Earn vs urn

Earn means to obtain wages or payment in return for work. Earn also means to gain money through a return on investment, such as interest, dividends or other profits. Earn may also mean to receive a return for one's achievements or other actions or merits. Related words are earns, earned and earning, noun forms are earner and earnings. Earn comes from the Old English word earnian, meaning deserve, earn, merit, labor for, win, get a reward for labor. An urn is a tall vase with one large rounded … [Read more...]

Road vs rode

A road is a wide street or lane, usually with an asphalt or concrete surface. A road provides a clear pathway of travel from place to place. A road may also be a figurative path of travel on a life journey, a series of events leading to a particular ending or goal. In mining, a road is an underground passageway into a mine. Road comes from the Old English rad, meaning riding expedition, journey, hostile incursion. Road as meaning an open way for traveling between two places is first seen in the … [Read more...]

Ail vs ale

Ail means to afflict a person, as a transitive verb ail means to be the cause of affliction or trouble, as an intransitive verb ail means to be afflicted, to be in poor health. Ail appears in the fourteenth century, derived from the Old English eglan, meaning to trouble, plague, afflict. Related words are ails, ailed and ailing. Ale is a type of beer made from malt, hops and yeast. American ale is a bitter-flavored beer with a higher alcohol content than regular beer, brewed by top … [Read more...]

Miner vs minor

A miner is 1.) a person who digs for coal, lead, gold, or other natural resources. 2.) a soldier who plants explosives in order to blow up enemies and enemy positions. 3.) an Australian bird 4.) a South American bird. The most common use of miner is one who mines, often modified with the item that is being mined such as a gold miner or lead miner. The word miner appears in the late thirteenth century, coming from the Old French minour. A minor is 1.) a person who is underaged, not capable of … [Read more...]

Incite vs insight

Incite means to stir up, to rouse to action. Incite is a transitive verb which is a verb that takes an object. Related verb forms are incites, incited and inciting. Derived nouns are incitement and inciter. Incite first appears in the mid-fifteenth century, coming from the Latin incitare meaning to put into rapid motion, to rouse, urge, encourage or stimulate. When pronouncing the word, the stress is on the second syllable, inCITE. Insight is a noun which means the ability of seeing things … [Read more...]

Friable vs fryable

Friable is an adjective which means easily crushed or crumbled, usually referring to soil and its ability to support plant growth. Friable or easily crumbled soil is crucial for strong root growth. Related words are friability and friableness. Friable is first used in the 1560s, derived from the Latin friabilis meaning easily crumbled or broken and from friare, meaning rub away, crumble into small pieces. Fryable is an adjective that denotes food that it is possible to fry. Frying may occur … [Read more...]

Floe vs flow

A floe is a floating sheet of ice. The terms floe and ice floe are interchangeable. A floe may occur as a piece of ice drifting on the sea, in a river, or down a stream melting off a glacier. Floe was first used by Arctic explorers in 1817, from the Norwegian flo meaning layer, slab. Flow is a verb that means to move steadily in a stream, to circulate, to hang loosely, to show smooth movement. Flow is usually an intransitive verb, which is a verb that doesn't take an object. Flow may be used … [Read more...]

Desert vs dessert

Desert may be pronounced two ways, when the first syllable is stressed, as in DEsert, it is a noun or adjective meaning a dry, desolate area, especially one covered in sand, waterless and usually hot during the day and chilly at night. Related words are desertic and desertification. Desert comes from the Late Latin desertum meaning thing abandoned. When pronounced as deSERT, the word means 1.) to abandon, to leave someone, to abandon a military post without permission, to leave a place so as it … [Read more...]

Innate vs enate

Innate is an adjective which means a quality, attribute or talent that is inborn, natural, existing within someone or something since birth. The adverb form is innately, the noun form is innateness. Innate comes into the language in the early fifteenth century derived from the Latin innatus, the past participle of innasci meaning to be born in or originate in. Enate is an adjective which means to be related through one's mother's lineage, enatic is also a used as an adjective to mean to be … [Read more...]

Ball vs bawl

A ball is a round sphere, either hollow or solid. A ball is an object that is thrown, kicked or hit in a game such as soccer, football, baseball or rugby. In North America, any game that employs the use of a ball may be referred to as ball, but especially, baseball. Any substance that is shaped in a round sphere, either hollow or solid, may be referred to as a ball. Another definition of ball is a highly formal dance or social gathering. Ball may be used as a verb to describe the act of forming … [Read more...]

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