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Peplum vs pablum

Peplum and pablum are two words that are often confused. We will examine the definitions of peplum and pablum, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.A peplum is a bib or flounce of fabric attached at the waist of a woman’s article of clothing, such as a dress, blouse or jacket. Peplums were extremely popular in women’s clothing in the 1940s and in the 1980s, though the silhouette of the peplum dates back to Ancient Greece. In Ancient Greece, a piece of … [Read more...]

Repudiate vs refute

Repudiate and refute are two words that are often confused. We will examine the definitions of repudiate and refute, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.Repudiate means to reject, to refuse to acknowledge, to disown, to deny the veracity of something. Repudiate is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are repudiates, repudiated, repudiating. The word repudiate is derived from the Latin word repudiatus, meaning to divorce or … [Read more...]

Rat race

The term rat race is an idiom that seems to have originated in the 1930s, in the United States. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the definition of the term rat race, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.A rat race is a fierce, competitive way of life that involves pursuing goals in a repetitive, endless manner. The idea behind the expression rat race is a … [Read more...]

Preserve vs persevere

Preserve and persevere are two words that are pronounced and spelled in a similar fashion and are often confused. We will examine the definitions of preserve and persevere, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.Preserve means to keep something in its existing state, to maintain something, to keep something alive or safe. Preserve may also mean to apply techniques to food that keep it from spoiling. Finally, a preserve is a place where animals are … [Read more...]

Vagabond and vagrant

Vagabond and vagrant are two words that mean the same thing. They are synonyms. However, these two words carry different connotations. A connotation is a feeling or meaning a word evokes beyond its literal meaning. We will examine the definition of vagabond and vagrant, the connotations of these words, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences.A vagabond is a wanderer, someone who travels aimlessly from place to place, without a home or a job. The term vagabond carries … [Read more...]

Mare vs mayor

Mare and mayor are two words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the definitions of mare and mayor, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.A mare is an adult female horse, donkey, burro or other equine animal. The word mare is derived from the Old English word mere, meaning female equine. The plural form is mares.A mayor is the leader of a village, town … [Read more...]

Predict vs predicate

Predict and predicate are two words that are often confused, as they are very close in spelling and pronunciation. We will examine the definitions of the words predict and predicate, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences.Predict means to foretell that a certain thing will happen in the future, to prophesy something either in a metaphysical way or because one may understand the natural consequences of something. Predict is a transitive verb, which is a verb … [Read more...]

Either vs ether

Either and ether are two words that are very close in pronunciation and spelling and are often confused. We will examine the definitions of either and ether, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.Either means this one or that one, one or the other, each of two. When either is used as a conjunction, it is paired with the word or. For example: “I will wear either the red dress or the blue dress.” Either may be used as an adverb, it indicates a link with the … [Read more...]

Hieratic

The word hieratic has two different but related definitions. We will examine the definitions of the word hieratic, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.Hieratic may be used as an adjective to describe something concerning or used by priests, such as a physical item, gesture or attitude. The word hieratic may also be used to mean a certain type of Egyptian script used by Egyptian priests that was a sort of cursive shorthand for hieroglyphs. In a related meaning, … [Read more...]

Wet one’s whistle

The idiom wet one’s whistle may be older than you think, over six hundred years. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the definition of wet one’s whistle, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.To wet one’s whistle means to drink something. In this expression, the word whistle is a slang term for one’s mouth and throat. It is a well-known fact that it is … [Read more...]

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