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

(lists of "R" 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.

retch, wretch
retch (RECH) (noun)
A strong, wrenching attempt to vomit that does not bring up anything: Being seasick brought on such a retch that Susan decided it was better to stay in bed for the rest of the day.
wretch (RECH) (noun)
1. An unfortunate and miserable person: The old woman was such a wretch that no one wanted to work with her.
2. Someone who is regarded as mean or despicable: The hermit was perceived as an unwashed wretch by the people who lived nearby.

Jesse feels like a wretch this morning because he was ill last night and had to retch several times.

reticent, taciturn
reticent (RET i suhnt) (adjective)
1. Pertaining to a person who is inclined to keep one's thoughts, feelings, and personal affairs to oneself: Mollie was reticent about discussing the cause of her feeling so sad.
2. Regarding an individual who is restrained or reserved in style; reluctant; unwilling: Audry's friend was reticent to help out during the harvest season on the farm because of an injured hand.

Curtis is reticent about discussing his past life.

taciturn (TAS i turn") (adjective)
Descriptive of someone who is habitually untalkative, tending to remain silent, or seldom speaking: The unsociable and taciturn man would rock silently in his chair for hours.

The taciturn farmer was reticent to help the new neighbor drill a new well.

reveille, revelry
reveille (REV uh lee, REV i lee) (noun)
The blast of a bugle early in the morning which is used to awaken and to summon soldiers or sailors in a camp or garrison to get out of bed and get ready for the day's activities: Officer Jones used a sound system to enhance the reveille for the morning wake-up.
revelry (REV uhl ree) (noun)
Boisterous or noisy merrymaking: At New Years, there is revelry on the streets until the early morning hours.

It was difficult for Chad to respond to reveille this morning after having participated in the revelry last night.

revel, revile
revel (REV uhl) (verb)
1. To take great pleasure or delight in something: Rosetta said that she would revel in her unaccustomed leisure; especially, after retirement.
2. To engage in uproarious festivities; to make merry: Over the holidays, Shawn plans to revel with his family with Christmas cakes and eggnog.
revile (ri VIGHL) (verb)
To use abusive language: There is no excuse to revile the man since he is not here to explain what happened.

Phil went to the neighbors in a mood to revile them for the loud party music; however, he ended up staying to revel in the festivities with them.

review, review, revue
review (ri VYOO) (noun)
1. A formal military ceremony typically in honor of an event or an individual: The president attended the review which was held on the parade grounds.
2. A careful re-examination of something, typically of a judicial nature: The local judge agreed that a review of the decision of the previous court's findings was in order.
3. A magazine or an essay the purpose of which is to provide a critique of a publication, movie, essay, etc.: Alisa wrote a review of the play that she saw the night before and sent it to her newspaper editor.
review (ri VYOO) (verb)
To take a critical or retrospective look at an event, etc.: Christa finds that this end-of-the-year period is a good time to review the events of the past year.
revue (ri VYOO) (noun)
A production in a theater, typically featuring a variety of skits, songs, etc. that contains a common theme: The actress was famous for the revue that she put on each year, singing and dancing all the familiar pieces.

The review published a positive review of the theatrical revue playing at the university.

rheum, room, room
rheum (ROOM) (noun)
A watery or thin mucous discharge from the eyes or nose: When George has a cold, he keeps a handkerchief handy to wipe the rheum from his long proboscis!
room (ROOM) (verb)
To lodge in a space; such as, an apartment or house: Jacob will room with his brother in college.
room (ROOM) (noun)
1. The amount of space needed for an object or an activity: The many plants Victor's aunt grew needed a sunny room to grow in.

The children played in the room next to the kitchen.

2. The possibility of something happening or existing: There is considerable room for improvement as Alice revises the content of her writing project.

The room was cold and drafty resulting in Mable coming down with an illness that caused a lot of rheum in her nose and eyes.

Rhodes, roads
Rhodes (ROHDZ) (noun)
1. A Greek island located in the southeast Aegean Sea just off the Turkish coast: Willie spent his vacation on Rhodes, enjoying the Aegean sunshine and beaches.
2. A British colonial financier and statesman in South Africa who made a fortune in gold and diamond mining: Cecil Rhodes used some of his wealth to establish scholarships for students to study at Oxford University.
roads (ROHDZ) (noun)
Open pathways or highways for the use of vehicular traffic: Debora was pleased that the roads in the county were well maintained and comfortable to use.

During her vacation, Stefanie noticed that the roads on Rhodes had been recently paved.

rhumb, rum, rum; rumba, rhumba
rhumb (RUHM, RUHMB) (noun)
Any of the points observed on the compass of a mariner: The captain consulted the rhumb on his compass to navigate the ship through the narrow channel.
rum (RUHM) (noun)
An alcoholic drink made by the fermentation of a cane product; such as, molasses: Rum earned a bad reputation in history books which often described men as raging drunk with rum.
rum (RUHM) (adjective)
Chiefly British, odd or difficult: The editor was a rum character when dealing with new authors.

Why do they persist in being such a rum lot?

rumba, rhumba (RUHM buh, ROOM buh) (noun)
1. A dance of Cuban origin, combining complex footwork with a pronounced movement of the hips: Phil and Polly tried learning the steps of the rumba for most of the night.
2. Music for this kind of Cuban dance or in this style: The band tried playing the rumba for the guests, but they only wanted to listen to waltzes instead.

The cruise ship's officers noticed by the rhumb of the compass that they were near the island where they made rum. The ship stopped and the passengers went ashore and found a restaurant where they had a drink and watched the dancers performing the rumba.

rhyme, rhyme, rime
rhyme (RIGHM) (noun)
A verse writing in which there is a similarity of sound among the last words of a sentence or line of writing: In her enthusiasm to describe the lovely countryside, Elizabeth wrote a rhyme which created beautiful word pictures.
rhyme (RIGHM) (verb)
To write in such a manner that the last words of a line or sentence have similar sounds: The author tried to find a word to rhyme with "orange" but he was not successful.
rime (RIGHM) (noun)
Frost, small ice particles which form on exposed surfaces when the temperatures are below freezing: There was a rime of frost on the water trough for the cattle this morning.

"It is the time for the rime to form on thine windows." How clever of Trudy, she wrote a rhyme.

riddle, riddle
riddle (RID'l) (noun)
1. A difficult question in a game or statement that requires thought to answer or to understand; a conundrum: Trudy loved to solve at least one riddle everyday.
2. Someone or something which is difficult to understand or to solve: Russell was constantly finding one riddle after another as he examined the history of science.
riddle (RID'l) (verb)
1. To pierce with numerous holes; to perforate: In order to stop the criminal from speeding away in a car, the police had to riddle the tires with bullets.
2. To fill something that is bad or unpleasant: It is obvious that the author did indeed riddle his book with one error after another.

Did the author riddle his riddle with irrational suggestions?

Well, Jacob is convinced that the solution to the riddle had one riddle after another one which resulted in too many false clues.

Here is an example of a riddle: What comes once in a minute, twice in a moment, but never in a thousand years? The letter "m".

Here's another riddle: What goes around and around the wood but never goes into the wood? The bark of a tree.

rift, rift
rift (RIFT) (noun)
A situation in which two people, groups, etc., no longer have a friendly relationship: The son's bad behavior will only widen the rift with his mother.
rift (RIFT) (noun)
1. A deep crack or opening in the ground, a rock, or other physical situations: The rift in the clouds made it possible for people to see the new moon.
2. In geology, a break in the earth's crust: Geologists are still trying to analyze the Mid-Atlantic Rift.
3. A gap or break in something where it has split apart: The buildings are being torn down because of the rift in the ground which is causing rifts in the walls of several of the apartments.

The geologists had a rift over the geological explanation for the seismic rift on the fault line crossing the desert.

rigger, rigor
rigger (RIG uhr) (noun)
1. Someone who furnishes or provides equipment for a specific use: When he retired from whaling, Sean's uncle became a rigger for other sailing ships.
2. Anyone who manipulates the outcome of an event; such as, an election: The underground boss was found to be the rigger of the census results after an investigation by officials.
3. A slender paint brush typically made of sable: For Cleo's art work, she used a rigger to create the fine points in her paintings.
rigor (RIG uhr) (noun)
1. The state of being unwavering, uncompromising, or inflexible: The rigor of the judge's decision made it difficult for the lawyers to challenge the outcome of the trial.
2. Conditions that make life and subsistence difficult: The rigor of the arctic winters made the expedition's tasks harder to achieve.
3. The quality or state of being very exact, careful, or strict: The students conducted the experiments with scientific rigor because they were being guided by a scholar known for her intellectual rigor.
4. Stiffness of tissue that prevents response to stimuli: There was a rigor in the patient's arm that made it difficult for the doctor to examine her.

When Patricia ordered the arctic camping equipment from the local rigger, he warned her about the rigor and dangers that might be a part of her arctic explorations.

right, right, rite, wright, write
right (RIGHT) (adjective)
1. Correct, genuine, acting in accordance with facts or truth: The laboratory tests proved that the scientists' theories were right, not wrong!

Camille gave Alisha the right, or accurate, directions to the local store.

Earl did the right and proper thing when he told the woman that she dropped her billfold out of her purse while she was walking in the store.

2. Situated on the side of the body that is opposite to left side: Daniel raised his right hand to take the oath of allegiance.
right (RIGHT) (noun)
1. The quality of character that suggest an ideal: Knowing the truth is Josie's right.
2. Property ownership, often used in the plural: Karin owned the mineral right, or mineral rights, in the remote mountain region.

Antonio bought the right to use the film of the new novel based on the reputation of the author.
3. Often capitalized, to designate a political party or individual who is politically conservative: Members of the Right have voiced their opinions on this economic proposal.

rite (RIGHT) (noun)
1. A defined manner or pattern of words and actions for a ceremony: Nikki knew the rite for the opening prayers of the meeting.
2. The prescribed or customary form for conducting a religious or other solemn ceremony: Incense is often burned in this religious rite.

The opening rite for the summer solstice was very elaborate.

wright (RIGHT) (noun)
Someone who constructs or repairs something and is often used in combination with the type of vocation involved, as in shipwright: The famous playwright is going to work with the theater's production of her new play.
write (RIGHT) (verb)
1. To inscribe words or figures on a surface: Ronda was asked to write the chemistry formula on the chalkboard.
2. To form letters, words, or symbols on a surface like paper with an instrument; such as, a pen, a pencil, a typewriter, etc.: Stanley's daily rite was to write in his journal and so it was easy for him to compose a blog with his computer, too.

Marla intends to write a symphony before she is 20 years old.

The author was determined to write his autobiography when he retired.

Vincent tried to write about the playwright who wanted to depict the correct wedding ceremony or the right rite.

A minister of a church was asked if he and his congregation kneel to pray in his church. He responded with, "No, we stand up for our rites."

It was her rite (formal custom) to write so much, but was it right for her to expect her readers to read everything?

Bigamy is the only crime on the books where two rites make a wrong.

—E. C. McKenzie
ring, ring, wring
ring (RING) (noun)
1. A clear resonating sound made by striking an object, such as metal or glass: The church bells have a wonderful ring to them on a winter’s night.

Jane mentioned, "If you tap the crystal goblet carefully, you can hear it ring."

2. A circular band often worn on a person's finger; or a circular band used to hold items: Stacy inherited a beautiful ring from her aunt and she wears it every day.

Aurora's friend gave her a key ring so she wouldn't lose her keys so often.

3. A square space often used for sporting events: The boxers met in the ring for the boxing competition.
ring (RING) (verb)
1. To place a telephone call: Shelby's assistant said, "Shelby, Tony said he will ring you in the morning to confirm your luncheon date."
2. To encircle: The low mountains ring the green valley.
wring (RING) (verb)
1. To twist one's palms and fingers as an expression of anxiety: Travis always knew that his mother was worried when he saw her wring her hands.
2. To squeeze or to twist something in order to remove moisture: Janet said, "Dottie, be sure to wring out the dishcloth before hanging it up."
3. To get something out of someone or out of an item or object with a lot of effort: The executive officer tried to wring every last dollar of profit out of the failing company.

Marla will wring out Chad's polishing cloth, and then he will polish the bell so that it will ring loudly and clearly and then he will ring her up when he is done.

ringer, wringer
ringer (RING uhr) (noun)
1. Something or someone who causes a sound, especially one that produces a chime: Adam is the ringer of the cathedral bells that we hear every morning.
2. Someone who looks very much like another person: Philip is a ringer for the president.

Cara is a dead ringer for Trisha's friend Carol.

wringer (RING uhr) (noun)
Someone or something that compresses, especially a device in which laundry is squeezed between rollers to extract water: The old-fashioned washing machines had a handwringer to press the moisture from the clothes before they were hung up to dry.

Jeff was surprised that Mrs. Smith was such a ringer for the woman who used to come to help his mother operate the wringer on her washing machine.

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