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.

risk, risk
risk (RISK) (noun)
1. The possibility of suffering harm or loss; danger: The couple emphasized that they didn't want to put their savings at risk with a questionable investment.

Dr. Smith told Jane about the risk of getting a heart disease if she didn't lose enough weight soon.
2. A factor, thing, element, or course of action involving uncertain danger; a hazard: Curtis and Earl discovered that they had to be prepared to face the risk of rattlesnakes, heat, and the lack of water in the desert.

As far as Karin is concerned, skydiving is not worth the risk.

3. Someone, or something, that is judged to be a good or a bad choice for insurance, a loan, etc.: The bank will determine if Todd is a good credit risk for the loan he has requested.
risk (RISK) (verb)
1. To put something in a situation in which it could be lost, damaged, etc.: Marla was willing to risk her life to save her children.
2. To do something that might have injurious or bad results: Abigail was advised not to risk physical harm by traveling so soon after her operation.

There is the possible risk of falling off the mountain when a person is climbing. Committed climbers say that to risk falling is part of the allure and excitement of climbing; however, they always take precautions to reduce risk whenever possible.

risky; risque, risqué
risky (RIS kee) (adjective)
1. Regarding something that is accompanied by or involving danger; hazardous: Driving in this winter weather can be very risky or perilous.
2. Concerning something which involves the possibility of something bad or unpleasant happening: This investment could be a risky move for the company.
risque, risqué (ris KAY) (adjective)
1. Suggestive of or bordering on indelicacy or impropriety: Why does that talk-show host have to be so risque in his conversation?
2. Referring to sex in a rude and slightly shocking way: Martin was surprised that Estella would tell such a risqué joke.

A "call girl" is a woman whose calling is a calculated risque.

Using risqué as part of an act has been labeled as a risky kind of blue material a comedian resorts to when he, or she, runs out of gray matter.

It's a risky business to tell risqué jokes when you don't know how your audience will respond.

road, rode, rowed
road (ROHD) (noun)
An open, generally public way for the passage of vehicles, people, and animals: There was a great debate in the city council about imposing a tax on the new road that was built.
rode (ROHD) (verb)
1. To have traveled in a vehicle or on an animal: Dorothy and Myrna rode the horses back to the camp in the valley.

Rodney and Norman rode in the back seat of the jeep.

2. To have been secured or moored: The ship rode at anchor in the harbor.
3. To have survived, usually accompanied by the word "out": By careful management, Earl rode out the previous economic downturn.
rowed (ROHD) (verb)
To have moved or propelled a boat through the use of oars or polls: Jeff and Chad rowed the gondola safely to shore.

Jerry rode along as Wayne rowed the boat from the island to the lakeside road.

roam, Rome
roam (ROHM) (verb)
To wander, or to go from place to place, not necessarily with a designated purpose: For Zelda's summer vacation, she intends to pack her bags and roam throughout the countryside.

When they are thirsty, the cattle will roam all day looking for water.

Rome (ROHM) (noun)
1. A city in Italy which is the center of political and religious activity: When Adam was a university student, he visited Rome, Italy, and went to see some of the famous ancient Roman ruins.
2. The name of at least two different cities in the United States: Just for fun, Dale wants to go see Rome, New York and Rome, Georgia.

Anita's neighbors have decided that they want to go to Italy this summer so they can roam around Rome and see the past and the present of that famous city.

roar, roar, rower
roar (ROHR) (verb)
To utter or to create a loud noise which may communicate pain or excitement: Lions tend to roar when they are hungry.

I dare you not to roar with laughter when you read this book.

roar (ROHR) (noun)
A loud and often confusing sound: It was difficult for Tracy to speak with her friend over the roar of the crowd in the stadium.
rower (ROHR) (noun)
Someone who uses oars or polls to propel a watercraft: Bonita's cousin was the lead rower for the boat regatta at his university.

Over the roar of the falls, the rower shouted to the rest of the crew to turn back before it was too late.

roc, rock, rock
roc (RAHK) (noun)
A mythical bird of prey having enormous size and strength: A winged roc with golden wings was featured in the myth about the sailors who were shipwrecked in the Aegean Sea.
rock (RAHK) (noun)
1. A relatively hard, naturally formed mineral or petrified matter; stone: Andrew ordered a load of crushed rock to use in the driveway.
2. A naturally formed aggregate of mineral matter constituting a significant part of the earth's crust: The Laurentian Shield in Canada is a layer of granite rock in Northern Canada which makes it difficult for trees to grow.
3. Popular music which is typically amplified: Sabina and Steve were getting ready to attend a concert of rock at a club in the evening.
4. Used in phrases to say that something is hard, steady, reliable, etc.: Walter works out quite often at the fitness studio, which is why, when Jane touches his arm, she senses that it is almost as solid as a rock.
rock (RAHK) (verb)
To shake or to move back and forth: Ryan's mother started to rock the baby to sleep while sitting in the rocking chair.

The roc was perched on the outcropping rock near the sea and it appeared to rock in the breeze; or perhaps the roc was responding to the rock music from the cafe on the nearby side of the cliff.

roe, row, row, row
roe (ROH) (noun)
1. The eggs or the egg-laden ovary of a fish: Salmon roe was being sold at the fish market.
2. The egg mass or spawn of certain crustaceans, such as the crab: When the lobster was picked up out of the water, you could see the roe under its tail.
3. A rather small, delicately formed Eurasian deer having short branched antlers in the male and a brownish coat: When Jack went for a walk in the woods, he saw a roe just ahead of him.
row (ROH) (noun)
1. An unbroken series or sequences of objects: In the classroom, the desks were arranged six to a row.
2. A succession without a break or gap in time: The football team has won the football title for three years in a row.
3. A tier or line of something aligned side by side, as in a classroom, a theater, or an auditorium: Gary and Eugenia were happy to get seats for the movie near the back row.
4. A range or bank of structures facing a street or a road: Steven and Fern were trying to find the right row of buildings where their friends lived.
row (ROH) (verb)
1. To use oars or a long pole to move a floating raft or other watercraft through water: The crew wanted to row the boat faster so they could win the rowing award.
2. To move something via boat or flat float by using oars or a pole: Carl, the only way we can get to the other side of the river is to row across it.
row (ROU) (noun)
1. A boisterous disturbance or quarrel; a brawl: The opposing forces had a row in the streets the other night.
2. An uproar; a great noise: There was a row in the stadium as the opposing team made the final touch down.
3. Any dispute or disturbance: Goldie got into a terrible row with her husband while they were walking down the street.

There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row the boat, then later, there was another row about how they would divide the roe that were in the row of boxes they had placed on the wharf.

rogue, rogue
rogue (ROHG) (noun)
An unscrupulous or dishonest person; sometimes someone who is also likable: Trudy's father was a lovable old rogue and sometimes even a lying old rogue.
rogue (ROHG) (adjective)
1. Referring to one or many individuals who act independently and use unorthodox methods that are unpredictable and sometimes are likely to cause trouble: People were complaining about how the rogue police were committing criminal acts.

Former Governor Sarah Palin completed her memoir, titled Going Rogue: An American Life about which one reviewer stated that she was the "complainer-in-chief".

2. Relating to a person or an animal that is vicious and uncontrolled and typically lives away from the others: Hunters were looking for the rogue elephant which was attacking other elephants and even attacking the gardens and living quarters of some of the local natives.

Keith, the charming rogue, distracted everyone with his jokes and compliments; no one noticed that he was disguising his true nature as a dangerous political rogue.

roil, rile, royal
roil (ROIL) (verb)
1. To stir or to mix muddy water by stirring it around: Tamika's little niece used a stick to roil the puddle caused by the rain in the backyard, making it very miry and mucky.
2. To get on the nerves of other people or to to upset them: Teenagers often roil their parents as they strive to achieve independence.
rile (RIGHL) (verb)
1. To provoke or to cause an animal or a person to become angry: The gossip Susana read in the newspaper really served to rile her so she wrote a letter to the editor.
2. To stir a liquid mixture until it is evenly distributed: The pharmaceutical directions said to rile the medicine in a glass of water until it was cloudy.
royal (ROI uhl) (adjective)
1. A reference to heads of state; such as, a king or queen: The butler announced that the royal guests would arrive on the morning train.
2. Referring to the service of a kingdom or to regal leaders: David's cousin was accepted into the royal guards which are featured in palace parades.

Nell told Henry that it would rile her if he persisted in treating his lazy friends in such a royal manner. In addition, she told him not to roil her with his silly explanations and excuses.

roll, roll, role
roll (ROHL) (verb)
1. To cause something to move in a circular fashion: When Ralph kicked the ball, it started to roll down the hill.
2. To form or to wrap something into a ball shape: Before tossing the scrap paper into the recycling bin, Sue will roll it into a round fashion.
3. To continually shift one's visual sense organs, frequently in a context of amazement or fear: Adam saw Eve's eyes roll while she watched the sword swallower at the circus.
roll (ROHL) (noun)
A list or record of names or related items: The roll of students' names included many that were familiar to the principal.
role (ROHL) (noun)
1. The part in a play or similar production undertaken by an actor: Helen got the lead role in the romantic play which the drama department was preparing to present to the public.
2. Patterns of social behavior as suggested by one's status in a group: Randy's role at family gatherings was as the wise and kindly friend.

The director called the roll, announcing a role for each participant at the same time. Martin saw his friend roll her eyes when she was given the role of a silly goose. His role required him to roll down the hill.

roo, roux, rue, rue
roo (ROO) (noun)
A shortened term for kangaroo: While Tammy and Randy were traveling in Australia by car, a roo hopped across the road in front of them.
roux (ROO) (noun)
A mixture of fat and flour; usually, cooked prior to incorporating into soup or sauce as a thickener: Janine decided to make a roux so Mildred could finish making the gravy for dinner.
rue (ROO) (verb)
To feel regret, remorse, or sorrow: Ernest and Ingrid were afraid that they would rue investing in that automobile company.

Ivan will rue the day that he signed a contract to work longer for the same pay.

rue (ROO) (noun)
A woody herb plant, the leaves of which are bitter and are included in some medications: When Alisha was ill, the doctor prescribed a medication made with rue and it tasted bitter, but it worked.

Because Lorna was distracted when she was thinking about the baby roo she saw on her trip to Australia, she thought she would rue the day that she tried to make a roux for the soup she was cooking; however, the medicine made of rue was a big help in making her feel better after eating so much.

rood, rude, rued
rood (ROOD) (noun)
1. A large crucifix typically hanging at the entrance of a medieval church: The rood was made of fine wood and was intricately carved by a local master.
2. A unit of measurement equal to 7 or 8 yards or about 63 meters: The gardener thought that one rood wouldn't be enough for his garden, so the surveyor measured off six roods that he would need to plant the vegetables.
rude (ROOD) (adjective)
1. Unfinished, crude: Janine submitted a rude sketch of her planned painting to her teacher for a critique.
2. Not refined, offensive: William's manners were considered rude even though he knew his mother would have told him to be polite when visiting friends.
rued (ROOD) (verb)
Having felt regret, remorse, or sorrow for something: Jeremy rued the day that he moved to the country because he felt so bored.

Willie rued the day that he allowed himself to be persuaded to purchase an "antique" rood. In fact, he figured that he was being a little rude to the merchant when he told him that he doubted its authenticity.

roomer, rumor
roomer (ROO muhr) (noun)
A lodger who rents space or an accommodation in which to live: Tony has been a roomer in that hotel for years.
rumor (ROO muhr) (noun)
A piece of unverified information of uncertain origin usually spread by word of mouth; hearsay: There is a rumor going around that the store is going out of business.

A rooming house is where a roomer spreads a rumor about another roomer.

Debbie heard a rumor that there will be a new roomer at the boarding house where she lives.

root, route, route, en route, rout
root (ROOT) (noun)
1. Typically the part of a plant that thrives underground: When Joe planted the new rose bush, he put fertilizer around the root so it would grow better.
2. The part of the tooth that extends into the bone socket in the mandible: The dentist had to drill in order to remove the infected root in Jane's jaw because she was in a lot of pain.
3. The basics or essential core of a situation: Sometimes they say that money is the root of all evil, but Greg doesn’t accept that as always being the truth.

The full quotation suggests that an excessive "love" of money is the "root of evil" not necessarily "money" itself: "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." (From 1 Timothy 6:10 in the King James Bible).

4. A word origin from which other words are formed: Many expressions have been integrated into English from one Latin root after another resulting in thousands of Latin and Greek roots that provide us with tens of thousands of vocabulary terms that are utilized in multitudes of academic, technical, medical, scientific, and other areas.
route (ROOT, ROUT) (noun)
1. A designated course of travel: Jack and Jill planned their route carefully before starting their trip.
2. A territory to be serviced: The newspaper carrier had an extensive route for delivering the papers in the morning.
route (ROOT, ROUT) (verb)
To direct someone in a specific direction: The traffic control officer will route the tourists the quickest way to the market place.
en route (ahn ROOT, en ROOT) (adverb)
Referring to how someone is in transit: Sally used her "cell phone" to call her mother to let her know she was en route to her home.
rout (ROUT) (noun)
A retreat that is out of control following a defeat: From the hillside, the spectators watched the rout of the army after the battle.

En route to his dentist for a root canal operation, he took a different route than he usually did and he got lost. Instead of stopping to ask for directions, he decided to beat a hasty rout and go home to call and cancel the appointment.

rose, rose, rose, rosé, rows, rows, roes, rouse
rose (ROHZ) (noun)
Any of a number of plants characterized by showy flowers and prickly stems: The rose that Samantha picked for the bouquet on the table in the living room is from her garden.

Shanda bought a single red rose for the vase on the piano.

rose (ROHZ) (adjective)
Descriptive of the fragrance of the flower from the Rosaceae family: Darnell's mother loved a rose scented perfume and so he gave her a bottle for her birthday.

rose (ROHZ) (verb)
1. To have moved from a lying down position to an upright position: When the alarm clock rang, Barbara rose from her bed and took a cold shower to help her wake up.
2. To have achieved a promotion or an elevated rank: Through hard work Dominick's nephew rose from being a clerk in the store to being the manager.
rosé (roh ZAY) (noun)
A light pink wine made from purple grapes, with the skins being removed from the juice during fermentation as soon as the desired color has been attained: Cary brought a bottle of rosé to the party at his friend's home.
rows (ROHZ) (verb)
To move or propel a watercraft using oars: Gisela noticed that Edmond was very athletic and that he rows the boat with ease.
rows (ROHZ) (noun)
Several lines of objects arranged in a straight line: There were ten rows of chairs set up in the auditorium.
roes (ROHZ) (noun)
Several small delicately formed Eurasian deer having short branched antlers in the males and a brownish coat: During Roxana's walk in the park, she could see several small roes run into the shadows.
rouse (ROUZ) (verb)
1. To wake up: Otto was so tired that it was difficult to rouse himself in the morning so he could get to work on time.
2. To create an excitement within a group: The orator was able to rouse the crowd which cheered and applauded loudly.

While Lorri was standing in the park smelling the rose bushes, she saw a small herd of roes appear into the sunshine. Their appearance also served to rouse a sense of curiosity among a group of volunteers who were planting new rows of flowers in the park.

After their work, they went to the local inn and ordered a fresh rosé.

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