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.

roster, rostrum
roster (RAHS tuhr, RAH stuhr) (noun)
An itemized list, typically of people's names: Zoila glanced down the roster to see if her friend had registered for the same lecture course as she had.
rostrum (RAHS truhm, RAW struhm) (noun)
1. A stage or raised platform for public speaking: The carpenters built a rostrum for the speakers at the film festival.
2. A curved shape suggestive of a bird's beak or the snout of some insects: The ornithologist classified the unusual bird based on the rostrum of its nib or bill.

The university president stood on the rostrum and read the roster of students who were receiving special awards at the end of the year.

rot, rot, wrought, wrought
rot (RAHT) (verb)
1. To become morally corrupt or degenerated: On the basis of his observed lifestyle, Otto was afraid his cousin would rot and die an early death.
2. To decay or to decompose: Mirna put the vegetable trimmings on the compost pile to rot so she would have rich soil for the garden in the spring.
rot (RAHT) (noun)
A plant disease characterized by the breakdown of tissue, caused by bacteria or fungi: Jayme had to use a special spray to get rid of the rot on her favorite rosebush.
wrought (RAWT) (verb)
To fashion or to form in an artistic manner: The blacksmith wrought an elegant iron gate for Emil's garden.
wrought (RAWT) (adjective)
Descriptive of a person who is excited or deeply affected: Raymond was wrought with sorrow when he read about the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.

When the newspaper wrote about the political rot that was happening at city hall, Annemarie was wrought with anxiety because her brother was working there.

rote, rote, wrote
rote (ROHT) (noun)
A memorizing process using a routine system or repetition, often without full attention or comprehension: As a child, Noel learned the multiplication tables by rote.
rote (ROHT) (adjective)
Referring to a mechanical routine: Operating the wringer is such a rote activity that Carmelita thinks that she could do it in her sleep.
wrote (ROHT) (verb)
1. To have drafted or formed letters or numbers on a surface with a pen, pencil, etc.: Emmet wrote a thank you note to his aunt for the lovely gift she sent him for his birthday.

The composer wrote his first symphony before he was twelve years old.

2. To have created a book, poem, story, etc. by writing words on paper, on a computer, etc.: Charla's friend wrote hundreds of poems during her lifetime as well as many articles for the local newspaper.
3. To have put information into the storage system of a computer: Elijah wrote the secret formula in code and then he uploaded it onto a separate disk.

Dominick wrote out his new spelling words several times so he could learn them by rote and not be afraid of the spelling test that would be coming later in the week.

rough, rough, ruff
rough (RUHF) (adjective)
1. Regarding an irregular or broken surface, such as a road: The road was so rough that it was difficult for Toby to drive his car very fast.
2. Turbulent, challenging, or difficult: The stormy seas were so rough that even the sailors were feeling a bit sea sick.

When Melodie met her friends in the morning, they all talked about how rough the college examination was which they had written the day before.

3. Concerning something which is unfinished or appears to be crudely executed: The rough sketch of the sunset over the lake was charming and the artist was eager to complete the painting.
rough (RUHF) (noun)
An area on a golf course covered with tall grass that makes it difficult to hit the ball: Darnell hit his drive into the rough.
ruff (RUHF) (noun)
1. A stiff, circular collar worn by men and women during the 16th and 17th centuries: The pictures of Trent's ancestors show them each wearing a ruff around the neck, but he had the impression that the people seemed to be uncomfortable.
2. A frill or collar of fur or feathers characteristic of some animals: Miles could see the male lion had a distinctive ruff around his neck.

The male grouse ruffles his ruff when he is courting a female grouse.

When Lamont was in the rough on the golf course, he could feel that the ruff on his collar had a rough spot on it that was chafing on his neck and which would make a rough spot on his skin if he didn't do something about it.

rung, rung, wrung
rung (RUHNG) (verb)
1. To have caused a sonorous or reverberating sound: Those bells have rung on New Year's Eve every year for 100 years.
2. To have caused a sound by striking a surface: After Harlely had rung the doorbell, he waited for the butler to admit him into the spacious hall.
rung (RUHNG) (noun)
1. A piece of wood or metal that is placed between the legs of a chair for support: Tiara had to get the stool repaired after the rung was broken when her brother stood on it so he could reach the upper bookshelf.
2. A position or level within a group, organization, etc. which is higher than others: Pierre was on the bottom rung of the corporate ladder before he rose to the highest rung on the pay scale.
wrung (RUHNG) (verb)
1. To have squeezed an item so as to remove as much liquid from it as possible: Grace asked, "Bryce, have you wrung out the dishcloth and hung it up to dry?"
2. To have twisted one's hands as an expression of worry or anxiety: Roxana wrung her hands in despair because the call she expected didn't take place.
3. To have created a sense of tragedy and grief: The play was so powerful, Pricilla's heart was wrung with sorrow for the lead actor by the end of the first act.

Aretha wrung her hands with worry when she realized that she had accidentally broken the rung on the antique chair on which she had been sitting.

rye, wry
rye (RIGH) (noun)
1. A type of grass that is grown as a grain and used to make flour or whiskey: The farmer sold his rye to the distillery for a good price.
2. An alcoholic drink distilled from the grains of a plant: Royce went to the bar and ordered rye and soda, which was his favorite drink.
3. Bread that is made from the flour of specific grains: Dorene ordered a ham sandwich on bread made from rye for her afternoon snack.
wry (RIGH) (adjective)
1. Marked by an expression of grim humor or irony: Andria's wry expression made James laugh because her books were noted for their wry humor.
2. Referring to a person's expression which shows both amusement and a feeling of being tired, annoyed, etc.: When Brenna was asked how she felt after winning the marathon, she gave the reporter a wry smile and said, "Tired!".

Grover's very wry sense of humor was enhanced after he had had a glass or two of rye.

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