romantic theme: Tennyson's Idylls of the King is considered by some to be the most famous idyll in English.
3. A scene or event of a simple and tranquil nature: Trish recalls living a pastoral idyll as a child.
idyllic (igh DIL ik) (adjective)
Very peaceful, happy, and enjoyable: The brothers recalled the joy of having idyllic childhood memories of growing up together.

The neighbors talked about the pleasures they had during their idyllic vacation in the country last year.

Luck is the idol of the idle who have written about their idyll days away from cities and lived in idyllic conditions.

ileum, ilium
ileum (IL ee uhm) (noun)
Division of the small intestine: Ileitis is an inflammation of the ileum.
ilium (IL ee uhm) (noun)
One of the bones composing the pelvis: A fracture of the ilium can be very slow to heal.

When Bradley fell, he fractured his ilium. That was painful but his discomfort was compounded by the simultaneous inflammation of his ileum.

imbrue, imbue
imbrue, embrue (im BROO) (verb)
To discolor or to stain: The weaver used walnut skins to create the dark brown dye with which to imbrue the yarns he was using.
imbue (im BYOO) (verb)
To influence in a permanent fashion: The teacher's new ideas seemed to imbue the students with a keen enthusiasm for their work.

The designer tried to imbue the style of upholstery available in the stores by deciding to imbrue the fabric with multiple hues of green.

imitate, intimate, intimate, intimidate
imitate (IM i tayt") (verb)
1. To make or to do something the same way as something else: Our competitors are trying to imitate the identical products that we have been producing for years.
2. To copy another person's behavior, sound, appearance, etc.; to follow the example of; to take as one's model; and to impersonate or to mimic: Jerome is very good at trying to imitate his father's voice.
intimate (IN tuh mit, IN tuh muht) (adjective)
1. Descriptive of a very close relationship; very warm and friendly: Myrna and Lenora have remained intimate friends throughout their lives.
2. Referring to the most private or personal relationship or to the situation of being closely acquainted or associated; very familiar: Karin and Karl have an intimate friendship with their neighbors.
intimate (IN tuh mayt") (verb)
1. To say or to suggest something in an indirect way; to hint or to imply: Willard tried to intimate that Nathan should plan to arrive early for their next business meeting.
2. To make known subtly and indirectly; to hint: During the conversation, Christy tried to intimate that she was not happy with her job.
intimidate (in TIM i dayt") (verb)
1. To make someone afraid or insecure: Vincent tries to intimidate his political opponents with hidden threats.
2. To frighten into submission, compliance, or acquiescence: Sometimes a lawyer will intimidate a witness in order to make that person say something that will weaken his or her testimony.

Nicholas didn't want to imitate nor intimidate what he was about to intimate to his intimate friend.

immoral, immortal
immoral (i MAWR uhl, i MAHR uhl) (adjective)
Relating to behavior or beliefs that conflict with perceived traditional and acceptable ways of conduct: Because Mildred chose a stage career, her family thought she had fallen into an immoral way of life.
immortal (i MAWR t'l) (adjective)
Referring to a being having eternal life or existence; never dying, undying: Many religions teach that when a person lives a holy life or is committed to a certain theology, that he or she will be immortal after leaving this mortal life.
immortal (i MAWR t'l) (noun)
The quality of unending or lasting fame or existence: The emperor thought he would be remembered as an immortal in his kingdom when his time came to leave the earth and had to accept the fact that he was getting very old.

The romantic poet gained immortal fame even though many considered his social behavior to be immoral.

immunity, impunity
immunity (i MYOO ni tee) (noun)
1. A state of being able to resist disease by counteracting its effects: Latonya had already developed immunity to measles and was able to help nurse her younger brother when he came down with them, too.
2. A condition whereby a person is protected or exempt from certain normal civil rules; implies freedom from or protection against something disagreeable or menacing: Walter's status as an ambassador gave him immunity from being questioned by the police.

impunity (im PYOO ni tee) (noun)
A situation where a person is safe from or free from punishment, penalty, or harm: Ryan acted with impunity, knowing that he would not be prosecuted by the police.

The local jewel thief often acted with the knowledge that he had impunity because the police frequently granted him immunity in exchange for secret information about other criminals.

impassable, impassible, impossible
impassable (im PAS uh buhl) (adjective)
Pertaining to something which is unable to be traveled or overcome: The severe snowstorm made the roads in the mountains impassable.
impassible (im PAS i buhl) (adjective)
Characterized as being incapable of feelings; immune to pain or suffering: Tamika's face was a masque, impassible to the suffering around her.
impossible (im PAHS i buhl) (adjective)
Unacceptable, awkward, incapable of happening: Up to 1969, it was believed that it was impossible to fly to the moon.

It was impossible to read Eric's impassible expression at the news of the efforts of his friends to cross the impassable mountain pass during the winter.

impetuous, vehement
impetuous (im PECH yoo uhs) (adjective)
Marked by impulsiveness, often without forethought: Shanna's decision to go on holidays was impetuous and surprised her friends.
vehement (VEE uh muhnt) (adjective)
Descriptive of powerful and deeply felt feelings: Walter was vehement in his denunciation of the nasty articles in the newspaper.

The romantic was frequently impetuous, expressing his deep feelings in a vehement manner; such as, loudly serenading his new love under her balcony.

impinge, infringe
impinge (im PINJ) (verb)
1. To hit or to strike something: Such loud musical sounds that some people play on their car radios can impinge on their eardrums, causing temporary or even permanent hearing damage.
2. To affect the limits of something; especially, a right or law, often causing some kind of restriction: Gerald's lawyer argued that such publicity would impinge on his client's right to a just trial.
infringe (in FRINJ) (verb)
To enter into someplace in a manner that violates the law: When you walk across Cleo's lawn, you infringe on her rights to privacy.

Lorna felt that Ken's vehement speech in favor of a strike vote was an attempt to infringe on her right to make her own decision; since, such a vote would no doubt impinge on her ongoing employment.

impostor, imposture
impostor (im PAHS tuhr) (noun)
A pretender or someone who engages in deception under an assumed name or identity: The prime minister revealed that his assistant was an impostor, trying to find out secrets in the prime minister’s office.
imposture (im PAHS chuhr) (noun)
Deception by fraudulent impersonation or an instance of deception under an assumed name or identity: The history of crime contains many an incredible imposture.

The imposture by the infamous impostor struck at the heart of the national government, threatening its very existence.

imprudent, impudent
imprudent (im PROOD n't) (adjective)
Unwise or indiscreet about handling practical matters; relating to someone who does not exercise good judgment or common sense: It was imprudent of Polly to borrow so much money from her brother.
impudent (IM pyuh duhnt, IM pyoo duhnt) (adjective)
1. Concerning someone who shows a lack of respect and excessive boldness: Jame's mother was concerned because he seemed to be impudent towards her older friends.
2. Characterized by offensive boldness; insolent or impertinent: The little boy’s impudent behavior earned him "an early to bed time".

It was an impudent show of bravado when the elderly rancher decided on an imprudent course of action and married a young bride for her fortune.

Imprudent is when someone suffers from acute indiscretion.

Impudent is the proof that man does not live by bread alone, but also by crust (being rude and impertinent; self-assertiveness; nerve; gall).

—Evan Esar
in, in, inn
in (IN) (preposition)
Within the limits, bounds, or area of: Scott, you are in your rights to ask for catsup to eat with your fries.
in (IN) (adverb)
From the outside to a point inside: After waiting for about 15 minutes, Fay finally was walking in the dining room to a table.
inn (IN) (noun)
A public lodging house serving food and drink to travelers; a hotel: Debora stayed at a charming inn during her mountain vacation.

When Helena arrived at the reception desk of the inn, she inquired whether she was in time for dinner and then when she was told, yes, she had plenty of time, she was shown to a table in the restaurant, so she could order her meal.

inane, insane
inane (in AYN) (adjective)
1. Very silly or stupid: Polly keeps interrupting Albert with her inane comments.
2. Empty, vacant; lacking sense or meaning; foolish, pointless: Cleo quickly got tired of the inane questions the people were asking her.
insane (in SAYN) (adjective)
Having or showing severe mental illness; mentally ill or deranged: The murderer was found to be criminally insane.

It was insane of the prisoners to think that they could get away with their inane plan to escape from prison by digging a hole through the wall.

incidence, incidents
incidence (IN si duhns) (noun)
The scope or extent of an occurrence or influence of something: The incidence of measles in the village was high.
incidents (IN si duhnts) (noun)
1. Behaviors likely to lead to serious consequences: There were several incidents of the mayor undermining the union during the strike that made the union members very angry.
2. Several happenings or events as a result of or in connection with something more important: Mollie remembered the happy incidents of her childhood when she went to the beaches and got sunburned.

The principal talked to the students about several incidents of roudy behavior on the playground. He told them that any increase in incidence of these activities could result in the cancellation of any more sports events.

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