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

(lists of "N" 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.

nauseated, nauseous
nauseated (NAW zee ayt'd, NAW zhee ayt'd, NAW see ayt'd, NAW shee ayt'd) (verb)
To have caused someone to feel very upset or to have an upset stomach; having induced a person to feel like vomiting: The stale old bread Brain ate nauseated him so much that he felt weak and queasy.

The tainted meat nauseated Patricia and she felt quite sick.

nauseous (NAW shuhs, NAW zee uhs) (adjective)
Pertaining to something causing severe upset or disgust: When Earl smelled the bilge in the engine room of the ship, it caused a nauseous feeling in his stomach.

When the people saw the way the animals were being treated, it made them feel nauseous.

The fumes nauseated Alisa during the afternoon after having breathed in the nauseous vapors from the factory all day.

naval, navel
naval (NAY vuhl) (adjective)
Relating to ships and shipping or especially to military ships: Madeline wore a sharp naval style blazer when she went sailing with her friends.

As part of the waterfront tour, Luis visited the naval vessels which were in the harbor.

navel (NAY vuhl) (noun)
The indentation or bump on the abdomen marking the spot where the umbilicus was attached: When Dina's sister was young and feeling adventurous, she had her navel pierced and now she wears a small ring in it.

Don't confuse your navel or "belly button" with the naval sailors, and other related personnel, who serve their country on ships and other sea-going transportation vessels.

nay; nee, née; neigh
nay (NAY) (noun)
A negative answer or response: When the vote was called, the choice was to shout yea! or nay!

Phillip was determined to vote nay when the question on the ballot came up.

At the meeting, there were six who voted nay and twelve who voted "yea"; so, the measure was passed.

nee, née (NAY) (adjective)
A term of reference to identify a woman's surname name prior to marriage: The announcement in the newspaper verified the woman as Mary Brown, née Mary Smith.
neigh (NAY) (noun)
The vocal sound made by a horse: Aaron heard a happy neigh when he gave his pony an apple.

Mollie heard a distant neigh from her mare in the stable.

Nay, Nay, Nay the horse was heard to neigh: "My rider is Mrs. Smith, née Miss Jones."

negligent, negligible
negligent (NEG li juhnt) (adjective)
Regarding the careless attention to one's duties or responsibilities: Stanley's negligent attitude towards getting to work on time was noted by his supervisor.
negligible (NEG li juh buhl) (adjective)
Referring to something so small as to be unimportant or of no consequence: The crack in the mirror appeared to be a negligible detail in the murder investigation.

The accountant, Trudy Ernest, reported that a negligible amount was missing in the bank's books. She could not bring herself to be negligent and not report it to the bank officials.

nom de plume, pen name, pseudonym
nom de plume (nahm" duh PLOOM) (noun)
A term that applies to authors who do not use their real names: Mark Twain is the nom de plume for the writer Samuel Langhorne Clemens who wrote stories about boys living on the Mississippi River.
pen name (PEN naym") (noun)
The name an author assumes which is not his or her real name: Some women writers in the 1800s used a masculine pen name instead of their own names.
pseudonym (SOOD n im") (noun)
A false or fictitious name: The famous highwayman used a pseudonym so he would not be recognized when he was talking with people at the inn.

The elegant and noble chevalier wrote critical essays under his nom de plume. He thought it was safer to write under a foreign sounding pen name than to attempt to write under a readily recognizable pseudonym.

none, none, nun
none (NUHN) (pronoun)
Not any; no such thing: There were none of Eugenia's favorite chocolates left in the box.

There were none like Chris when it came to being able to swim underwater for a long period of time.

It is none too soon to begin the long drive home.

none (NUHN) (adverb)
In no way, not at all: The jean jacket looked none the worse for having been washed in the machine.
nun (NUHN) (noun)
A female individual belonging to a religious group or order: Nell's sister was a nun who lived in seclusion and translated religious writings.

Goldie has none of the ingredients for the recipe which was given to her by Sister Benedict, a nun who was famous for her culinary skills.

nose, nose, knows, noes
nose (NOHZ) (noun)
1. The part of the human face or the forward part of the head of other vertebrates that contains the nostrils and organs of smell and forms the beginning of the respiratory tract: The nose is capable of perceiving a variety of odors.
2. The front end of something: The nose of the rocket was painted black and white.
nose (NOHZ) (verb)
To discover, to look around, to inquire: The private agent decided to nose around in the library, looking for facts about his client.
knows (NOHZ) (verb)
Used in the third person singular, to perceive directly; to grasp in the mind with clarity or certainty: Gerald knows very well that he should not be acting like that.
noes (NOHZ) (noun)
Negative responses; denials or refusals; negative votes: The majority of the people stressed their noes for the proposal.

The woman's nose makes sure that she knows when she should consider the safety noes about certain potentially dangerous odors.

A nose is a feature that lies in the middle of the face because it's the scenter.

A negativist is what a man is when he noes or no's a lot.

—Evan Esar

Cyrano's proboscis is wise because his nose knows and there shouldn't be any noes about it.

nougat, nugget
nougat (NOO guht) (noun)
A sweet confection which includes nuts and fruit, often chewy: Camille's favorite nougat is made with cranberries and pistachio nuts.
nugget (NUHG it) (noun)
A solid lump of something, typically associated with valuable metals: The gold miner discovered a nugget of gold as big as his thumb.

Johnny found a nugget of solid chocolate fudge in the nougat bar that he bought.

nuance, nuisance
nuance (NOO ans", NYOO ans") (noun)
A subtle or slight degree of difference, as in meaning, feeling, or tone; a gradation: The story that Eric told had very little depth and nuance.

A nuance is a shade of awareness or intent, a subtle variation, as when a poem expresses different nuances of sentiments.

nuisance (NOO suhns, NYOO suhns) (noun)
Someone or something that is inconvenient, annoying, or vexatious; a bother: Having to stand so long in line to get on an airplane is a real nuisance.

That noisy disruptive child was always a big nuisance when his mother took him shopping with her.

It is such a nuisance having to explain the nuance of a story to the listener who does not understand Celtic mythology.

number, number
number (NUM buhr) (noun)
A figure, symbol, or word used in calculating quantities of individual things: Roland was counting one number at a time in order to determine how many items were lost during the rainstorm.
number (NUM uhr) (adjective)
Descriptive of a person being unable or only partially able to feel sensation or pain; deadened or anesthetized more than previously: The gums around Bill's teeth were number than they were ten minutes before.

Rosetta didn't have any more words to say because her mind had a tendency to grow number with each additional effort; besides, after a number of injections, her jaw also became number.

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