Laze vs lase

  • Laze and lase are 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 are a group of words with different spellings, the same pronunciations, and different meanings. Homophones exist because of our ever-changing English language, and are a challenge for those who wish to learn to speak English. It can be difficult to learn how to spell different words that sound the same. The way the spelling and definitions differ can be confusing even to native English speakers 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, enhancing their literacy skills through spelling practice, and learning words in English by studying a dictionary of the English language. 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 in English vocabulary, 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 different meanings of the homophonic words laze and lase, the word origin of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.


    Laze means to relax, to loll about, to behave in a lazy manner. Someone who is known to laze often is considered indolent, however, there are times when it is appropriate to laze and recharge one’s energy. Laze is an intransitive verb, which is a verb that does not take an object. Related words are lazes, lazed, lazing. The word laze came into use in the late 1500s as a backformation from the word lazy.


    Lase means to function as a laser or to undergo a procedure with a laser. Lase is verb, related words are lases, lased, lasing. The word lase is also a backformation from the word laser, a word that came into use in the 1960s from an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. A laser concentrates the energy of light.


    “Instead of spending your vacation racing to nab pool chairs in the morning, you can laze away the hours by the pool, play golf, and hike,” says Kristen Meckem, an independent travel advisor for Brownell Travel, a Virtuoso agency. (Reader’s Digest)

    With a breathtaking view of South China Sea, our Premier Room offers a spacious balcony where I can laze on the outdoor chair, and chill and watch the sun set this evening. (The New Straits Times)

    They have similar Q factors and, hence, lase with almost identical thresholds. (Laser Focus World)

    Instead of inducing cells to lase with external mirrors, this time the team has implanted “mirrors” in the form of oil droplets and polystyrene beads inside cells. (Motherboard)

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