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

(lists of "W" sections that are organized into what for some people are confusing groups of words)

Words are timeless. You should utter them or write them with a knowledge of their meanings and timelessness.

—Khalil Gibran, mystic, poet, and artist (1883-1931)

If you have any problems understanding the pronunciation symbols, go to this Pronunciation Chart for clarifications.

wood, would
wood (WOOD) (noun)
1. The hard substance that makes up the stems and branches of trees and shrubs: "Kim and her family always keep a supply of wood that is cut and ready for the fireplace."
2. An area of land covered with many trees: "Amanda's house is close to a wood area or forest."
would (WOOD) (verb)
1. Used to indicate what someone said or thought about what was going to happen or be done: "Timothy said he would help Gill with her report by typing some of it, too."
2. Used to express a wish: "Norma wishes Tammy would write more often."
3. Used to say that you are willing to do something: "Alice said that she would be more than happy to help you."

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

worst, wurst
worst (WURST) (adjective)
1. Most inferior, as in quality, condition, or effect: "Heather said this is the worst film that she's ever seen."
2. Being furthest from an ideal or a standard; least desirable or satisfactory: "Well Gary, at worst, you won't lose your driver's license, but you will have to pay a fine."
wurst (WURST, WOORST) (noun)
A sausage made in Germany and Austria; especially, a large sausage intended to be sliced and eaten cold; sausage of any kind: "The most basic wurst consists of meat, cut into pieces or ground up, and filled into a casing; while the meat may be from any animal, it traditionally is pork, beef, or veal."

Worst comes to Wurst is a headline appearing on the cover of the Smithsonian magazine for January, 2010.

The article title says, "Wurst Case Scenario, as Germans turn to American-style supermarkets, the local butcher—a fixture in their sausage-happy culture—is packing it in" by Andrew D. Blechman, page 73.

wound, wound
wound (WOOND) (noun)
1. An injury, especially one in which the skin or another external surface is torn, pierced, cut, or otherwise broken: "The auto accident left a wound in Gregory's thigh that caused pain for several years."
2. A feeling of sadness, anger, etc., which is caused by something bad that has happened to a person: "The mother's scorn and criticism of her son, Walter, left a wound in him that never healed."
wound (WAUND) (verb)
1. To have wrapped, encircled, entwined around a center or another object once or repeatedly: "Pete wound the string around a spool."

"The seamstress wound the waist of the gown with lace and ribbons."

"The doctor wound Scott's injured leg with a bandage."

2. To have activated something; for example, a clock, by turning a key: "Laura wound the mantle clock every Saturday night."

The bandage was wound around the wound on Cheryl's leg.

wrangle, wrangle
wrangle (RANG guhl) (verb)
1. To argue angrily with someone: "You could easily hear the couple wrangle over the money that Henry wanted to spend on the next trip."
2. An informal expression in the U.S. meaning to get something by a clever manipulation or by persuading someone: "Justin's sister was able to wrangle two tickets to the concert for Saturday evening."
3. In the U.S., to control and to care for horses, cattle, etc. on a ranch: "Sandra spent last year learning how to wrangle horses."
wrangle (RANG guhl) (noun)
A dispute that lasts for a long time: "There has been a wrangle in the U.S. Congress about a government run public option health-care bill for more than a year."

How much wrangling will politicians wrangle in order to wrangle a re-election?

wreak, wreck
wreak (REEK) (verb)
1. To cause something very harmful or damaging: "The devastation that alcoholism can wreak upon families is difficult to describe."
2. To inflict revenge or punishment on someone: "Melissa swore to wreak vengeance on Albert for all the cruel things he did to her during their marriage."

wreck (REK) (noun)
1. A vehicle, boat, airplane, etc., which has been badly damaged or destroyed: "Fire fighters pulled Kimberly from the car wreck."
2. Something shattered, destroyed, or dilapidated: "Bonnie's house was a complete wreck after the hurricane struck."
3. A person who is physically or mentally broken down or worn out: "The stress of Edith's final exams turned her into a wreck."

Wreak is easily confused with wreck, perhaps because the wreaking of damage may leave a wreck or maybe because the differences in spelling must be given special attention.

wrench, wrench
wrench (RENCH), wrenches, wrenching, wrenched (verbs)
1. To twist and to pull with a sudden violent movement: "The wrestler tried to wrench free from his opponent's grip."

Phyllis admitted that she has trouble wrenching herself away from a good book."

2. To injure a part of one's body by making a violent twisting motion: "Eddie wrenched his back when he tried to lift a heavy box while his son, Leo, at the same time, was wrenching his knee while playing football."
3. To take something in a forceful way: "Carmen's little brother wrenched the toy away from Kim when she refused to let him have it back."
wrench (RENCH), wrenches (nouns)
1. A tool that consists of a handle with one end designed to hold, twist, or to turn an object; such as a bolt or a nut: "The mechanic used a wrench to remove the nuts on each wheel in order to attach new tire rims."
2. A violent twisting or pulling movement: "Mario snapped the tree's thick root with a wrench of the shovel."

Mike, the auto mechanic, wrenched his wrist when the wrench which he was using could not loosen the tight nut on the motor.

Calvin was trying to wrench the bolts off the wheel rim while he was changing the flat tire when he realized that he had the wrong size wrench.

Once he had the right wrench, with one strong wrenching motion, the bolts came loose and the job was done in a few minutes.

Pointing to explanation of homonyms, homophones, and homographs, etc. Confusing Words: Homonyms, Homophones, and Homographs; explained and demonstrated.

Pointing back to Confusing Words Quizzes, Part AConfusing Words: Units, Groups A to Z.

Pointing back to Confusing Words Quizzes Confusing Words: Vocabulary Quizzes Listed.