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  • Wack vs. whackWack: very bad or of dubious quality. Whack: 1. to strike; 2. a sharp blow; 3. the sound of a sharp blow; 4. to kill someone deliberately.
  • Waddle vs. wattleWaddle: to walk with a duck-like gait. Wattle: 1. the fold of skin on the chins of some birds and lizards; 2. a construction of poles with twigs, reeds, or branches; 3. a genus of Australian shrub.
  • Wagon vs. waggonIt is now spelled wagon everywhere.
  • Waist vs. wasteWaist: the part of the body between the ribs and pelvis. Waste: 1. to use needlessly; 2. to lose energy; 3. an act of wasting; 4. a barren area.
  • Waive vs. waveWaive: 1. to give up a claim or right voluntarily; 2. to refrain from enforcing something; 3. to set something aside. Wave: to move back and forth or up and down or to make a waving hand signal.
  • Waiver vs. waverWaiver: 1. intentional relinquishment of a right or privilege; 2. a dispensation; 3. a deferment. Waver: 1. to move steadily back and forth; 2. to vacillate; 3. to tremble in sound.
  • Wander vs. wonderWander: to move about aimlessly. Wonder: to feel curiosity, be in doubt, or admire.
  • Wane, waxWane: decrease. Wax: increase.
  • Wanton vs. wontonWanton: excessive or immoral. Wonton: a Chinese dumpling.
  • Warrantee vs. warrantyWarranty: a guarantee covering a product. Warrantee: someone to whom a warranty is given.
  • Wary vs. wearyWary: on guard or watchful. Weary: tired.
  • Weaved, wove, wovenIt is usually wove in the past tense and woven as a past participle, but weaved has gained ground.
  • Web site vs. websiteThe one-word form now prevails by a huge margin.
  • Website vs. web pageWebsite: a collection of content grouped on a single web domain. Web page: a page of a website.
  • Well-being vs. wellbeingone word outside North America; hyphenated in the U.S. and Canada.
  • Well-heeledwealthy.
  • Welsh1. to go back on a promise; 2. to shirk one's responsibilities.
  • Wet vs. whetWet: to make wet. Whet: to sharpen or stimulate.
  • Whac-A-Molea futile effort to suppress something that keeps popping up no matter how many times one tries to get rid of it.
  • Whatnotunspecified assorted objects or material.
  • Wheelhouse
  • Whence vs. from whenceThe from is unnecessary but conventional.
  • Whereasalthough or while in contrast.
  • While away vs. wile awayto pass time idly. While away is older and more logical, but the misspelled form is common and not considered wrong.
  • Whilstwhile.
  • Whingeto complain in a fretful, persistent way.
  • Whiny, whiney, whinny, WhinneyWhiny: habitually whining. Whiney: a rare variant of whiny. Whinny: neigh. Whinney: only a name.
  • Whirling dervish
  • Whiskey vs. whiskyWhisky: Scotch and Scotch-inspired liquors. Whiskey: the corresponding Irish and American liquors.
  • Whiz, whizz, wizWhizz and wiz can always give way to whiz.
  • Who vs. whomWho: nominative. Whom: objective.
  • Who's vs. whoseWho's: who is or who has. Whose: possessive of who or which.
  • Who's Whoa book, list, or collection of names of famous or noteworthy people.
  • Whoever vs. whomeverWhoever: nominative. Whomever: objective.
  • Whoop vs. whupWhup: whip. Whoop: a cry of exultation, a bird cry, or a coughing sound.
  • Widow, widowerWidow: a woman whose spouse has died. Widower: a man whose spouse has died.
  • Wilful vs. willfulwilful in the U.S.; willful everywhere else.
  • Willy-nilly
  • Winningestsports-speak for most winning.
  • Wintery vs wintryWintry is the standard spelling everywhere.
  • Wit vs. whitWhit: the smallest particle. Wit: intelligence, cleverness.
  • Wither vs. whitherWither: to shrivel. Whither: to what place.
  • Wonder vs. wonderment
  • Wonkish, wonkyWonky = (1) unstable, defective, unreliable, or wobbly; (2) studiously concerned with minutiae. Wonkish = studiously concerned with minutiae.
  • WontWont: accustomed.
  • Woolen vs. woollenwoolen in the U.S.; woollen everywhere else.
  • Workout vs. work outWorkout: noun and adjective. Work out: verb.
  • Worse comes to worstif the worst possibility should occur.
  • Wreak havoc (and wreaked vs. wrought)to bring about destruction. The past tense of wreak is wreaked.
  • Wreath vs. wreatheWreathe: verb. Wreath: noun.
  • Writ large
  • Write-off vs. write offWrite-off: noun. Write off: verb.
  • Wrong vs. wronglyWrong also works as an adverb, though it always follows the verb it modifies.
  • Wunderkind1. a child prodigy; 2. someone who achieves success young.

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