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

(lists of "T" 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.

tarp, TARP
tarp (TAHRP) (noun)
A heavy material waterproofed with tar, paint, or wax; especially, canvas or plastic which is used for protecting construction projects, athletic fields, or other exposed objects or areas from rain: "The word tarp is a shortened term for tarpaulin that is used to cover things and to keep them dry."
TARP, T.A.R.P. (TAHRP) (noun)
Troubled Asset Relief Program; a program of the United States government to purchase assets and equity from financial institutions to strengthen the financial sector: "TARP allows the United States Department of the Treasury to purchase or insure up to $700 billion of troubled assets."

At the time of the flood, the staff from the TARP program set up their desks under a tarp that was hung between two trees.

tart, tart
tart (TART) (noun)
1. A small pie typically filled with fruit, custard, etc.: "She baked a lemon tart to take to the tailgate picnic tomorrow."
2. Chiefly British, a prostitute: "The young woman was determined to put her background as a tart behind her and go back to school to complete her education."
tart (TART) (adjective)
Sharp to the taste buds: "The lemonade was very tart and needed more sugar before we could drink it."

The lemon tart was tart to her taste, but she still thought it was delicious.

tartar, Tartar
tartar (TAHR tuhr) (noun)
1. A hard yellowish deposit on the teeth, consisting of organic secretions and food particles deposited in various salts, such as calcium carbonate: "The dental hygienist used a sharp tool to clean the tartar off my teeth."
2. A reddish acid compound, chiefly potassium bitartrate, found in the juice of grapes and deposited on the sides of casks during wine-making process: "During the making of wine, the workers watch carefully for the sedimentation of tartar in the barrels they use."
3. An individual described as having an unpredictable temper (considered informal and old-fashioned): "She was a perfect tartar when she was crossed by her intrusive editor."
Tartar (TAHR tuhr) (noun)
A member of any of the Turkic and Mongolian people of central Asia who invaded Western Asia and Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages: "The Tartar invaders were believed to be superb horsemen."

The old history book described the Tartar as being a tartar in terms of temperament. Perhaps the teeth of the Tartar hurt because of a build up of tartar in his mouth that made him miserable all the time.

taser, taser, teaser
taser (TAY zuhr) (noun)
1. A trademark name used for a high-voltage stun gun: "Whenever a stun gun is used by anyone, it is referred to as a taser which will taser a person; so, the term functions as a noun and a verb."
2. An electroshock weapon that uses electrical current to disrupt voluntary control of muscles: "The stun gun manufacturer, Taser International, calls the effects of a taser a neuromuscular incapacitation."
taser (TAY zuhr) (verb)
To shock someone by using a high voltage stun gun: "The police report noted that the officers had to taser the violent man who was acting in a dangerous manner."
teaser (TEE zuhr) (noun)
1. An advertisement that attracts customers by offering something extra or free: "We saw the teaser that offered to make people a special deal if they signed up for a new credit card."
2. An attention-getting vignette or highlight presented before the start of a television show or at the end of a movie: "A teaser for the sequel appeared at the end of the movie."
3. Someone who harasses another person playfully or maliciously; especially by ridicule and by provoking with persistent annoyances: "The husband was a teaser of his wife about her preference of classical music."

A taser certainly is far from being any kind of a teaser.

tasteful, tasty
tasteful (TAYST fuhl) (adjective)
Exhibiting characteristics of good judgment and appreciation: "The room was decorated in a tasteful manner and was not ostentatious."
tasty (TAY stee) (adjective)
1. Very intriguing or interesting: "The local gossip passed along a tasty bit of scandal about her neighbor."
2. Characterized as being very flavorful and appetizing: "The new soup made of pumpkin and tomatoes was very tasty and was a lovely way to start our holiday meal."

At the banquet, we noticed the buffet was laid out in a tasteful fashion and the chef told tasty stories about each of the very tasty dishes.

tattoo, tattoo
tattoo (ta TOO) (noun)
1. A signal sounded on a drum or bugle to summon soldiers or sailors to their quarters at night: "The officer played the tattoo prior to the call for lights out for the night."
2. A display of military exercises offered as evening entertainment: "When we were in England, we attended the Tattoo at the castle in London."
tattoo (ta TOO) (noun)
1. A permanent mark or design made on the skin by a process of pricking and ingraining an indelible pigment or by raising scars: "The old sailor had a tattoo on his right arm that read 'MOTHER'."
2. A design made on the skin with a temporary dye such as henna or ink: "For the masked ball, we dressed like bikers including having a temporary tattoo on each of our arms."

When we attended the tattoo at the castle in the medieval city, we noticed that one of the bagpipe players had an intriguing tattoo on his leg.

taught, taut, taunt, taunt, tot
taught (TAWT) (verb)
1. To have presented information in a manner for others to learn: "My father taught young people how to read for many years and his pupils were successful learners."
2. To have provided guidance to students in an academic context: "My mother taught grade school for many years before she retired."
taut (TAWT) (adjective)
1. Maintained in good or proper condition: "The captain ran a taut ship and rarely had to go into port for major repairs."
2. Characterized as using minimal detail: "The report from the police was taut and included only the basic facts of the situation."
taunt (TAWNT) (noun)
An insult, a slurring comment: "The taunt uttered by the crowd did not upset the police who were monitoring the parade."
taunt (TAWNT) (verb)
To shout cruel remarks at someone in order to make someone angry or upset: "The gang members tried to taunt the dignified man who was walking down the street."
tot (TAHT) (noun)
A small child, typically too young to attend school: "Her sister's tot is learning to play the piano which is amazing because she is so young."

His mother was quite taut as she taught her tot that it was impolite to taunt other children.

tea, tee, tee, tee
tea (TEE) (noun)
1. An eastern Asian evergreen shrub or small tree (Camellia sinensis) having fragrant, nodding, cup-shaped white flowers and glossy leaves and the young, dried leaves of this plant, prepared by various processes and used to make a hot beverage: "My elderly uncle made his fortune operating a tea plantation."
2. Chiefly British, an afternoon refreshment consisting usually of sandwiches and cakes served with tea or an afternoon reception or social gathering at which a hot drink is served: "We had such a busy day shopping, we just had to stop for tea before we became too tired."
tee, T (TEE) (noun)
1. The letter 't' or something shaped like a 'T': "He used a metal 'T' square when he was completing his drawings of the buildings so he could get perfectly straight lines and right angles."
2. A mark aimed at in certain games; such as, curling or quoits: "The tee was marked under the ice on the curling rink."
tee (TEE) (noun)
1. A small peg with a concave top for holding a golf ball for an initial drive: "My friend always uses a yellow tee for good luck when she plays golf."
2. The designated area of each golf hole from which a player makes his or her first stroke: "The defending champion strolled up to the first tee to try for another major win."
3. A small device used to stand a football on end for a kickoff: "The crowd was quiet when the famous player approached the tee."
tee (TEE) (verb)
A slang term meaning to anger or to irritate someone or people: "He certainly tried to tee her off with his teasing remarks about her game."

She decided to wear his green T-shirt to the tea that was held at the golf course.

This will probably tee the manager off; however, she was able to watch the champion golfer tee off before she left.

In fact, she bought a specially marked tee at the gift shop to commemorate the occasion.

team, team, teem
team (TEEM) (noun)
1. Animals harnessed to a vehicle which are used to move it: "The team of matched bay horses were pulling the carriage of the princess during the parade."
2. A group of individuals associated with a specific task or activity: "The football team appeared to be on a winning streak when they won their fifth straight game."

"She was asked to join her team of colleagues who were assigned to plan the end of the year party for our office."

team (TEEM) (verb)
To join or to collaborate with a group for the completion of a specific task: "We agreed to team up with our other friends to plan a holiday together."
teem (TEEM) (verb)
1. To be filled to the point of overflowing: "The lake seemed to teem with fish and he could hardly wait to go fishing there."

"The sky seemed to teem with rain all day long."

2. To empty or to pour out: "The foundry workers started to teem the molten metal into the forms."

When I went to the soccer game, I noticed that each team seemed to teem with husky and powerfully built players.

tease, teas, tees
tease (TEEZ) (verb)
1. To straighten out a tangle or a tangled situation: "The lawyer tried to tease the facts out of a very shy witness."

"I used my new hair brush to tease my hair when I woke up in the morning."

2. To make someone irritated or angry by engaging annoying behavior: "He tried to make his sister laugh but his efforts to tease her only made her angry."
3. To style one's hair by back combing the hair to make it seem voluminous or full: "The hair stylist started to tease my hair to give it a soft full puffiness in the front."
4. To tantalize but not to fulfill the expectations so aroused: "The aroma of baking bread served to tease her appetite but since she was on a diet, she wouldn't take even one slice of it."
teas (TEEZ) (noun)
Products prepared from the cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis or tea plant: "The store sold several different flavored teas to meet the various tastes of the customers."
tees (TEEZ) (noun)
Small pegs with a concave surface the purpose of which is to provide support for a ball; for example, a golf ball, used in sports: "The golf player always carried extra tees in his pocket during the golf competition."

It seems silly, but the little girl was apparently trying to taunt the golf pegs, or as someone said, she seemed to be trying to tease the golf tees with a variety of teas.

temerity, timidity, timorous
temerity (tuh MER i tee) (noun)
Recklessness, a foolhardy disdain for danger associated with an action: "The high school pupil had the temerity to talk back to the school principal."

"The mountain hikers demonstrated temerity when planning their assent of the dangerous mountain."

timidity (tuh MI duh tee) (noun)
Not possessing courage or boldness: "His timidity made him a victim of many jokes on the playground."
timorous (TIM uhr uhs) (adjective)
Fearful, doubtful: "Her timorous personality was not evident in the fascinating mystery books which she wrote under a pseudonym."

The timorous quality of his personality was surprising because he often demonstrated great temerity when he was enjoying his hobby of bungee jumping.

Perhaps the danger of bungee jumping gave him the courage to try to overcome his timidity.

tenant, tenet
tenant (TEN uhnt) (noun)
An individual who lives in a building, or uses land, on a temporary basis, often associated with the payment of rent money: "She was an excellent tenant who always paid her rent on time."

"Mr. Smith is a tenant on my father's farm."

tenet (TEN it) (noun)
A basic doctrine or foundation of belief that is believed to be true: "The basic tenet of my faith is to be kind to other people."

The new tenant in the apartment below apparently believes in the tenet that quiet people make good neighbors because he keeps the volume turned down when he plays his TV or radio.

tenor, tenor, tenor, tenure
tenor (TEN uhr) (noun)
A musical term describing the highest natural range of the male voice, or someone who sings in this vocal range: "The musical composition called for a tenor to sing the lead role."

"Her brother is a tenor and enjoys singing in concerts."

tenor (TEN uhr) (noun)
The general idea of something: "The first paragraph in the essay gave the tenor for the rest of the composition."
tenor (TEN uhr) (adjective)
Any of a number of musical instruments that have a high musical range: "Her friend plays the tenor saxophone in the jazz quartet."
tenure (TEN yuhr, TEN yoor") (noun)
The time frame during which a position is held, or the status granted an individual in a professional position as an assurance against unexpected dismissal: "My sister has a secure tenure with the board of education where she works."

"After five years, my friend's father was granted tenure as professor in our local university."

The tenor’s tenure with the opera company was cut short by an argument with the general manager and the tenor was asked to leave.

tense, tense, tents, tens, TENS
tense (TENS) (adjective)
A condition or state of mental or nervous tension: "We were very tense because it seemed that we would never get this project completed."
tense (TENS) (noun)
Any one of the inflected forms in the conjugation of a verb that indicates the time; such as, present, past, or future; as well as, the continuance or completion of the action or situation: "Now we are in the present tense; but if we talk about yesterday, we are referring to the past tense."
tents (TENS) (noun)
Portable shelters often made of canvas water-proof material, stretched over a supporting framework of poles with ropes and pegs: "We had to set up our tents before it got dark."
tens (TENZ) (noun)
In groups of ten or ten to a section or unit: "Do you have any money in fives and tens to exchange for this fifty dollar bill?"
TENS (TENZ) (noun)
A technique that uses electrodes on the skin through which intermittent electrical stimulation is delivered for the purpose of managing pain: "The doctor explained the TENS procedure when she was discussing pain management as the result of her car accident"

When this group of Boy Scouts go camping, they usually stay in what could be interpreted as nervous little outdoor cloth shelters which they call tense tents set up in groups of tens.

tepid, torpid
tepid (TEP id) (adjective)
Lukewarm; lacking in enthusiasm or passion: "The tea in his cup has become tepid and had to be refreshed with more hot tea."

"Her tepid personality was a guise for a brilliant mind."

torpid (TOR pid) (adjective)
Sluggish, apathetic; bringing about listlessness: "The heat and humidity created such a torpid feeling that all he could do was to lie in the shade of the trees."

The heat of the day made her feel very torpid; unfortunately, she was unable to gain any relief by swimming in the lake because the water was just too tepid.

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