Confusing Words Clarified: Group P; Homonyms, Homophones, Homographs, Synonyms, Polysemes, etc. +
(lists of "P" 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.
The famous British author, Charles Dickens, created pitiable characters in his books, for example the pitiful story of Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol. His situation and the poverty of his family was piteous.
Kenneth took his place at the table and the waiter served him a lovely dish of plaice and chips.
2. Descriptive of a lack in affectation; ordinary: Mildred's manners were plain and helped to make visitors very comfortable.
3. Not complicated: Celeste's mother preferred plain home cooked meals instead of highly spiced foods.
4. Pertaining to something simple; without ornament: The plain curtains in the window were strictly functional.
2. A level of consciousness or development: Henry's plane of thought was lofty and purely academic.
3. A major supporting surface of an aircraft: The plane of the new airplane was designed to hold the wing and be strong but not heavy.
4. A word used interchangeably with "airplane": The plane taxied to the take-off site.
As Myrna got on the aircraft, she noticed that it was just a plain plane without any luxuries.
2. A table setting or cutlery that is made by the process of chemically or electronically bonding a thin layer of a valuable metal onto a less valuable base metal: The host set the table with the old family plate.
3. Any of large movable segments of the earth's surface that shift during an earthquake: The seismologist studied the plate in the temblor-prone area of the desert.
4. The dish which is passed among people for collections, often in a religious context: The ushers passed the plate for contributions to support the church fund.
When the female potter works, she keeps her plait of hair tied up so it won't get caught on the potter’s wheel. In fact, Karin has been making a large plate with a pleat style crimping of the edge.
2. Explanations offered to excuse or to justify a decision: Jack and Jill decided to leave the party early, extending their pleas to the host that they had an early appointment the next day.
3. Earnest beseechings and pleadings for something: Tammie's pleas to stay out late did not make her parents change their position that she should be home before midnight.
Tabitha's husband said, "Please sit down and be comfortable by the fire."
Barbara could hear Jimmie's pleas as he tried to please his mother in hopes of getting an extra dessert.
Even though Joshua claimed he was a member of the proletarian, he did not have plebeian manners.
2. A small piece of lead, on the end of a cord or piece of string, used especially by carpenters and masons to determine a true vertical: The builders used a plumb quite often so they could be sure that the structure was straight and not leaning.
When Aaron had to survey the site of the accident, he didn't have a professional plumb with him; so, he improvised and used the seed of a plum suspended from a string.
2. To shake or to hit something; such as, a cushion, to make it fuller, softer, or rounder: When Jacob got into bed, he tried to plump up his pillow.
Martin ate a juicy and plump peach with his lunch.
How do you make thin boys fat? You throw them up in the air and they come down plump!
After a hard day's work, it is a relief to plump down in a comfortable chair with plump pillows and enjoy a dish of ice cream with slices of peaches that are plump and ripe.
2. A graceful way of walking, moving, standing, etc.: Trudy was a dancer with great poise and elegance.
2. To hold or to support, as in readiness: The congressional committee wants to poise a new proposal for the health bill.
2. Prepared or ready for something: The new senator-elect was poised to take on his new duties.
They were poised to become top scholars in their academic fields.3. Having been in a state, place, or situation that was between two different or opposite things: The survivors of the earthquake were poised between struggling as survivors and additional devastation.
A Roman gladiator cut the noose that was thrown by an opponent with a single slash of his sword while the rope was still poised in mid-air.
The politician was poised to answer the questions from the press with poise even after being attacked for his current political position regarding the war.
Poise is the ability to hide one's anger; or, poise is the ability to be ill at ease without showing it.
Scintillate, scintillate, globule vivific!
Fain would I fathom thy nature specific,
Distantly poised in the ether capacious,
Closely resembling a gem carbonaceous.
Did you have difficulty understanding this sesquipedalian version of the poem? If so, here it is in a simple format.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star!
How I wonder what you are,
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
The champion skier could pole his way on the slopes with great skill.
2. Either end of the axis of a sphere; such as, the earth: The arctic explorers planted a flag at the North Pole to mark their discovery.
3. Either of the two ends of an electric power unit: The directions said to place the positive pole of the battery pointing towards the top of the flashlight.
2. The location where votes are cast and or counted in an election: Ernest's poll for the upcoming referendum is just across the street.
Polly's uncle was assigned to her poll when it was time to tally the ballots after the primary.3. The questioning of individuals typically selected randomly to obtain information or to determine the opinions of the population: Bruce was contacted by telephone to complete a poll regarding the upcoming election.
4. A process of an election whereby people are requested to indicate their choice individually: The poll on the decision to break for coffee was done by a show of hands.
In order to canvas each poll in the voting district, Rodney had to pole his way across the river to visit the remote sites, even though he knew that the opposition candidate was on the opposite pole of the central issue of taxes.
2. To improve something by making it better than it was before: Willie and Ralph need to polish up some areas in their project before they can say that they are finished with it.
2. A preparation which is used to clean or to shine furniture, etc.: Eugenia used the polish on the silver plate that her grandmother gave her.
It was necessary that Patricia polish the Polish tables and chairs.
2. The residue of material from which the liquid has been removed: There was a layer of pomace at the bottom of the grape press.
The lapidists used a fine pumice to clean, smooth, and furbish the gem once it had been cut.
The blades of the equipment used to create the thick tomato pomace need sharpening; so, she will use a fine pumice to do the job.
The hero of the local myth was said to have rested a heavy stick on the pommel of his saddle and he continued to carry the stick in case he had to pummel any highway robbers.
The living conditions for the refugees in the large city were poor and very unsatisfactory.
The children felt very poor because they did not have the latest TV model.2. Not good in quality or condition; bad: Harry's poor state of health makes it impossible for him to find a job.
The driver couldn't see the road sign because of his poor and feeble vision.3. Referring to someone or something as to show sympathy: Leave the poor man alone, because he can't help it if he can't walk faster.
I wonder how those poor birds find food during the winter when the snow covers everything.
Ernest sat quietly in the comfortable chair in order to pore over the sad news from home.
2. To flow or to dispense from a container: The maid was careful to pour the tea from the pot into the new cups.
3. To give uninhibited expression to: The two friends agreed to meet and to pour out their concerns to each other.
4. To come continuously: Compliments about the new fashion designs seemed to pour in every day.
The librarian exclaimed, "You poor dear, having to sit in the library all day to pore over these ancient documents. You must come down to my office so I can pour you a cup of tea."
2. Plain, easily understood: The historian wrote a popular book about local events in the village.
3. Widely accepted or encountered: It is a popular myth that the moon is made of green cheese.
A popular tree to plant in gardens and along the side of the roads is the poplar.