Reef vs wreath

Reef and wreath are two words that are close in spelling and pronunciation and may be considered confusables. We will examine the different meanings of the confusables reef and wreath, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

A reef is a deposit of rock or coral near the surface of the ocean. Coral is made up of the skeletons of a certain type of sea creature. In sailing, a reef is the strip of sail that can be taken in to reduce the surface area of sail that is exposed to wind. The plural of reef is reefs. The word reef is derived from the Old Norse word, rif, which means rib.

A wreath is an arrangement of limbs, twigs, flowers, or leaves that are fashioned into a circle. A wreath may be hung on a door or wall or a tombstone. The plural of wreath is wreaths. Wreaths are often used to decorate the front doors of homes on holidays or are laid in remembrance of those who have died. The word wreath is derived from the Old English word, writha, which means to wind around.

Examples

Corals across large parts of the Great Barrier Reef could be hit by mass bleaching for the fourth time in just seven years by the end of January, according to a forecast from a United States government agency. (Guardian)

In addition, the heatwave wiped off all of the newborn corals in the area which indicate that heat waves might completely alter the distribution of corals on reefs. (Nature World News)

Volunteers lay more than 1,400 wreaths at the graves of veterans at Southview Cemetery in North Adams, as part of the national Wreaths Across America Day. (Berkshire Eagle)

A Christmas prankster has paid a unique tribute to his neighbor’s festive wreath in a gesture one fan has dubbed “the cutest and funniest neighborly act ever.” (Newsweek)

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