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Delegate vs relegate

Delegate and relegate are two words that are similar in spelling and pronunciation but have very different meanings. We will look at the difference between the definitions of delegate and relegate, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Delegate means to authorize a representative to act on your behalf, to entrust a job or responsibility to someone else. A delegate may mean someone who has been authorized as a representative to act on your behalf, often a … [Read more...]

Dredge vs drudge

Dredge and drudge are two words that are very close in spelling and pronunciation and are often confused. We will look at the difference between the definitions of dredge and drudge, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Drudge means to do menial, hard work or a person who does menial, hard work. Drudge may be used as a noun or an intransitive verb, which is a verb that does not take an object. Related words are drudges, drudged, drudging, drudgery. The word … [Read more...]

Down to the wire

Down to the wire is an idiom that was first seen in print in the 1880s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal meaning. We will examine the meaning of the term down to the wire, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Down to the wire describes a situation in which the outcome is not known or decided until the very last moment. The term down to the wire once had a fairly literal meaning. In … [Read more...]

Drop-dead vs drop dead!

Drop-dead and drop dead! are two similar terms that have a related meaning but are used in very different circumstances. We will look at the meanings of the terms drop-dead and drop dead!, where these two phrases came from and how they are used, as well as some examples of their use in sentences. Drop-dead means strikingly attractive, spectacular, extremely impressive. Drop-dead is an adjective that is usually used before a noun, though it may occasionally be seen standing on its own. The idea … [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...]

Donnybrook

The word donnybrook is a bit of an old-fashioned word, but is still occasionally used, especially in North America, New Zealand and Australia. We will look at the definition of the term donnybrook, its interesting origin and finally, some examples of its use in sentences. A donnybrook is an occasion that is a bit of an uproar, a chaotic brawl or a heated disagreement. The word donnybrook is derived from a public fair that was held in Donnybrook, Ireland beginning in the 1200s. By the 1800s, … [Read more...]

Dahlesque

Dahlesque is a word that has only recently been added to the Oxford English Dictionary. We will examine the meaning of the term Dahlesque, where it comes from and some examples of its use in sentences. Dahlesque means echoing or resembling the style of the British children's author Roald Dahl. Dahl wrote primarily middle-grade novels that appealed to children because of their black, sometimes gruesome humor and terrible depictions of adults. Some of Dahl's well-known stories are Charlie and … [Read more...]

Put the cart before the horse

Put the cart before the horse is an English proverb that has its roots in Roman antiquity. We will look at the meaning of the phrase put the cart before the horse, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. To put the cart before the horse means to do something out of order, to have the wrong priorities, to prioritize inconsequential things over important things. The figurative use of this phrase in English dates back to the 1500s, but the Roman politician and philosopher … [Read more...]

Delude vs dilute

Delude and dilute are two words that are pronounced similarly and look similar, but have very different meanings. We will look at the definitions of delude and dilute, where the words come from and some examples of their use in sentences. Delude is the act of making someone believe something that is not true, to deceive someone. Delude is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are deludes, deluded, deluding, delusion. The word delude is derived from the Latin … [Read more...]

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth is a proverb, which is a well-known saying that expresses a universally accepted truth. We will explore the meaning of the proverb Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, its origins and some examples of its use in sentences. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth is an admonishment to be grateful when receiving a present and not to find fault with that present. A horse's teeth change as it ages, and looking in its mouth is a good way to judge the health and … [Read more...]

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