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Eaves vs eves

Eaves and eves are two words that are pronounced in the same manner but are spelled differently and have different meanings. They are homophones. We will look at the definitions of the words eaves and eves, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Eaves are the lower edges of a roof, often overhanging the walls of the building. Eaves is the plural form of eave, which is rarely used except as an adjective before a noun. The word eaves is derived from the Old English … [Read more...]

Aye vs eye

Aye and eye are two words that are pronounced in the same way but have different meanings and are spelled differently. They are homophones. We will look at the definitions of the words aye and eye, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Aye is an expression of assent. Today, it is most often used as an affirmative vote or as a response when given an order on a ship, though it is still used in certain areas of Britain to simply mean yes. There are three … [Read more...]

Axis vs axes

Axis and axes are two words that are often confused, they are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and may have different meanings. They are homophones. We will look at the definitions of the words axis and axes, where these words come from and some examples of their use in sentences. An axis is an imaginary line that runs through the middle of something, a line that bisects something, an imaginary line around which a thing rotates. Axis is also used in a political sense to … [Read more...]

Meritorious vs maritorious

Meritorious and maritorious are two words that are sometimes confused, but mean very different things. We will examine the definitions of meritorious and maritorious, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Meritorious means deserving of praise, deserving a reward. In American English, meritorious may be used as a legal term to denote a case that is likely to succeed on its merits. The word meritorious is derived from the Latin word meritorius, meaning for … [Read more...]

Lassitude, lethargy and languor

Lassitude, lethargy and languor have similar meanings, but one of these words has a slightly different definition from the others. We will examine the meanings of lassitude, lethargy and languor, where these words come from and some examples of their use in sentences. Lassitude denotes a state of tiredness or laziness, a lack of energy, weariness or listlessness. The word lassitude is derived from the Latin word lassitudinem which means weariness or faintness. Lethargy is a state of … [Read more...]

Dichotomy vs paradox

Dichotomy and paradox are two terms that are often confused but have different meanings. We will look at the meanings of dichotomy and paradox, where the terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences. A dichotomy is a contrast or division between two things that are opposed to each other or are sharply different, a division of a class of something into subclasses that are mutually exclusive. Related words are dichotomous, dichotomic, dichotomously. The plural form is … [Read more...]

Janus-faced

Janus-faced is an interesting word with its roots in Ancient Rome. It is a hyphenated compound word, which is a term made up of two or more words that when used together have a different meaning than the literal interpretation of the separate words. We will look at the meaning of Janus-faced, where the word came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Janus-faced means possessing two different natures or characters, deceitful, two-faced or insincere. However, note that the first … [Read more...]

Razzle-dazzle and razzmatazz

Razzle-dazzle and razzmatazz are two words that are closely related, though one precedes the other in origin by a few years. We will look at the meaning of the terms razzle-dazzle and razzmatazz, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Razzle-dazzle describes a noisy and flashy show designed to amaze or confuse an audience but without any substance, depth or talent. The term razzle-dazzle to mean a flashy show was first used in print in 1886. This primarily show … [Read more...]

Blue blood

Blue blood is a compound word, which is a term made up of two or more words that have a different meaning when used together than the literal interpretation of the separate words. Blue blood has an interesting origin story. We will examine the meaning of blue blood, where the term came from and some examples of its use in sentences. A blue blood is someone of noble birth or someone who is born into a family with a high social rank. For instance, descendants of the occupants of the ship the … [Read more...]

Knit vs nit

Knit and nit are two words that are pronounced in the same fashion but are spelled differently and have different meanings. They are homophones. We will examine the difference in meaning between the words knit and nit, where these words come from and some examples of their use in sentences. Knit means to interconnect loops of thread, usually wool or cotton, in order to construct something such as a garment. Knit is also used figuratively, to mean to connect or unite disparate things together. … [Read more...]

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