Deviser vs. Divisor

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Deviser and divisor are two commonly confused words that are pronounced in the same way when spoken aloud but are spelled differently and mean different things, which makes them homophones. Homophones exist because of our ever-changing English language and are a challenge for those who wish to learn to speak English. The way the spelling and definitions differ can be confusing when attempting to learn vocabulary correctly. Proper pronunciation of spoken English may help the listener distinguish between homophones; the words affect-effect are a good example, but the words to, too and two, or horse and hoarse, are indistinguishable from each other. Pronunciation is usually more ambiguous, as English pronunciation may vary according to dialect, and English spelling is constantly evolving. Pronunciation may change even though the spelling doesn’t, producing two words that are pronounced in the same manner but have different meanings such as night and knight. Phonological spelling and spelling rules do not always work, and most people avoid misspelling by studying vocabulary words from spelling lists, and enhancing their literacy skills through spelling practice. English words are also spelled according to their etymologies rather than their sound. For instance, the word threw is derived from the Old English word thrawan, and the word through came from the Old English word thurh. Homophones are confusing words and are commonly misspelled words because of the confusion that arises from words that are pronounced alike but have very different usage and etymology. A spell checker will rarely find this type of mistake, so do not rely on spell check but instead, learn to spell. Even a participant in a spelling bee like the National Spelling Bee will ask for an example of a homophone in a sentence so that she understands which word she is to spell by using context clues. We will examine the definitions of the two homophonic words deviser and divisor, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

A deviser is one who devises, which means he invents something or makes a plan. A deviser takes an idea and makes a design or draws up a procedure. The word deviser is derived from the word devise, from the Latin word divisare meaning to divide.

A divisor is the number that is divided into another number in mathematics. A divisor may also be described as a factor of another number, in mathematics. The word divisor is derived from the Latin word
divisor, which also means to divide.


Williams-Denton was jailed for six years in 2015 for conspiracy to cheat the revenue alongside the schemes’ deviser, film producer and former Ernst & Young accountant Terence Potter, who was given an eight-year sentence. (Citywire Financial Publishers)

Ryan also worked as a deviser, performer and musical composer for Vessel’s production of “Conference of the Birds,” which premiered at The Unexpected Gallery in Phoenix. (The San Tan Sun News)

But the divisor—currently in the vicinity of 0.1474—doesn’t stop a stock split from reducing a stock’s importance in the index altogether. (Reuters)

The divisor that is used to calculate the Nikkei Stock Average will decrease on Wednesday to 27.237 from 27.240. (The Nikkei Asian Review)