Parole inglesi omofone

Posted on 4 febbraio 2009

25


Elenco ordinato alfabeticamente (quasi un dizionario, a tutti gli effetti) di parole inglesi che hanno lo stesso suono ma grafia e significato differenti. Lo si trova alla pagina http://rinkeshsinghal.wordpress.com/same-sound-words/ e lo ripropongo qui.

a lot
(1) many, as in: A lot of people are doing business online today. (2) much, as in: Some people worry a lot about their health.
alot
Wait a minute, there is no such word as alot! It should be two words: “a lot”, if you mean many or much, or “allot”, if you mean distribute.
allot
give out or distribute, as in: We will allot the prizes by date of contest entry.


a while
a period of time, as in: I haven’t seen her in a while.
awhile
for a short time, as in: Let’s stay awhile and talk.


accede
(1) give in to, as in: We accede to your demands. (2) take a position of authority, as in: When did the King accede to the throne?
exceed
to go past a stated amount, as in: It is illegal to exceed the speed limit.


accent
(1) way of speaking characteristic of a particular region or group, as in I speak with a U. S. American accent. (2) emphasize one part of something, as in: Accent your good points.
ascent
upward movement, as in: We watched the ascent of the balloon as long as we could.
assent
to agree, as in: I doubt he will assent to the arrangement.


accept
to agree to take, as in: I accept the terms of your offer.
except
excluding, as in: I knew all the answers on the test, except the last one.


access
permission to go in or to approach, as in: No one has access to my private files but me.
assess
evaluate, as in: When the flood waters go down, we can assess the damage.
excess
more than enough, as in: We gave our excess fruit to our neighbors.


accessible
capable of being approached, as in: The back door is accessible from this path.
assessable
capable of being evaluated, as in: After the zoning law is changed our property will be assessable.


ad
short for advertisement, as in: I placed an ad in the paper.
add
to join or to combine, as in: Please add my site to your bookmark list.


adapt
to change to fit, as in: Newcomers quickly adapt to the culture of the Internet.
adept
expert, as in: She was adept at using graphics to illustrate complex ideas.
adopt
to take as one’s own, as in: Would it be better to make our own rules, or adopt theirs?


addenda
something added, as in: That problem is covered in the addenda to the software manual.
agenda
list of things to do, as in: What is the agenda for the meeting tomorrow?


addition
something added, as in: We toured the addition to the hospital yesterday.
edition
published version, as in: Read the latest edition of the Tax Tips and Tactics newsletter.


adherence
firm attachment, as in: She demonstrates a strict adherence to the rules.
adherents
advocates or supporters, as in: Many people in that country are adherents of the concept of free speech.


adverse
hostile, as in : The adverse weather conditions forced them to turn back.
averse
reluctant, as in: I am not averse to hearing your suggestions.


advice
guidance or counsel, as in: Your sound advice saved me from a terrible mistake.
advise
to counsel, recommend, or inform, as in: I advise you to validate the code on your Web page before you release it to the general public.


affect
to act upon or influence, as in: Strong emotions can affect your health.
effect
(1, a noun) immediate or direct result, as in: What effect does that medicine have on you? (2, a verb) accomplish, as in: He braided the bedsheets to effect an escape.


aggravate
to make worse, as in: Lying to cover up a crime will aggravate the offense.
aggregate
to collect together or total, as in: Charges for a corporate Web site can aggregate into tens of thousands of dollars.


aid
help, as in: He rushed to the aid of the victim with no thought for his own safety.
aide
assistant or helper, as in: The Governor’s aide will hold a press conference this afternoon.


ail
to cause trouble or discomfort to, as in: What ails you?
ale
an alcoholic beverage, stronger than beer, as in: My friend and I will have two pints of ale, bartender.


allowed
permitted, as in: No one under 17 allowed.
aloud
audibly, as in: He read the book aloud.


allusion
indirect or casual mention, as in: No one made any allusion to the scandal while she was in the room.
illusion
presentation of a false or misleading idea, as in: The magician gave the illusion of sawing the woman in half.
delusion
mistaken belief while in a confused state of mind, as in: He was under the delusion that he could fly.
elusion
evasion or clever escape, as in: The embezzlers celebrated their elusion of the police a little too soon.


altar
worship table, as in: The priest approached the altar.
alter
change, as in: Nothing you can say will alter my plans.


alternate
occuring by turns or every other, as in: She works on alternate weekends.
alternative
providing or expressing a choice, as in: An alternative to designing your own Web site is hiring a professional.


amend
modify or revise, as in: It’s time to amend our by-laws.
emend
alter or correct in the text of a written work, as in: The publishers hurried to emend the book before the next edition.


ante-
prefix meaning before, as in: The abbreviation A.M. stands for ante meridiem, meaning before noon.
anti-
prefix meaning against, as in: The anti-American protesters marched in the capital city.


antecedence
act of going before in time, as in: The antecedence of parents to their own children is a fact of life.
antecedents
individuals who have gone before, as in: His antecedents left him a fortune, but he wasted most of it.


any one
whichever unit, as in: You can have any one of these prizes.
anyone
any person whatever, as in: Anyone having information about the whereabouts of the suspect, please come forward.


any way
by a choice of methods, as in: I will succeed any way I can.
anyway
in any case or nevertheless, as in: I didn’t like her anyway.


apportion
divide up and distribute by shares, as in: I want to apportion the money among all the children.
portion
a limited amount of something, as in: He didn’t eat his portion of dessert.
proportion
ratio of one thing to another, as in: The proportion of women to men using the Internet is increasing.


appraise
judge the value of, as in: A professional takes many factors into account in order to appraise your house correctly.
apprise
to inform or notify, as in: Please apprise me of any sudden turn of events.


arc
a curved line, as in: A rainbow is an arc.
ark
a large, flat-bottomed boat, as in: They loaded the grain on the ark and floated it down the river.


are
form of to be, as in: What are you doing tonight?
hour
sixty minutes, as in: It seemed like I waited an hour, but it was only twenty minutes.
our
belonging to us, as in: Please visit our Web site and see our new book reviews.


area
region, as in: What area of the country are you from?
aria
an elaborate song for one voice, as in: When the soprano finished the aria, the audience clapped.


arrears
unpaid debts, as in: We cannot extend you any credit because your account is already in arrears.
arraign
call into court, as in: The suspect will be arraigned next week.
arrange
put into order, as in: It is very important how you arrange the information on your Web site.


assay
chemical analysis, as in: The assay office will test your ore to see how much gold it contains.
essay
a short composition expressing the author’s opinions, as in: Students applying for a scholarship often have to write an essay.


assistance
help, as in: Any assistance you can give me will be welcome.
assistants
helpers, as in: The teacher’s two assistants handed out the tests.


assure
declare positively, as in: I assure you that I will be finished by next Tuesday.
ensure
make sure, as in: Order today to ensure delivery by Monday.
insure
cover by insurance, as in: This company will insure the data on my hard disk as well as the computer itself.


at present
right now, as in: I am designing small-business Web sites at present.
presently
in a little while or shortly, as in: Mr. Gates will be down to see you presently.


ate
past tense of eat, as in: We ate in that new restaurant last week.
eight
the number after seven, as in: Breakfast will be at eight in the morning.


attendance
being present, as in: Part of your grade is based on attendance.
attendants
workers, as in: The flight attendants will be serving dinner now.


autobiography
one’s own life story, as in: I am writing my autobiography.
bibliography
list of books about a subject, as in: Please include a bibliography with your research report.
biography
a person’s life story, as in: She is writing a biography of Marie Sklodowska Curie, the chemist and physicist who with her husband discovered radium in 1898.


bail
security given for release from jail, as in: The bail was set at $100,000.00
bale
a large bundle, as in: The hay was collected together and compressed into a bale.


bare
exposed to view, as in: The bare branches of the trees made lacy patterns against the winter sky.
bear
(1) carry or transport, as in: I bear a gift for you. (2) tolerate, stand or endure, as in: I can’t bear to hear another word. (3) a large mammal, as in: At the zoo we saw a bear.


base
the bottom part which supports that above it, as in: We camped overnight at the base of the mountain.
bass
deep or low in sound, as in: You sing the high notes, and I’ll sing the bass.


bases
(1) plural of base, as in: The Army is closing down its bases in that country. (2) plural of basis, as in: The bases of all his theories were flawed.
basis
fundamental principal, as in: Your accusation has no basis in fact.


bazaar
marketplace, as in: The charity held a fund-raising bazaar.
bizarre
very odd, as in: Her outfit was too bizarre for the workplace.


beat
(1) strike repeatedly, as in: Percussion bands beat their drums at an unbelievable tempo. (2) defeat, as in: Your team will never beat the champions.
beet
root vegetable, as in: The common red beet can be cooked and eaten.


berry
small, pulpy fruit with many seeds, as in: I love berry pie.
bury
put in the ground and cover, as in: If we bury the treasure no one will find it.


berth
a resting place, as in: When we go on the train, which berth do you want, upper or lower?
birth
being born, as in: The birth of our first child was a happy occasion.


beside
by the side of, as in: Sit down beside the fire and get warm.
besides
moreover or else, as in: I’m not hungry; besides, I’m allergic to nuts.


billed
sent a statement of money owed, as in: Would you like to pay cash now or be billed?
build
construct or assemble, as in: You can build good credit by paying bills on time.


blew
sent forth a current of air, as in: The wind blew across the desert.
blue
a color, as in: The editor marked corrections with a blue pencil.


bloc
group with a shared purpose, as in: The measure was opposed by the farm bloc.
block
(1) a chunk, as in: He is going to carve an animal from that block of wood. (2) hinder, as in: The police lined up their cars to block the bankrobbers’ escape.


board
(1) piece of wood, as in : The diver hit his head on the board. (2) council, as in: I’ll make your suggestion to the board of trustees.
bored
tired of the monotony, as in: After ten speeches, I got bored because every speaker said the same thing.


boarder
a lodger who receives meals regularly at a fixed price, as in: To earn extra money, we took in a boarder.
border
boundary, as in: Be sure to have your passport when you cross the border.


bolder
more daring, as in: If you want to be noticed, perhaps you need to be a little bolder.
boulder
a large rock, as in: The road was blocked by a boulder.


born
brought into existence, as in: A new nation was born from the ashes of the old one.
borne
(1) carried, as in: All their belongings were borne on their shoulders. (2) tolerated, as in: Any more outbursts like that simply will not be borne.


boy
male child, as in: Is your new baby a boy or a girl?
buoy
a floating marker in the water, as in: When they saw the buoy, they knew they were entering the channel.


brake
device that helps you stop, as in: When the driver saw the cow in the road, he hit the brake.
break
rupture, fracture, or crack, as in: Don’t play ball in the house, because you’ll break something.


bread
food made of grain, as in: I love to eat homemade soup and fresh bread.
bred
past tense of breed, as in: Some dogs are bred for strength, some for intelligence.


breadth
width or broadness, as in: The breadth of his knowledge of world history surprised everyone.
breath
respiration, as in: Hold your breath while I take the X-ray.
breathe
inhale and exhale, as in: Breathe in that fresh air!


bridal
having to do with a marriage ceremony, as in: The bridal bouquet was made of daisies and wildflowers.
bridle
(1) having to do with horseback riding, as in: The bridle path was crowded this morning with weekend riders. (2) restrain or control, as in: I wish I could learn to bridle my tongue.


broach
introduce, as in: While the boss was in a good mood, I decided to broach the subject of a raise.
brooch
ornamental pin, as in: She wore a beautiful diamond brooch.


bouillon
clear soup with a strong flavor, as in: For the first course I’ll have beef bouillon.
bullion
precious metals, formed into bars, as in: The coach was loaded with hundreds of bars of gold bullion.


buy
purchase, as in: More and more customers are willing to buy goods from an online storefront.
by
through the action of, as in: This Web page designed by P. Sato Design.
bye
short form of goodbye, as in: Bye for now.


cache
hidden storage, as in: Lost in the woods, we were happy to find a cache of food belonging to some hunters.
cash
money paid at the time of purchase, as in: Will this be cash or charge?


calendar
device for showing divisions of time, as in: Mark this date on your calendar.
colander
strainer, as in: Use the colander to drain the noodles.


callous
unfeeling, as in: Drinking and driving shows a callous disregard for life.
callus
hard, thickened skin, as in: I have a callus on my finger from holding the pencil.


canvas
durable cloth made from cotton, linen, or hemp, as in: This fine painting is oil on canvas.
canvass
go around asking, as in: Canvass the neighborhood to see if anyone saw the suspect.


capital
(1) city where the seat of government of a state or country is located, as in: Washington, D. C. is the capital of the United States of America. (2) upper case letter, as in: Writing in all capitals on the Internet is considered shouting, and is rude.
Capitol
building in which the U. S. Congress meets, as in: When I visited Washington, D. C., I toured the Capitol.


carton
lightweight container or box, as in: Please send me one carton of printer cartridges.
cartoon
drawing, often humorous, as in: Dilbert is a popular cartoon character.


casual
informal, as in: For a picnic in the park, it’s best to wear casual clothes.
causal
relating to a cause, as in: The causal forces behind many diseases have not been discovered yet.


cease
stop, as in: If someone violates your copyright, send them a Cease and Desist letter immediately.
seize
grab, as in: The guerillas tried to seize control of the town.
siege
prolonged period of trouble or annoyance, as in: Our family has had a siege of bad colds this year.


cede
yield, as in: At the war’s end, the loser had to cede the disputed territory to the winner.
seed
beginning of a new plant, as in: The seed of an avocado can be planted in soil or water.


ceiling
upper limit of a room, as in: A light-colored ceiling makes a room seem brighter.
sealing
closing airtight, as in: Sealing the containers is important to keep the contents fresh.


cell
small room, as in: She will spend two months in a prison cell for her mistake.
sell
offer for sale, as in: I will sell you my car for $2,000.


cellar
underground room, as in : In our house, the cellar was always damp.
seller
one who offers for sale, as in: Amazon.com is a seller of books in an online storefront.


census
population count, as in: The last census showed an increase in single-parent families.
senses
sound mental faculties, as in: Don’t call me until you have come to your senses.


cent
one-hundredth of a monetary unit, as in: In the U. S., a penny is worth one cent.
scent
odor, as in: The detective smelled the scent of almonds-could it be cyanide poisoning?
sent
past tense of send, as in: I sent you Email yesterday.


cents
plural of cent, as in: His opinion is only worth two cents.
sense
method of perception, as in: Ears provide us with the sense of hearing.


cereal
breakfast food prepared from grain, as in: My favorite cereal is Grape-Nuts; what’s yours?
serial
arranged in a series, as in: I hope they catch that serial killer soon.


cession
act of ceding (surrendering) to another, as in: The treaty included cession of all captured territories.
session
meeting or term, as in: I will take two classes during the summer session.


chews
grinds with teeth, as in: She chews her food carefully.
choose
select, as in: There are many good programs to choose from.
chose
past tense of choose, as in: My son chose a university near home.


chic
stylishness and elegance: “Paris is the city for timeless bargain chic, in almost any category,” says Rachel Kaplan in her shopping guide.
chick
small chicken or bird: A chick pecks its way out of the egg online at the museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Illinois.


chord
a combination of musical tones played simultaneously, as in: His symphony is entitled The Lost Chord.
cord
small rope, as in: Please pull the silver cord to summon the maid.


chute
slanted shaft from a higher level to a lower one, as in: The gravel came rumbling down the chute.
shoot
to discharge a weapon, as in: Don’t shoot! I’m unarmed.


cite
quote, as in: Your proposal will be more persuasive if you cite results of a recent survey.
sight
vision, as in: Our eyes provide us with one sense of sight; our imagination, another.
site
exact location, as in: Thank you for visiting my Web site. Please come back often.


cliche
overused expression, as in: A good business writer tries to avoid using a cliche.
click
make a light, sharp sound, as in: The instructions said to click on the left mouse button.
clique
small, exclusive group of people, as in: I wasn’t invited to join their clique.


climactic
having to do with the climax of something, as in: The villain falling off the cliff was the climactic scene of the movie.
climatic
having to do with climate, as in: The climatic conditions in the South Pole can be described in one word: cold!


close
shut, as in: Please close the door when you leave.
clothes
wearing apparel, as in: Wear your nicest business clothes for your interview for that job.
cloths
pieces of fabric, as in: Use the cloths under the sink for dusting.
coarse
rough, as in: Their garments were made of a coarse cloth.
course
(1) natural development, as in: The doctor said the disease must run its course. (2) a unit of study, as in: She got an A in that course.


collision
crash, as in: Was anyone hurt in the collision?
collusion
conspiracy, as in: The price rise was due to collusion among the manufacturers.


coma
unconscious state, as in: The accident victim was in a coma for six months.
comma
punctuation mark, as in: Use a comma to show where you would normally pause if you were reading the sentence out loud.


command
give an order, as in: That sounded more like a command than a request.
commend
praise, as in: I commend you for the effort in reading this list.


commence
begin, as in: We commence work Monday at 9 A.M.
comments
remarks, as in: I appreciate your comments about this list.


complement
that which completes, as in: As an author, I need input from readers to complement my point of view.
compliment
expression of praise, as in: Sometimes a critical remark is more useful than a compliment.


comprehensible
understandable, as in: I was surprised that the instructions were so comprehensible.
comprehensive
covering a wide area, as in: In order to graduate, one must take a comprehensive examination of the subject.


confidant
someone you tell secrets to, as in: He was always my best friend and confidant.
confident
self-assured, as in: Are you confident you can finish the project on schedule?


confidentially
spoken in a private manner, as in: Confidentially, I am looking for another job.
confidently
firmly assured, as in: You can confidently raise your arms in public if you use a CERTAIN brand of deodorant, according to their television commercial.


conscience
inner sense of right and wrong, as in: Wouldn’t it bother your conscience to lie to your friends?
conscious
aware or awake, as in: The patient was conscious for an hour, then relapsed into a coma.


conservation
protection from loss or waste, as in: We show concern about conservation of bandwidth by making efficient Web pages .
conversation
talk between people, as in: I very much enjoyed our conversation yesterday.


consul
representative of a foreign government, as in: For our next seminar about exporting, let’s see if we can get a consul from an Eastern European country to be a featured speaker.
council
elected or appointed group of people assembled for governing or advising, as in: We’re going to have to take that idea up with the town council.
counsel
(1) give advice or opinion, as in: Volunteers counsel the young people. (2) attorney, as in: I had this contract drawn up on advice of counsel.


consular
having to do with the representative of a foreign government, as in: Phone Wieslaw Czyzowicz, the man in charge of consular affairs at the Polish Consulate.
councilor
appointed or elected member of a council, as in: As councilor for this township, I welcome your ideas.
counselor
advisor, as in: You need a letter from your guidance counselor for your scholarship application.


continual
occurring frequently and regularly, as in: Every night we are disturbed by the continual barking of your dog.
continuous
unbroken, as in: He writes his name in one long, continuous line.
contiguous
adjacent or touching, as in: The contiguous states of the United States do not include Alaska and Hawaii.


cooperation
work together for a common purpose, as in: Many people believe cooperation will help you succeed more than competition will.
corporation
a business structure, as in: A corporation is established by the authority of a state government and exists independent of the people who own it.


core
central or essential part, as in: A good communicator emphasizes the core of the message.
corps
a group of people who act as a body rather than as individuals, as in: She was satisfied to dance with the corps de ballet rather become a soloist.


corespondents
joint defendants in a court case, as in: The bank official and his secretary were corespondents in the divorce trial.
correspondence
exchange of letters, as in: I’m so busy with work it’s hard to keep up with my correspondence.


costume
specialized style of dress, as in: I wore a peasant costume to the Renaissance Fair.
custom
habitual practice, as in: In the United States, business people have the custom of shaking hands when they meet.


courtesy
politeness, as in: Your staff extended me every courtesy during my stay at your hotel.
curtsy
bow with bended knees, as in: When a woman is presented to the Queen, she is expected to curtsy.


credible
believable, as in: Unfortunately, we don’t have a credible witness to the crime.
creditable
praiseworthy, as in: He did a creditable job in winning us that contract.
credulous
gullible, as in: What kind of credulous fool do you think I am, to believe in such an impossible scheme?


critic
one who evaluates, as in: The critic gave the new movie a favorable review.
critique
a formal analysis of a work, as in: Please send your request for a site review to the HWG critique mailing list.


cue
signal to begin, as in: At the meeting, I won’t say anything until I get the cue from you.
queue
people in line, as in: We had to wait in the queue to get tickets for the movie.


currant
a berry, as in: I made some fresh currant jam to go with the biscuits.
current
up to date, as in: The current issue of Internet World has some good information on graphics design.
dairy
having to do with milk and milk products, as in: Our best customer sells dairy products.
diary
daily record of events, as in: I kept a diary when the twins were tiny, to help me remember which baby I fed last.


data
facts and figures, as in: He designed a survey to collect data about visitors to his Web site.
datum
a single fact, as in: We based our measurements on the datum of the boiling point of water. (Note: rarely used outside scientific literature)


deceased
dead, as in: I am sorry to report that our hospital records show that your uncle is deceased.
diseased
seriously ill: The fact that he was poor and diseased never seemed to affect his wonderful sense of humor.


decent
in good taste, as in: Gestures considered decent in one culture may be obscene in another.
descent
going downward, as in: His descent from the airplane was much slower after he pulled the cord on his parachute.
dissent
disagreement, as in: Of the twelve judges ruling on the case, hers was the only voice of dissent.
dissidence
strong disagreement and outright opposition, as in: The government’s oppressive policies led to such dissidence that they were ousted in the next election.


decree
official decision or order, as in: The decree made all the striking workers return to their jobs.
degree
step, grade, or rank, as in: She suffered third-degree burns on her arms rescuing the child.


decry
to openly condemn or ridicule, as in: Those who believe in a democratic society decry tyranny in any form.
descry
to see or catch sight of, often from a distance, as in: When I descry the island, I’ll shout, “Land Ho!” (9/20/2000: Thank you to Mr. John Callendar, CEO of Sirenic, for suggesting this word pair.)


deduce
form an opinion from a solid basis of fact, as in: From the size of these shoeprints, I deduce the intruder was wearing large shoes. (You thought I was going to say had large feet, didn’t you?)
deduct
subtract, as in: Please deduct this amount from my bill.


defer
(1) delay or postpone, as in: We can defer the charges one month. (2) yield out of respect, as in: I defer to my colleague’s greater experience in this field.
differ
disagree, as in: I must differ with you about the meaning of that word.


deference
courteous regard, as in: The young people in that family showed great deference for their elders.
difference
distinguishing characteristic, as in: The difference is that my Web sites load faster than before.


delusion
mistaken belief of a confused state of mind, as in: He was under the delusion that he could fly.
allusion
indirect or casual mention, as in: No one made any allusion to the scandal while she was in the room.
elusion
evasion or clever escape, as in: The embezzlers celebrated their elusion of the police a little too soon.
illusion
presentation of a false or misleading idea, as in: The magician gave the illusion of sawing the woman in half.


deposition
sworn, written statement, as in: Before the start of the trial, each of the witnesses gave a deposition of their testimony.
disposition
(1) tendency to react in a certain way, as in: Pollyanna had an especially cheerful disposition. (2) final settlement, as in: The disposition of my father’s estate took longer than I thought it would.


depraved
extreme departure from what is normal and good, as in: Jeffrey Dahmer was a depraved murderer.
deprived
take away from, as in: He claimed that, during his childhood, he was deprived of any warmth and affection.


deprecate
belittle, as in : Have you noticed that he seems to deprecate himself just so we have to compliment him?
depreciate
fall in value or price, as in: A new car will start to depreciate as soon as you drive it off the lot.


desert
(1) hot, dry, sandy place, as in: Not all kinds of plants can grow in a desert. (2) abandon or forsake, as in: The loyal little dog refused to desert his master.
dessert
end of a meal, usually something sweet, as in: I don’t think I’ll order any dessert today, thank you.


desolate
(1) deserted or uninhabited, as in: They washed up on the shore of a desolate island. (2) miserable, as in: I am desolate that you believed I could do a thing like that.
dissolute
characterized by loose moral standards, as in: The younger son led a dissolute lifestyle before he returned home to his family.


detract
take something away from the value or reputation of, as in: Words that are not properly used can detract from a writer’s credibility.
distract
divert attention from, as in: A blinking graphic on a Web page will distract a reader trying to read text.


device
invention, as in: If your device works, I think you should get a patent for it.
devise
think up a way to do something new, as in: HTML was devised to tell a Web browser how to show the relative importance of lines of text in a Web document.


dew
moisture, as in: It was a beautiful spring morning, and the grass sparkled with dew.
do
make, cause, perform, carry out, act, as in: What shall I do to convince them?
due
payable, as in: The rent is due the first of every month.


die
(1) stop living or existing, as in: The doctor said without an operation the patient would surely die. (2) device for shaping, as in: He used to be a tool-and-die maker before the terrible accident.
dye
color, as in: I think I will dye my hair a lighter shade.


disapprove
view with disfavor, as in: His parents disapprove of his truancy.
disprove
prove to be false, as in: The accused was determined to disprove the charges against him.


disassemble
take apart, as in: It was easy to disassemble the clock, but it wasn’t so easy to put it back together again.
dissemble
disguise or conceal the real nature of, as in: I’d rather be honest about my shortcomings than dissemble or pretend to be something I’m not.


disburse
pay out funds, as in: Do you think the foundation will disburse the funds soon?
disperse
scatter, as in: The security guards told the crowd to disperse or face arrest.


discreet
prudent, trustworthy, as in: A discreet accountant is a valuable business asset.
discrete
separate and distinct, as in: The company is composed of three discrete units.


disinterested
not influenced by personal motives, as in: To mediate this argument, we need a disinterested person.
uninterested
unconcerned, as in: I knew she was sick because she was uninterested in food.


divers
various, several, as in: We have provided divers acts for your entertainment.
diverse
markedly different or conspicuously contrasting, as in: His hobbies are as diverse as whitewater-rafting and needlepoint.


done
completed, as in: Call me when the Web site is done.
dun
demand repeatedly, as in: The collection agency went to great lengths to dun him for payment of his debts.


dyeing
coloring with dye, as in: She is dyeing her hair to cover the gray.
dying
expiring or drawing to an end, as in: We watched the dying embers of the fire. (idiom) very anxious, as in: I am dying to know her secret.


edition
published version, as in: Read the latest edition of the Tax Tips and Tactics newsletter.
addition
something added, as in: We toured the addition to the hospital yesterday.


effect
(1, a noun) immediate or direct result, as in: What effect does that medicine have on you? (2, a verb) accomplish, as in: He braided the bedsheets to effect an escape.
affect
to act upon or influence, as in: Strong emotions can affect your health.


effective
producing the desired result, as in: He has an effective introduction in his presentation.
efficient
producing the desired result with the least waste, as in: I design graphics for Web pages that are an efficient use of bandwidth.


eight
the number after seven, as in: Breakfast will be at eight in the morning.
ate
past tense of eat, as in: We ate in that new restaurant last week.


elapse
(of time) pass by, as in: Three minutes elapsed before her page had completely loaded–too many graphics!
lapse
(1) to slip or fall, as in: When the announcement came, we all lapsed into silence. (2) to lose effect, as in: Your insurance policy will lapse if you don’t pay the premiums.
relapse
a slip backwards, as in: Just when we thought he was going to get well, he suffered a relapse.


elicit
draw out, as in: The band’s performances always elicit praise from the critics.
illicit
not allowed, as in: Illicit copying of another person’s work is punishable by law.


eligible
qualified for, as in: Every person who submits a new word this month is eligible to win the prize.
illegible
hard to read, as in: I have seen Web sites where the text was illegible because the background was too strong a design.
ineligible
legally disqualified, as in: In the U. S., a president who has been elected twice is ineligible to run again.


allusion
indirect or casual mention, as in: No one made any allusion to the scandal while she was in the room.
illusion
presentation of a false or misleading idea, as in: The magician gave the illusion of sawing the woman in half.
delusion
mistaken belief of a confused state of mind, as in: He was under the delusion that he could fly.
elusion
evasion or clever escape, as in: The embezzlers celebrated their elusion of the police a little too soon.


elusive
hard to catch or grasp, as in: The solution to the problem proved more elusive than they first thought.
illusive
deceptive or unreal, as in: Lost in the desert, he saw an illusive oasis called a mirage.


emerge
come out of something enclosed, as in: Out of four candidates, you emerge as the favorite.
immerge
plunge into (same as immerse), as in: Immerge the burn in cold water to minimize the skin damage.
immerse
plunge into, as in: Sometimes we get so immersed in our work, we forget how much time has elapsed.


emigrate
move out of a country, as in: My neighbors decided to emigrate to New Zealand while the children were still young.
immigrate
move into a country, as in: My mother immigrated to this country from Lithuania.


emanate
flow out from, as in : She was so creative that ideas just seemed to emanate from her.
eminent
outstanding, as in: Steven Hawking is one of the most eminent thinkers of our time.
imminent
impending, as in: When she heard a storm was imminent, she backed up her work and unplugged the computer.


en route
on the way, as in: En route to town to sell the cow, Jack traded the cow for some magic beans.
root
(1) underground part of a plant, as in: A carrot is a root vegetable. (2) origin or source, as in: We can’t solve this problem until we get to its root. (3) cheer for or wish success for, as in: Who did you root for in the Olympics?
rout
terrible defeat, as in: The Super Bowl turned out to be a complete rout.
route
a path which is planned and followed regularly, as in: I’m thinking of supplementing my salary with a newspaper route.


assure
declare positively, as in: I assure you that I will be finished by next Tuesday.
ensure
make sure, as in: Order today to ensure delivery by Monday.
insure
cover by insurance, as in: This company will insure the data on my hard disk as well as the computer itself.


envelop
enfold or surround completely, as in: The python slithered forward to envelop its prey and crush it.
envelope
container for a letter, as in: Please send a long, self-addressed, stamped envelope with your request.


equable
even or equal and uniform, as in: Their goal is to create a more equable taxation system.
equitable
fair and just, as in: The injured party sought an equitable settlement.


erasable
capable of being rubbed out or removed, as in: Don’t use an eraseable pen when doing your bookkeeping records, because these records are supposed to be permanent.
irascible
easily provoked to anger, as in: After years of enduring chronic pain, he became so irascible it took courage to go visit him.


especially
standing apart uniquely from the rest, as in: The air quality where I live is especially bad.
specially
given unusual treatment, as in: Look in the specially-marked boxes for your entry blank.


assay
chemical analysis, as in: The assay office will test your ore to see how much gold it contains.
essay
a short composition expressing the author’s opinions, as in: Students applying for a scholarship often have to write an essay.


every day
each day without exception, as in: Every day, he comes home and says, “Hi, Honey. What’s for dinner?”
everyday
ordinary, as in: Wear your everyday clothes to school, and save your finest for special occasions.


every one
each, without exception, as in: I bought a dozen eggs yesterday and every one was cracked when I got home.
everyone
everybody, as in: Everyone at work says to tell you, “Get well soon.”


ewe
female sheep, as in: The ewe was bleating and looking for her lamb.
yew
evergreen tree of the taxus genus, as in: The finest violin bows are made of yew wood.
you
the one or ones being spoken to, as in: I guarantee that you will be satisfied or your money will be cheerfully refunded.


exalt
glorify or put much higher, as in: In ancient Egypt, the pharoah was exalted over his subjects.
exult
rejoice, as in: The winning team went to the restaurant to exult in their victory.


accede
(1) give in to, as in: We accede to your demands. (2) take a position of authority, as in: When did the King accede to the throne?
exceed
to go past a stated amount, as in: It is illegal to exceed the speed limit.


accept
to agree to take, as in: I accept the terms of your offer.
except
excluding, as in: I knew all the answers on the test, except the last one.


access
permission to go in or to approach, as in: No one has access to my private files but me.
excess
more than enough, as in: We gave our excess fruit to our neighbors.


expand
enlarge, as in: One reason for a business to have a Web site is to expand its market.
expend
pay out money, as in: Because they neglected to expend any money or time on marketing their business, they soon went bankrupt.


expansive
broad, as in: Their expansive front lawn was the envy of the neighborhood.
expensive
costing a lot of money, as in: A large front lawn can be expensive when you add up the water bills, fertilizer bills, and energy consumed in mowing it regularly.


expatiate
write or speak in great detail, as in: Please forgive me if I expatiate, but this is my favorite topic.
expiate
atone for or make amends for, as in: She devoted her life to charity to try to expiate the wrongs of her youth.


extant
still existing, as in: The museum has the last extant copy of the manuscript.
extent
the limit to which something extends, as in: The extent of the Universe seems to grow as our ability to make better telescopes grows.


facet
any of several sides or aspects of something, as in: We carefully considered every facet of the problem.
faucet
spigot or tap, as in: The dripping of the faucet kept me awake.


facetious
funny, not serious, as in: His father didn’t like his facetious remarks about such a serious subject.
factitious
artificial, as in: Her factitious laughter didn’t fool anyone.
fictitious
imaginary, as in: This story is completely fictitious.


facilitate
make easy, as in: Computer programs facilitate letter-writing.
felicitate
congratulate, as in: His parents called long-distance to felicitate the happy couple.


facility
(1) ease of doing something, as in: The gymnast showed her facility with the parallel bars. (2) something made to serve a function, as in: Visitors are invited to tour our new kitchen facility.
felicity
great happiness, as in: The trip to the country was a time of felicity for me.


faint
lose consciousness, as in: For a minute, I thought I was going to faint.
feint
pretend to strike a blow, as in: His strategy was to feint with his right hand while preparing to deliver a mighty blow with his left.


fair
exhibition or marketplace, as in: We bought these baskets at the local farmers’ fair.
fare
cost of a ride in a vehicle, as in: I would like to go by airplane but I can’t afford the fare.
fare
experience good or bad results, as in: We’ll see how our business fares with the new marketing plan.


farther
more distant in space, as in: Each day I try to walk a little farther than the day before.
further
additional or more, as in: If there are no further questions, we will adjourn the meeting.


faze
scare or worry, as in: The flash-flood warnings didn’t seem to faze him at all.
phase
aspect or stage of development, as in: Most two-year-olds go through a rebellious phase.


feat
noteworthy deed, as in: Her performance on the ice concluded with a remarkable feat of agility and speed.
feet
plural of foot, as in: These shoes hurt my feet.


fewer
not as many as (applies only to number), as in: Only people with fewer than 10 items should use Express Lanes in the supermarket.
less
not as much as (applies to extent, degree, bulk), as in: There is less chance of misunderstanding if you choose the right word.


finale
concluding part, as in: I had to leave the show early, so I missed the finale.
finally
in the end, as in: After competing many times, he finally won the Gold Medal.
finely
(1) excellently, as in: She stood out from the others because she was finely dressed. (2) in small pieces, as in: For extra flavor add one cup finely chopped onions.


fineness
state or quality of being nearly perfect, as in : This gold jewelry is of exquisite fineness.
finesse
tactfulness or smoothness, as in: We must handle that customer with utmost finesse.


fir
type of evergreen tree, as in: He planted a fir tree in the front yard.
fur
animal hair, as in: My dog has black and tan fur.


fiscal
financial, as in: The fiscal year begins July 1.
physical
relating to the body or the material world, as in: I must make an appointment with my doctor for a physical examination.


flair
talent, as in: You have a flair for the dramatic.
flare
(1) a signaling device using bright light, as in: We used a flare gun to tell the rescue team where to find us. (2) outward spread, as in: I could tell you were mad by the flare of your nostrils.


flaunt
make a showy display, as in: It is considered rude to flaunt one’s wealth in front of others.
flout
treat with contempt, as in: Rebellious youths flout authority.


flounder
struggle clumsily, as in: I forgot my speech and had to flounder around for something to say.
founder
sink, collapse, or fail completely, as in: The iceberg caused the ocean liner Titanic to founder.


flour
ground wheat powder, as in: Make a paste of flour and water.
flower
a blossom, as in: The child handed his mother a flower.


flew
past tense of fly, as in: The birds flew south every winter.
flu
short term for influenza, as in: I can’t come to work today because I have the flu.
flue
passage to let air or gas escape, as in: Don’t block the chimney flue or the house will fill with smoke.


for
a preposition meaning on account of or because of, as in: She was fired for stealing.
fore
at or to the front, as in: Out of all the software makers in the world, his company has come to the fore.
four
one more than three, as in: We have four children in our family.


forbear
abstain or refrain from, as in: I will forbear mentioning his name again.
forebear
ancestor, as in: Most people have at least one forebear they admire.


foregoing
preceding, as in: The foregoing paragraph is about the words forbear and forebear.
forgoing
doing without, as in: To save time, we are forgoing the usual formalities.


foreword
brief and simple introduction in a book, as in: The foreword was written by a noted scientist.
forward
onward or toward the front, as in: Despite the obstacles, he kept moving forward to his goal.


formally
done in a valid and binding way, as in: They formally announced their engagement a month ago.
formerly
previously, as in: She was formerly the mayor of New York.


fort
military post, as in: The fort was surrounded.
forte
something in which a person excels, as in: His forte is design and hers is business, so they make a great team.


forth
forward, as in: She came forth to meet him.
fourth
next after third, as in: This is the fourth time we have met.


genius
person with exceptional intelligence or talent, as in: Only a genius can assemble that puzzle.
genus
kind, sort, or classification, as in: The dog, the wolf, and the coyote belong to the same genus.


gibe
jeer or taunt derisively, as in: I would never gibe someone because it’s unkind.
jibe
agree with, as in: His alibi doesn’t jibe with the testimony of eye-witnesses.


grate
(1) framework of iron bars, as in: Clean out the ashes under the grate in the fireplace. (2) scrape or shred, as in: I will grate the cheese next.
great
extraordinary or outstanding, as in: You did a great job on your term paper.


guessed
decided based on little evidence, as in: I didn’t know the answer to that question on the test, so I guessed.
guest
visitor, as in: Thank you for treating me so well while I was a guest in your country.


hail
(1) salute, greet or call, as in: You hail a cab while I watch our bags. (2) ice shower, as in: We didn’t get snow, but we got hail.
hale
healthy and strong, as in: Astronauts must be hale and hearty people to cope with the hardships of space travel.


hall
passageway or large room, as in: Her office is down the hall.
haul
drag or transport, as in: He earned extra money by using his truck to haul vegetables to the local farmers’ fair.


heal
mend or restore to health, as in: Keep the wound clean and dry and it will heal in a few days.
heel
part of a foot or part of a shoe, as in: I have a blister on my heel from all the walking we did.


healthful
promoting good health, as in: A healthful diet builds strong bones.
healthy
possessing good health, as in: I am thankful I am healthy.


hear
perceive by ear, as in: Did you hear that noise?
here
in this place, as in: She came here to study.


heard
past tense of hear, as in: We heard the news and were shocked.
herd
flock or large group of animals, as in: The younger elephants stayed in the center of the herd for protection.


heir
person who inherits something, as in: The heir chose to put the castle up for sale.
air
our atmosphere, as in: The air quality where I live is not very good.


higher
taller, loftier, above normal, as in: Prices keep getting higher.
hire
employ, as in: The company wants to hire a part-time worker.


hole
hollow place or cavity, as in: The groundhog peeped out of his hole in the ground.
whole
complete or entire, as in: Bread made from whole grains is healthful.


holly
plant of the Ilex genus, as in: We have a hedge of holly bushes on our property.
holy
sacred or pure, as in: The people refused to build there because they considered it holy ground.
wholly
completely or entirely, as in: The company is wholly owned by one family.


hour
sixty minutes, as in: It seemed like I waited an hour, but it was only twenty minutes.
are
form of to be, as in: What are you doing tonight?
our
belonging to us, as in: Please visit our Web site and see our new book reviews.


human
of mankind, as in : Imagination is a human trait.
humane
kind and good, as in: They joined a group of students working for more humane treatment of animals.


hypercritical
excessively critical, as in: It’s impossible to please a hypercritical person.
hypocritical
deceptive, just pretending to be good, as in: It is hypocritical to say tell your children to behave a certain way and then do the exact opposite yourself.


ideal
mental image of perfection or excellence, as in: Pursue your ideal, even though others may not understand.
idle
inactive or ineffective, as in: She works all the time; I’ve never seen her idle.
idol
object that people worship, as in: He donated the golden idol he found to the museum.
idyll
pastoral poem or story, as in: The peaceful countryside looked like it would be a perfect setting for an idyll.


eligible
qualified for, as in: Every person who submits a new word this month is eligible to win the prize.
illegible
hard to read, as in: I have seen Web sites where the text was illegible because the background was too strong a design.
ineligible
legally disqualified, as in: In the U. S., a president who has been elected twice is ineligible to run again.


elicit
draw out, as in: The band’s performances always elicit praise from the critics.
illicit
not allowed, as in: Illicit copying of another person’s work is punishable by law.


allusion
indirect or casual mention, as in: No one made any allusion to the scandal while she was in the room.
illusion
presentation of a false or misleading idea, as in: The magician performed the illusion of sawing the woman in half.


delusion
mistaken belief of a confused state of mind, as in: He was under the delusion that he could fly.
elusion
evasion or clever escape, as in: The embezzlers celebrated their elusion of the police a little too soon.


elusive
hard to catch or grasp, as in: The solution to the problem proved more elusive than they first thought.
illusive
deceptive or unreal, as in: Lost in the desert, he saw an illusive oasis called a mirage.


imitate
try to act like or be like, as in: Most young children imitate their parents.
intimate
suggest or imply, as in: When I talked with her last week she didn’t intimate anything about her plans.


emerge
come out of something enclosed, as in: Out of four candidates, you emerge as the favorite.
immerge
plunge into (same as immerse), as in: Immerge the burn in cold water to minimize the skin damage.
immerse
plunge into, as in: Sometimes we get so immersed in our work, we forget how much time has elapsed.


emigrate
move out of a country, as in: My neighbors decided to emigrate to New Zealand while the children were still young.
immigrate
move into a country, as in: My mother immigrated to this country from Lithuania.


emanate
flow out from, as in : She was so creative that ideas just seemed to emanate from her.
eminent
outstanding, as in: Steven Hawking is one of the most eminent thinkers of our time.
imminent
impending, as in: When she heard a storm was imminent, she backed up her work and unplugged the computer.


immunity
freedom from a natural or usual liability or obligation, as in: Even though he admitted the accident was his fault, the Ambassador claimed diplomatic immunity and could not be sued.
impunity
freedom from punishment of any kind (usually phrased “with impunity”), as in: When the Police Department went on strike, the usually law-abiding citizens broke traffic laws with impunity. (Thanks to Connie Hagar of Riverside, California for submitting this word set.)


imply
point to a conclusion indirectly, as in: Do you mean to imply that it is all my fault?
infer
draw a conclusion, as in: From your tone of voice, I infer that you are angry.


in to
two words, an adverb and a preposition, as in: Even though it was supposed to be her day off, she came in to finish her monthly report.
into
entering or changing form, as in: She drove into the parking lot and found a space.


inane
silly and pointless, as in : Those two students wasted our class time by asking inane questions.
insane
mentally deranged or acting that way, as in: They must have been insane to try to outrun the train.


incidence
frequency of occurrence, as in: There was a high incidence of cancer near the chemical plant.
incidents
events or happenings, as in: Two funny incidents happened at school today.


incinerate
burn up completely, as in: The safest way to dispose of this medical waste is to incinerate it.
insinuate
slyly suggest something unpleasant, as in: To win the case, the attorney tried to insinuate the witness was lying.


incite
motivate, as in: We should incite one another to love and fine works.
insight
understanding, as in: She was a good teacher because of her insight into the problems facing her students.


indict
accuse formally, as in: The Grand Jury has enough evidence to indict him.
indite
write down or compose, as in: The President has an assistant to indite his speeches.


indigenous
native, as in: Koalas are indigenous to Australia.
indigent
poor and in need of money, as in: The county hospital provides care for medically indigent adults.
indignant
righteously angry, as in: People became indignant when the corruption of the local officials was exposed.


ingenious
clever, imaginative, or inventive, as in: He developed an ingenious solution to our problem.
ingenuous
candid, frank, guileless, as in: They grew to love him because of his sincere and ingenuous nature.


inhabit
live in or on, as in: Many rare animals inhabit the island.
inhibit
hold back or restrain, as in: Cleanliness will inhibit the growth of germs.


insoluble
cannot be dissolved, as in: Grains of sand are insoluble in water.
insolvable
cannot be solved, as in: She stumped them all with an insolvable riddle.
insolvent
not able to pay debts, as in: If we don’t increase our sales quickly, the company may become insolvent.


instance
case or example, as in: In this instance, I must disagree with you.
instants
very short periods of time, as in: I looked away for just a few instants, and when I looked back he was gone.


assure
declare positively, as in: I assure you that I will be finished by next Tuesday.
ensure
make sure, as in: Order today to ensure delivery by Monday.
insure
cover by insurance, as in: This company will insure the data on my hard disk as well as the computer itself.


intelligent
able to understand and to reason well, as in: Her answer showed her to be an intelligent young woman.
intelligible
capable of being understood, as in: With my mouth full of food, I was unable to make an intelligible reply to the question.


intense
very strong or of a high degree, as in: I had an intense craving for chocolate right then.
intents
aims or purposes, as in: Although we see other people’s actions, we don’t always know their intents.


interstate
between or among two or more states, as in: Federal laws cover interstate commerce.
intestate
without making a will, as in: If a rich person dies intestate, courts decide who inherits the money.
intrastate
within one state, as in: State laws cover intrastate commerce.


erasable
capable of being rubbed out or removed, as in: Don’t use an eraseable pen when doing your bookkeeping records, because these records are supposed to be permanent.
irascible
easily provoked to anger, as in: After years of enduring chronic pain, he became so irascible it took courage to go visit him.


aisle
passageway, as in: When I travel by air, I usually get an aisle seat.
isle
small island, as in: What book would you wish for if you were stranded on a desert isle?


it’s
contraction of it is, as in: It’s so nice to see you again.
its
belonging to it, as in: The cat licked its paw.


gibe
jeer or taunt derisively, as in: I would never gibe someone because it’s unkind.
jibe
agree with, as in: His alibi doesn’t jibe with the testimony of eye-witnesses.


knew
past tense of know, as in: I knew I should have backed up my hard drive.
new
fresh, original, or not used before, as in: The World Wide Web is a good way for a business to get new customers.


know
recognize, be familiar with, understand, as in: A good designer for a business Web site must know marketing as well as HyperText Markup Language.
no
not any, as in: A business with no customers doesn’t stay in business for very long.


elapse
(of time) pass by, as in: Three minutes elapsed before her page had completely loaded–too many graphics!
lapse
(1)to slip or fall, as in: When the announcement came, we all lapsed into silence. (2)to lose effect, as in: Your insurance policy will lapse if you don’t pay the premiums.
relapse
a slip backwards, as in: Just when we thought he was going to get well, he suffered a relapse.


last
final in a series or the one before the current one, as in: I went to the theater last week.
latest
most recent or current, as in: I haven’t read the latest novel by my favorite author yet.


later
comparative form of late, as in: The teacher came in later than the students.
latter
second of two mentioned, as in: I saw Barbara and Betty this morning, and the latter said to give you her best wishes.


lath
wire mesh or narrow strip of wood, as in: The historical house featured walls of lath and plaster.
lathe
woodworking machine, as in: He shaped the legs for the chair on his lathe.


lay
(1) place or put something, as in: Lay the book on the table. (2) past tense of lie, as in: I lay awake many nights that summer, worrying about him.
lie
recline, rest, or stay, as in: I felt faint and needed to lie down.
lye
strong alkaline chemical solution, as in: It is dangerous to have a product containing lye near children or pets.


lead
silvery gray metal often used in pencils, as in: I need a new lead for my mechanical pencil.
led
was out in front or conducted or guided, as in: Our team led the league for two seasons.


lean
(1) tilt, as in: Lean closer so I can whisper in your ear. (2) thin, as in: The stranger was tall and lean.
lien
legal claim on someone’s property, as in: If you don’t pay your debt I will place a lien on your property.


leased
contracted to use for a specified period of time, as in: They decided a leased car was better.
least
smallest, as in: He gave attention to all the children, even the least.


legislator
member of a lawmaking body, as in: I wrote a letter to the legislator to see if she could help.
legislature
a lawmaking body, as in: The legislature meets in the state capital.


lessen
decrease,diminish, as in: Buckling your seat belt will lessen the chance of injury in an accident.
lesson
unit of instruction, as in: My favorite science lesson was the one about the butterflies.


lessee
person to whom a lease is granted, as in: The lessee must promise to keep the house in good condition.
lesser
smaller in quantity, quality, extent, degree, or importance, as in: After the scandal, he accepted a lesser position in the company.
lessor
person granting the lease, as in: The lessor will be paid the sum of $700 per month.


levee
embankment along a river to prevent flooding, as in : The townspeople felt much safer once the levee was completed.
levy
impose or collect, as in: The government has the right to levy taxes.


liable
legally responsible, as in: When he lost his case, he was found liable for millions of dollars in damages.
libel
maliciously damaging someone’s reputation in print, as in: When the book came out, the author was sued for libel by three different people.


lightening
making brighter or less heavy, as in: Better computer programs are lightening the load for many office workers.
lighting
illumination, as in: I need better lighting to read the small print in this book.
lightning
visible electrical discharge in the atmosphere, as in: Flashes of lightning illuminated the night sky.


loan
something given temporarily, as in: Remember, this book is a loan, not a gift.
lone
solitary, or unaccompanied, as in: The man was the lone passenger on the bus.


local
limited to a particular place, as in: The local people were amazed at the number of visitors to their town.
locale
location, site, or spot, as in: This town would make a charming locale for your next book.


loose
not tight or confined, as in: Someone left the gate open and my dog got loose.
lose
misplace or fail, as in: I don’t care if I win or lose, I just enjoy playing the game.
loss
that which is lost, as in: Even if we didn’t make a very large profit this year, it’s still better than a loss.


made
produced or constructed, as in: We made our own clothes.
maid
female server, as in: The maid served the tea in the parlor.


magnificent
splendid or grand, as in: The prince grew up in a magnificent palace, but he was lonely.
munificent
extremely generous, as in: He gave a million dollars to the school, a munificent donation.


mail
letters sent throught the Post Office, as in: I’m sorry, I opened your mail by mistake.
male
masculine, as in: There are equal numbers of male and female students in my class.


main
principal or chief, as in: My account is at the main office of the bank.
mane
long hair, as in: (Teacher) Can you name two animals that have a mane? (Student) Yes, a horse and a lion. (Teacher) Very good!


manner
way of acting or behaving, as in: Please fill out the entry form in the following manner.
manor
mansion or main house on an estate, as in: He returned to the ancestral manor every spring.


marital
relating to marriage, as in: Marital happiness takes work on the part of both husband and wife.
marshal
peace officer, as in: To make sure the law was obeyed, a U. S. marshal stood at each entrance.
martial
military or warlike, as in: During the emergency, the town came under martial law.


material
fabric, as in: The coat was made of dark blue woolen material.
materiel
equipment and supplies of an army or an organization, as in: We have one department in our company for personnel, another for materiel.


may be
two words (verbs), as in: I may be wrong, but I think the store is closed.
maybe
perhaps (adverb), as in: Maybe we can get a toy for you tomorrow.


mean
lacking kindness, as in: At first we thought she looked mean, but we found out later that she was really nice.
mien
a person’s manner or appearance, as in: She was a woman of dignified mien.


meat
edible flesh of an animal, as in: Vegetarians do not eat meat.
meet
come together, as in: Would you like to meet for lunch next week?
mete
apportion, as in: It’s not up to us to mete out punishment for crimes; it’s up to the court.


medal
flat piece of metal with inscription, as in: My daughter got a gold medal in the backstroke.
meddle
intrude, as in: The parents tried not to meddle in the affairs of their adult children.


metal
elements like iron, copper, silver, or lead, as in: The picture had an antique metal frame.
mettle
inner strength, spirit and courage, as in: The racehorse had a lot of mettle.


miner
worker in a mine, as in: The miner wore a helmet with a lantern on the front to light his way in the tunnels.
minor
of lesser importance or underage, as in: It’s a major offense to sell alcohol to a minor.


missed
felt regret at someone’s absence, as in: I missed seeing you at the reunion.
mist
fine spray, as in: It wasn’t a shower, it was more like a mist.


might
physical power, as in: He hit the ball with all his might.
mite
a tiny insect, as in: Many allergies are caused by the common dust mite.


mode
method, manner or style, as in: This painting was done in the mode of Rembrandt.
mood
disposition, as in: The crowd was in a joyous mood.


moral
good according to a standard of right and wrong, as in: The moral thing to do isn’t always the popular thing to do.
morale
spirit or attitude, as in: The coach gave a pep talk to lift the team’s morale.


morality
goodness according to a recognized code of conduct, as in: For their leader they chose a person of the highest morality.
mortality
condition of being subject to death, as in: People feared getting that disease because of its high mortality rate.


morning
early part of the day, as in: Every morning he eats cereal for breakfast.
mourning
sorrow or grief, as in: The nation entered a time of mourning after President Kennedy’s assassination.


knew
past tense of know, as in: I knew I should have backed up my hard drive.
new
fresh, original, or not used before, as in: The World Wide Web is a good way for a business to get new customers.


know
recognize, be familiar with, understand, as in: A good designer for a business Web site must know marketing as well as Hypertext Markup Language.
no
not any, as in: A business with no customers doesn’t stay in business for very long.


no one
nobody, as in: No one came to the party in costume.
none
not one, as in: None of the children finished lunch.


no body
no group, as in: No body of laws enacted by humans can be called perfect.
nobody
no person, as in: Nobody is mad at you.
official
authorized, as in: Later this afternoon the mayor will present an official statement.
officious
meddlesome or intrusive, as in: She was an officious busybody who made trouble for everyone.


one
single person or thing, as in: The store is located on a one-way street.
won
past tense of win, as in: Who won the basketball game?


ordinance
regulation or law, as in: The city council passed an ordinance against disturbing the peace.
ordnance
military weapons and equipment, as in: The ordnance was stored in bunkers near the airfield.


are
form of to be, as in: What are you doing tonight?
hour
sixty minutes, as in: It seemed like I waited an hour, but it was only twenty minutes.
our
belonging to us, as in: Please visit our Web site and see our new book reviews.


overdo
do too much or go too far, as in: If you overdo your exercise one day, you may be sore the next.
overdue
past the expected time, as in: The library books are overdue.


packed
crowded together, as in: The airport was packed with people trying to get home for vacation.
pact
agreement, as in: The two countries signed a mutual non-aggression pact.


pail
bucket with a handle, as in: The child filled his pail with sand at the seashore.
pale
lacking color, as in: When she heard the news, her cheeks turned pale.


pain
suffering, as in: He took a nap, and when he awoke the pain of his headache was gone.
pane
sheet of glass set in a window, as in: We had to buy a new pane of glass for the front window because the kids were playing ball in the house.


pair
two of a kind, as in: I need a new pair of shoes.
pare
trim the outer layer of, as in: Do you pare an apple when you eat it, or do you like it unpeeled?
pear
bell-shaped fruit, as in: She had a juicy pear for her lunch.


parameter
a variable or a factor, as in: The following parameters serve as guidelines for decison-making by the school site councils.
perimeter
the outer boundary, as in: He measured the perimeter of his property and bought enough fencing material to go around it.


partition
a divider, as in: They used bookshelves as a partition in the large living room.
petition
formal request, as in: She signed the petition to change the zoning law.


partially
to some extent, as in: The dog was partially blind in one eye.
partly
in some parts, as in: The movie was partly based on fact, but the rest was fiction.


passed
moved or proceeded, as in: The parade passed in front of the reviewers’ stand.
past
having occurred in a time before now, as in: In the past, the pace of life seemed slower.


patience
ability to wait without complaining, as in: Teaching children requires a lot of patience .
patients
people undergoing medical care, as in: The doctor visits her patients in the hospital every morning.


peace
absence of war or troubles, as in: She works hard to make her home a place of rest and peace for her family.
piece
separate part of a whole, as in: May I have the last piece of pie?


peak
highest point, as in: They reached the peak of the mountain by midday.
peek
a quick look, as in: Peek in on the baby and see if she’s still asleep, please.
pique
feeling of sharp anger or resentment, as in: She canceled the party in a fit of pique. Stimulate interest or curiosity, as in: If you want visitors to read the words on your website, you have to pique their interest in some manner.


peal
loud, prolonged sound, as in: The peal of the bells at midnight woke everyone in town.
peel
outer covering of a fruit or vegetable, as in: Where can I put my banana peel?


pedal
use a foot-operated lever, as in: As I get older, it’s getting harder to pedal my bicycle up the hill.
peddle
go from place to place selling, as in: The farmer came to town to peddle his surplus tomatoes.


peer
an equal, as in: When it comes to playing the violin, he has no peer.
pier
landing place for ships, as in: We waved from the pier as the cruise ship sailed.


penultimate
next to last, as in: Y is the penultimate letter of the alphabet. According to the Random House Dictionary of 1966, penultimate means almost last, a contraction of the Latin phrase paene ultima. According to my old, old Roget’s Thesaurus (1960), penultimate can mean last but one or last but two. However, in grammar, the ultima is the last syllable in a word, and the penult or penultima is specifically the second to last syllable. I don’t know if, in grammar, there is a name for specifically the third to last syllable. (Thanks to a Sharpe reader for bringing this to my attention.)
ultimate
last or final, as in: The ultimate cost of the project will be over one million dollars.


percent, also per cent
per one hundred, as in: The unemployment rate went down one percent.
percentage
proportion in regard to the whole, as in: Only a small percentage of the people voted for a raise in taxes.


perfect
free from defects or complete, as in: The sweater is a perfect fit.
prefect
high-ranking official, as in: He made an appointment to interview the prefect about the new policy.


perpetrate
perform or commit, as in: Only a depraved person could perpetrate such a horrible crime.
perpetuate
preserve forever, as in: The statue will perpetuate the memory of our hero.


perquisite
special privilege accorded a position or office, as in: A luxury car is a perquisite reserved for top executives of that company.
prerequisite
something required in advance, as in: The Principles of Business class is a prerequisite for Marketing 22.


persecute
oppress or harass, as in: It is unlawful in the U. S. to persecute someone for his or her religious beliefs.
prosecute
conduct legal proceedings against, as in: This store will prosecute anyone caught shoplifting.


personal
private, as in: She didn’t want to discuss her personal affairs in such a public place.
personnel
Human Resources Department of a company, as in: Please take your resume to the Personnel Department.


perspective
point of view, as in: From his perspective, it looks unfair.
prospective
expected or future, as in: The prospective buyer went to the company’s Web site to learn about the new product.


peruse
read all the way through carefully, as in: The head of our department set aside time to peruse the report before making a decision.
pursue
chase or follow for a specific purpose, as in: You must be willing to pursue your goal despite setbacks if you want to succeed.


faze
scare or worry, as in: The flash-flood warnings didn’t seem to faze him at all.
phase
aspect or stage of development, as in: Two-year-olds go through a rebellious phase.


physic
medicine, as in: Grandmother gave him a physic for his stomachache.
physique
well-developed bodily structure, as in: Arnold Schwarzenegger is an actor famous for his physique.
psychic
having extra-sensory mental powers, as in: A person would have to be psychic to predict the outcome of that race!


fiscal
financial, as in: The fiscal year begins July 1.
physical
relating to the body or the material world, as in: I must make an appointment with my doctor for a physical examination.


plain
(1) clear and distinct, as in: The facts are plain. (2) flat, level ground, as in: A famous battle took place in 1759 between the French and English armies on a high plain adjoining the city of Quebec, Canada.
plane
(1) aircraft, as in: Have you ever flown on a plane? (2) a level of development, as in: “The Web is not a social movement destined to raise mankind to a more perfect plane and bring every soul on Earth into a more perfect harmony.” Jim Wilson, VirtualPROMOTE May 22, 1998


plaintiff
in a court case, the one suing, as in: The counsel for the plaintiff made her opening statement.
plaintive
sad, as in: The abandoned dog let out a plaintive howl.


pleas
earnest requests or appeals, as in: His pleas for help brought the rescuers quickly.
please
be agreeable to, as in: If it please the court, I would like to ask for a recess at this time.


pole
long, slender, wooden rod, as in: He got his fishing pole and went down to the lake.
poll
survey of public opinion, as in: The poll shows that your candidate is taking the lead.


poor
not having wealth, as in: The family was poor, but they seemed happy.
pore
to study attentively, as in: Before the presentation, she will likely pore over her notes.
pour
cause to flow in a continuous stream, as in: Would you like me to pour you some tea?


populace
all the inhabitants of a place, as in: The circus entertained the populace with a huge parade through town.
populous
having many inhabitants, as in: India is a populous country.


portend
indicate beforehand, as in: Those gray clouds do not portend a sunny afternoon for our picnic.
pretend
give a false show of, as in: Most children like to dress up and pretend they are adults.


apportion
divide up and distribute by shares, as in: I want to apportion the money among all the children.
portion
an allotted amount of something, as in: He didn’t eat his portion of dessert.
proportion
ratio of one thing to another, as in: The proportion of women to men using the Internet is increasing.


practicable
workable or feasible, as in: I do not believe your plan is at all practicable.
practical
useful, based on past performance, as in: She is interested in the practical applications of your idea.


pray
entreat or call upon a higher power, as in: Many people pray before eating a meal.
prey
victimize, as in: Confidence men and women prey on unwary, trusting people.


precede
to go or come before, as in: The bridesmaids will precede the bride down the aisle at the wedding.
proceed
move ahead, as in: After a short intermisssion, we will proceed with the show.


precedence
act of coming before, as in: The need for safety took precedence over everything else.
precedents
actions that serve as patterns for future actions, as in: The judge could find no precedents that would allow him to find the defendant innocent.


preposition
part of speech that shows relationship between a noun or pronoun and another word, as in: The word for is a preposition that originally meant on account of, instead of, or because of.
proposition
proposal, offer, or suggestion, as in: We gave them our proposition and they accepted it on the spot.


prescribe
give as a direction to be followed, as in: Perhaps the doctor will prescribe a short period of rest for you.
proscribe
prohibit or condemn, as in: Most cultures proscribe stealing.


presence
state of being at a specific place, as in: Your presence is requested at the wedding of our daughter.
presents
gifts, as in: To show how happy she was, she bought presents for all her friends.


presentiment
premonition, as in: He had a strong presentiment that the deal was about to fall through.
presentment
offering of a note or bill of exchange for acceptance or payment, as in: We will be happy to pay you upon presentment of a properly signed bill of exchange.


presently
soon, as in: My father will come down presently.
at present
now, as in: I’m afraid that I don’t have enough money at present to make you a loan.


principal
head of a school, main person, or amount of money borrowed, as in: Interest will be charged on the principal at the rate of 6.9 percent.
principle
fundamental law or basic truth, as in: The Golden Rule is the principle that you should treat other people the way you’d like to be treated.


profit
amount left after all costs of a business are paid, as in: To grant you a loan, the bank will want a Profit and Loss statement.
prophet
one who foretells the future or interprets divine will, as in: Jeremiah is a prophet named in the Bible who was persecuted for his beliefs.


prophecy
prediction, as in: Constantly calling a child stupid can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
prophesy
tell beforehand what is going to happen, as in: No one can prophesy with accuracy how the economy will be a year from now.


propose
suggest or plan, as in: I propose to increase revenue by 100 percent in three months.
purpose
result or goal that is desired, as in: The purpose of my call is to tell you about our new product.
cue
signal to begin, as in: At the meeting, I won’t say anything until I get the cue from you.
queue
people in line, as in: We had to wait in the queue to get tickets for the movie.


quiet
not noisy, as in: I need to find a quiet place to study.
quit
discontinue or resign, as in: She wants to quit her job but she can’t afford it.
quite
completely or to a considerable degree, as in: Are you quite sure that the door is locked?


rain
water falling as drops from the sky, as in: The game had to be canceled because of rain.
reign
rule as a monarch, as in: The U. S. Declaration of Independence was written during the reign of King George III of England.
rein
leather strap attached to the bridle of a horse, as in: To tell the horse you want to turn right, give a gentle pull on the right rein.


raise
lift or elevate, as in: She was so eager to give the answer, she forgot to raise her hand.
rays
narrow beams of light, as in: The rays of sunlight through the blinds woke me up early this morning.
raze
demolish, as in: The town council voted to raze the factory and put in a park.


rap
knock or tap sharply, as in: Rap on the door again; I’m sure someone’s home.
wrap
to put a cover around something, as in: Be sure to wrap the baby warmly in this cold weather.


rappel
technique used to descend a vertical surface by rope, the speed being controlled by friction between the rope and a braking device, as in: The coordination of arms and legs is essential in rappel.
repel
ward off or keep away; drive back: as in: This garlic cream is sure to repel insects and humans. (Thanks to Keir Davis of Essex Two Incorporated, Chicago, Illinois, for suggesting this sound-alike word pair)


read
understand something written, as in: When all else fails, read the instruction manual.
read
past tense of to read, as in: I read the letter again to make sure I hadn’t misunderstood.
reed
tall grass found in marshes or part of a musical instrument, as in: I need to buy a new reed for my clarinet.
red
a color, as in: The teacher circled the mistakes with a red pencil.


real
actual, true, or genuine, as in: I wonder if her necklace is made of real pearls?
reel
wind up a line, as in: When the fish gets tired you can reel it in.


really
actually or truly, as in: That was a great story, but now tell me what really happened.
reality
fact, as in: He awoke from an unpleasant dream, happy to find it wasn’t reality.
realty
land and buildings on it, as in: We are going to the realty office to look at listings for new homes.


receipt
written record of something received, as in: Here is a receipt for the money you paid me.
recipe
ingredients and directions for making a food or drink item, as in: I wish he would give me his recipe for meat loaf.


recent
just before now or of a time not long past, as in: The most recent news I heard is that the deal will go through.
resent
feel bitterness toward, as in: I resent being called a dummy.


reference
(1) a direction of attention to, as in: He made a brief reference to your last letter. (2) a book used for helpful information, as in: I hope you have found this reference list useful.
reverence
deepest respect, as in: In many cultures, reverence is shown to elderly people.


elapse
(of time) pass by, as in: Three minutes elapsed before her page had completely loaded–too many graphics!
lapse
(1) to slip or fall, as in: When the announcement came, we all lapsed into silence. (2) to lose effect, as in: Your insurance policy will lapse if you don’t pay the premiums.
relapse
a slip backwards, as in: Just when we thought he was going to get well, he suffered a relapse.


residence
place where one lives, as in: The suspect left his residence around noon.
residents
inhabitants, as in: The residents of the little town were sad to see the visitors leave.


respectably
properly and decently, as in: The two young ladies were very respectably dressed.
respectfully
courteously and with respect, as in: I respectfully submit my resignation.
respectively
in the same order as the preceding, as in: Jane Nguyen and Maria Lopez are, respectively, the CEO and Chairman of the Board.


retch
to try to vomit, as in: The awful smell made me retch.
wretch
a pitiful or despised person, as in: I’d like to get my hands on the wretch who robbed the blind old man.


right
correct or accurate, as in: Careful writers strive to use the right word.
rite
customary and solemn ritual or ceremony, as in: The rite of baptism is taken very seriously in many faiths.
wright
someone who makes or repairs something, usually in combinations, as in: My grandfather was a shipwright and my grandson is a playwright.
write
to mark letters or symbols on a surface with a tool, as in: Class, I want you each to write your name on the top of your paper.


role
position or function, as in: What will be my role in the new company?
roll
(1) move by wheels, as in: Roll this car forwards. (2) piece of bread, as in: I’d like a buttered roll with my soup. (3) list of names, as in: The teacher forgot to take roll today.


en route
on the way, as in: En route to town to sell the cow, Jack traded the cow for some magic beans.
root
(1) underground part of a plant, as in: A carrot is a root vegetable. (2) origin or source, as in: We can’t solve this problem until we get to its root. (3) cheer for or wish success for, as in: Who did you root for in the Olympics?
rout
terrible defeat, as in: The Super Bowl turned out to be a complete rout.
route
a path which is planned and followed regularly, as in: I’m thinking of supplementing my salary with a newspaper route.


rote
unthinking routine, as in: Foreign languages used to be taught by the rote method.
wrote
past tense of to write, as in: I wrote to the company last week but I haven’t received any answer yet.


sail
canvas sheet attached to a boat, as in: The sail caught the wind and we went speeding across the lake.
sale
transfer of ownership for a price, as in: Everything on this counter is for sale.


scene
place where something happened, as in: The detectives roped off the scene of the crime.
seen
past participle of to see, as in: Have you seen today’s newspaper?


cent
one-hundredth of a monetary unit, as in: In the U. S., a penny is worth one cent.
scent
odor, as in: The detective smelled the scent of almonds-could it be cyanide poisoning?
sent
past tense of send, as in: I sent you Email yesterday.


cents
plural of cent, as in: His opinion is only worth two cents.
scents
uses the sense of smell, as in: A herd of zebras will flee if it scents a predator.
sense
method of perception, as in: Ears provide us with the sense of hearing.


ceiling
upper limit of a room, as in: A light-colored ceiling makes a room seem brighter.
sealing
closing airtight, as in: Sealing the containers is important to keep the contents fresh.


seam
line formed by joining two edges, as in: Every seam bulged when he tried on his old army uniform.
seem
appear to be, as in: The children seem to be healthy.


cede
yield, as in: At the war’s end, the loser had to cede the disputed territory to the winner.
seed
beginning of a new plant, as in: The seed of an avocado can be planted in soil or water.


cease
stop, as in: If someone violates your copyright, send them a Cease and Desist letter immediately.
seize
grab, as in: The guerillas tried to seize control of the town.
siege
prolonged period of trouble or annoyance, as in: Our family has had a siege of bad colds this year.


cell
small room, as in: She will spend two months in a prison cell for her mistake.
sell
offer for sale, as in: I will sell you my car for $2,000.


cellar
underground room, as in : In our house, the cellar was always damp.
seller
one who offers for sale, as in: Amazon.com is a seller of books in an online storefront.


census
population count, as in: The last census showed an increase in single-parent families.
senses
sound mental faculties, as in: Don’t call me until you have come to your senses.


serge
a kind of fabric, as in: I think I’ll wear my navy blue serge suit to the meeting.
surge
a strong forward movement, as in: When the doors opened there was a surge in the crowd.


cereal
breakfast food prepared from grain, as in: My favorite cereal is Grape-Nuts; what’s yours?
serial
arranged in a series, as in: I hope they catch that serial killer soon.


serve
take care of people, as in: Our mission is to serve clients by designing a Web site their customers will like.
service
take care of equipment, as in: We will service your machine for one whole year at no extra charge.


cession
act of ceding (surrendering) to another, as in: The treaty included cession of all captured territories.
session
meeting or term, as in: I will take two classes during the summer session.


set
place something somewhere, as in: You may set the package on the counter.
sit
be seated, as in: Please, sit here by me and tell me about your new job.


sew
stitch, as in: The ability to sew my own clothes has saved me a lot of money.
so
in such a manner or very much, as in: I am so tired I must lie down.
sow
scatter seed, as in: Farmers will reap the same type of crop that they sow.


shear
cut off, as in: It is time for us to shear the wool from the sheep.
sheer
(1) transparent, as in: Women usually wear sheer hosiery in warm weather. (2) pure, unmixed with anything else, as in: That was an act of sheer stupidity!


shone
past tense of shine, as in: Yesterday, the sun shone, but today it’s rainy.
shown
past participle of show, as in: Smoking has been shown to be bad for your health.


chute
slanted shaft from a higher level to a lower one, as in: The gravel came rumbling down the chute.
shoot
to discharge a weapon, as in: Don’t shoot! I’m unarmed.


cite
quote, as in: Your proposal will be more persuasive if you cite results of a recent survey.
sight
vision, as in: Our eyes provide us with one sense of sight; our imagination, another.
site
exact location, as in: Thank you for visiting my Web site. Please come back again.


simple
uncomplicated, as in: She likes to wear simple styles in beautiful colors and patterns.
simplistic
overly simplified, as in: The drug problem hasn’t been solved by simplistic slogans like “Just say no”.


sleight
skill and dexterity, as in: Magicians use sleight of hand to make illusions seem real.
slight
slender, as in: The weather forecaster predicted a slight chance of rain.


soar
fly upward, as in: We watched the eagle soar into the sky and disappear.
sore
painful, as in: I went for a long walk and came home with sore feet.


soared
flew upward or rose very high, as in: Their spirits soared when they heard about the award they received.
sword
a long, pointed weapon, as in: The knight buckled on his sword and went to the battle.


sole
(1) bottom part of the foot or shoe, as in: I have a hole in the sole of my shoe. (2) only one, as in: She is the sole proprietor of her business.
soul
person, as in: Not a soul was in the office when I arrived this morning.


soluble
capable of being dissolved in another substance, as in: Salt is soluble in water.
solvable
capable of being solved or explained, as in: I’m sure this problem is solvable if we work on it as a team.


some
any part of, as in: Would you like some of my cookies?
sum
the total of, as in: The sum of one and one is two.


some one
any person in a named group, as in: Some one of the officers is going to have to tell her.
someone
somebody, as in: Someone is going to have to tell her.


some time
a period of time, as in: I will need some time to think over your offer.
sometime
at an unspecified time, as in: We must have lunch sometime.
sometimes
now and then, as in: I love my work, but sometimes I need a rest to restore my creativity.


son
male child, as in: He brought his son and daughter to work today to teach them about our industry.
sun
star that provides heat and light to the earth, as in: Too much exposure to the sun can damage skin.


spacious
roomy, as in: She invited me into her spacious living room.
specious
counterfeit, as in: Be careful, he is known for using specious arguments to back up his claims.


especially
standing apart uniquely from the rest, as in: The air quality where I live is especially bad.
specially
given unusual treatment, as in: Look in the specially-marked boxes for your entry blank.


staid
conservative or sedate, as in: She became increasingly staid as she grew older.
stayed
past tense of stay, as in: Her parents stayed by her side through all the trouble.


stair
a step, as in: The carpet is loose on that first stair.
stare
gaze fixedly, as in: I asked him what was wrong, but all I got in response was a vacant stare.


stake
strong stick or post, as in: A young tree may be tied to a stake for support.
steak
a slice of meat or fish, as in: We went out for dinner and he ordered steak.


stationary
in the same place, as in: In the ancient past, people believed the earth was stationary and that the sun revolved around it.
stationery
writing paper and envelopes, as in: A resume should be on fine stationery.


statue
carved or molded image, as in: There is a statue of a famous war hero in the town square.
stature
height or uprightness, as in: My father was a man of average stature.
statute
a law, as in: The statute of limitations has passed for that particular crime.


steal
commit a theft, as in: The burglars came to steal the diamond.
steel
alloy of iron noted for strength, as in: Superman is also called “the man of steel.”


straight
not crooked, as in: The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.
strait
narrow waterway, as in: To get from the state of Washington, in the U. S., to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, in Canada, we crossed the Juan De Fuca Strait by ferry.
straits
distressing situation, as in: If we don’t get that bank loan, we will be in dire financial straits.


suit
(1) a legal action, as in: They brought a class-action suit against the tobacco companies. (2) a matched set of clothes, as in: He bought a business suit. (3) meet the requirements of, as in: This will suit our needs.
suite
matched furniture or connected rooms, as in: We made reservations for a suite of rooms at the hotel.
sweet
pleasant like sugar or honey, as in: I feel like having something sweet to eat-maybe I’ll have some fruit.


tacked
used a small nail with broad, flat head, as in: He tacked the message up on the corkboard.
tact
diplomacy, as in: This difficult situation must be handled with tact and sensitivity.


tail
last part, as in: The veterinarian examined the dog from head to tail.
tale
story, as in: I loved hearing my mother tell me the tale about how she came to the U. S.


tare
(1) a plant used as forage or a cover crop, as in: We’ll need another bag of tare seed. (2) deduction from the gross weight to allow for the weight of the container, as in: The tare weight of the vehicle is 2,000 lbs.
tear
rip, as in: The letter made me so angry I wanted to tear it into little pieces.
tear
drop of fluid from the eye, as in: The police used tear gas to subdue the bank robbers.
tier
layer or row of a vertical arrangement, as in: We sat in the top tier of seats in the stadium.


taught
past tense of teach, as in: The experience taught him to always read the fine print.
taut
stretched tight, as in: The rope was pulled taut between the two poles.


team
a group working together in a united action, as in: Our team project is almost completed.
teem
be full, as in: The lakes in that region teem with all kinds of fish.


tenant
one who holds the right to occupy a place, as in: The previous tenant of this apartment was a doctor.
tenet
a rule or part of a body of doctrine, as in: The sanctity of marriage is an important tenet of her faith.


than
a conjunction in sentences involving comparison, as in: Our product is no more expensive than theirs.
then
at that time or in that case, as in: If you agree that my skills and experience are what you need to do this job, then let’s draw up the contract.


their
belonging to them, as in: In my opinion, their Web site is attractive, but takes too long to load.
there
in that place, as in: Set the box there on the counter.
they’re
contraction of they are, as in: She said they’re coming for dinner next Monday night.


theirs
belong to them, used when no noun follows, as in: There can be no doubt the money is theirs.
there’s
contraction of there is, as in: The evidence is clear, so there’s no use denying it.


thorough
not leaving anything out, as in: The police conducted a thorough search of the apartment looking for clues.
threw
past tense of throw, as in: The news threw the whole office into a panic.
through
from the beginning of to the end of, as in: I walked through the store on my lunch hour, but I didn’t find what I wanted.


throes
pangs or struggles, as in: Please forgive us; we’re in the throes of remodeling our store.
throws
puts, hurls, or flings, as in: The news of the merger throws a new light on his recent departure.


to
toward, as in: I am going to the store.
too
in addition or very much, as in: You are too kind.
two
the number after one, as in: The two candidates for the job are evenly matched.


tortuous
twisting, as in: The cabin is reached by a tortuous mountain road.
torturous
full of torture, as in: I can’t come in to work today; I have a torturous toothache.


tracked
followed traces of or the path of, as in: They tracked the mistake back to the accounting department.
tract
region, as in: Our tract of homes was originally called Sycamore Hills and contained 42 houses but no sycamore trees.


trail
path or remnants of passage, as in: Her journey through life left a trail of broken promises.
trial
time of testing or judging, as in: We offer a free one-month trial period so you can see what benefits our service will bring you.
penultimate
second to the last, as in: Y is the penultimate letter of the alphabet.
ultimate
the very last, as in: The ultimate cost of the project will be over one million dollars.


undo
cancel or reverse what has been done, as in: Thank you for pointing out my mistake so I can undo it.
undue
beyond what is appropriate, as in: The court voided the contract, ruling that the attorney exerted undue influence on his client.


disinterested
not influenced by personal motives, as in: To mediate this argument, we need a disinterested person.
uninterested
unconcerned, as in: I knew she was sick because she was uninterested in food.


urban
relating to a city or city life, as in: She is a specialist in urban planning.
urbane
refined and sophisticated, as in: Years in the foreign diplomatic service gave him urbane manners.


vain
ineffective, as in: We worked all night in a vain attempt to meet the deadline.
vein
(1) blood vessel, as in: They had a hard time finding a vein to draw blood. (2) mineral deposit, as in: A vein of silver was found in the mine. (3) mood or tendency, as in: Her stories are written in a humorous vein.


vale
valley, as in: I wonder if the city of Sunnyvale, California, is really a sunny vale?
veil
covering or curtain, as in: She wore a heavy veil to conceal her puffy, red eyes.


veracity
truthfulness, as in: We’re asking you what happened, because you have a reputation for veracity.
voracity
eagerness or great hunger, as in: She loves mystery books so much that she reads them with voracity.


vice
badness, defect or fault, as in: He was a lover of vice rather than a lover of virtue.
vise
tool having two jaws that are tightened by a screw mechanism, as in: My headache made me feel like my head was being squeezed in a vise.


wail
to cry loudly, expressing sorrow, as in: The baby started to wail when Mother left the room.
whale
to hit or beat, as in: In times past, a teacher might threaten to whale an unruly student. “I’m a dutch-speaking Belgian user of this site, but I always thought that a whale was a rather big fish with a particular appetite for Jonah’s …With kind regards, Stefan Van pellicom”


waist
that part of a human body between the ribs and the hips, as in: She wore a red belt around her waist.
waste
act of squandering, as in: For the sake of our budget, we must cut down on waste in this office.


wait
period of expectation, as in: Dinner took a long time, but it was well worth the wait.
weight
heaviness, as in: It feels good to sit down and take the weight off my feet.


waive
to give up something you are entitled to, as in: We will waive the application fee if you sign up now.
wave
to signal by bending your hand up and down, as in: We will wave our hands when the coast is clear. (Thanks to word-lover Chris Maddox, who gets letters from her bank saying they will wave the fee)


waiver
voluntary relinquishment of a right, as in: The university gave him a waiver for the payment of tuition.
waver
go back and forth on a decision, as in: We must decide today–there’s no more time to waver.


want
have a desire for, as in: Children want to be loved and cared for.
wont
customary practice or habit, as in: It was his wont to stay late at the office.
won’t
contraction meaning will not, as in: The boss called, saying he won’t be in until ten.


ware
article of merchandise, as in: I saw all the new software at Spring Internet World.
wear
clothes, as in: She was prepared for the weather in her stylish red rainwear.


way
course of action or manner, as in: There must be a better way to learn this lesson.
weigh
measure the heaviness of, as in: It’s a good idea to use the same scale each time you weigh yourself.


weak
having little strength, as in: She felt weak because she hadn’t eaten all day.
week
period of seven days, as in: Let’s have lunch a week from today.


weather
climate, as in: San Diego, California, is famous for nice weather.
whether
conjunction before the first of two choices, as in: I can’t decide whether I want to sell the property or keep it.


which
what one, as in: Which Web browser do you use?
witch
woman claiming to have magical powers, as in: The witch gave them herbs.


whine
a high-pitched sound, as in: Just about every parent cringes when they hear, “I’m bored” in that whine that sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard.
wine
wine is the naturally fermented juice of fresh fruit or berries, as in: Even for wine experts, a common problem is the impoverished language we have for describing tastes and smells. A large part of the wine taster’s skill comes from being able to develop some sort of classification system and then to associate words/categories with smells–olfaction researcher Professor Tim Jacob of Cardiff University. Thanks to word-lover Rabiatul Kamit for suggesting this word pair, May 2002


who ever
who as a pronoun and ever as an adverb, as in: Who ever comes to this deserted place?
whoever
anyone who, as in: Whoever wants this book can have it.


holly
plant of the Ilex genus, as in: We have a hedge of holly bushes on our property.
holy
sacred or pure, as in: The people refused to build there because they considered it holy ground.
wholly
completely or entirely, as in: The company is wholly owned by one family.


who’s
contraction of who is or who has, as in: Who’s been eating my porridge?
whose
belonging to who, as in: I’m not sure whose shoes are these?


one
single person or thing, as in: The store is locatedon a one-way street.
won
past tense of win, as in: Who won the basketball game?


wood
lumber, as in: The book said wood floors look nice and last a long time.
would
auxiliary verb used to express a condition, futurity, preference, intention, longing, probability, a request, habitual action, or uncertainty, as in: I would go with you if I could.


rap
knock or tap sharply, as in: Rap on the door again; I’m sure someone’s home.
wrap
to put a cover around something, as in: Be sure to wrap the baby warmly in this cold weather.


retch
to try to vomit, as in: The awful smell made me retch.
wretch
a pitiful or despised person, as in: I’d like to get my hands on the wretch who robbed the blind old man.


right
correct or accurate, as in: Careful writers strive to use the right word.
rite
customary and solemn ritual or ceremony, as in: The rite of baptism is taken very seriously in many faiths.
wright
someone who makes or repairs a thing, as in: My grandfather was a shipwright and my grandson is a playwright.
write
to put letters of the alphabet, numbers, and/or punctuation marks on a surface to be read, as in: When I write my goals on paper I am more likely to achieve them than if they remain only as thoughts in my head.


rote
unthinking routine, as in: Foreign languages used to be taught by the rote method.
wrote
past tense of to write, as in: I wrote to the company last week but I haven’t received any answer yet.


ewe
female sheep, as in: The ewe was bleating and looking for her lamb.
yew
evergreen tree of the taxus genus, as in: The finest bows are made of yew wood.
you
the one or ones being spoken to, as in: I guarantee that you will be satisfied or your money will be cheerfully refunded.


yoke
crosspiece holding two things together, as in: The pair of oxen pulling the plow had an ancient wooden yoke around their necks.
yolk
yellow part of an egg, as in: For good health, the egg yolk should be fully cooked before you eat it.


you’re
contraction meaning you are, as in: Are you glad you’re going to the party?
your
belonging to you, as in: I welcome your comments on this page.