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Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Dagny Taggart - Monday, 16 June 2008, 07:41 AM

A student named Mallikarjun Rao has contributed a list of confusing words for the benefit of all. I’ll post a few words from the list regularly.Once we discuss all the words, I’ll clip the full list in the end.

Thank you Mallikarjun. smile

1)       adoptive and adopted

2)      averse and adverse

3)      ambiguous and ambivalent

4)      amoral and immoral

5)  appraise and apprise

Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by dr naina singh - Monday, 16 June 2008, 08:20 AM

1)       adoptive and adopted

adoptive is related to the adoption of child

adopted is related to the choosing, following of some habit, plan, theory etc

2)      averse and adverse

 averse means  strongly opposed e.g averse to go to school smile

 adverse means Contrary to your interests e.g adverse environment

3)      ambiguous and ambivalent

ambigious-Having more than one possible meaning e.g The information on the leaflet is ambiguous.
ambivalent-Uncertain or unable to decide about what course to follow e.g      I am ambivalent about going for post graduation or for MBA.

4)      amoral and immoral

amoral-Lacking any sense of moral standards or principles
immoral-Not adhering to ethical or moral principles,Deliberately violating accepted principles of right and wrong
5)  appraise and apprise
appraise- evaluate
apprise - Make aware of, Gain in value
Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by ATOM ANT - Monday, 16 June 2008, 02:06 PM
  Mam both amoral  and immoral  sounds the same to me.. Can you explain the difference with examples...
Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 17 June 2008, 07:55 AM
  An amoral individual lacks a code of ethics; he cannot tell right from wrong.
An immoral person can tell right from wrong; he chooses to do something he knows is wrong.
Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by ATOM ANT - Tuesday, 17 June 2008, 08:18 AM
Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Jim Morrison - Tuesday, 17 June 2008, 11:35 AM

Hi DT mam,

Looking forward to the next list of words on this thread...



Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 17 June 2008, 01:39 PM
  1. apprise and appraise
  2. auger and augur
  3. censure and censor
  4. climactic and climatic
  5. complacent and complaisant

 So we have two ‘Jims’ now- Jim Morrison and Jim

Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by ambar patil - Tuesday, 17 June 2008, 02:25 PM
   Apprise and appraise
 apprise is to inform .
 We were fully apprised of the situation.

 appraise is to form an opinion about something / Evaluate .
 The event prompted many on the selection committe to appraise the   selection criteria .
 Censure and censor
 Censure is to criticize .
 He was censured by the council for leaking information to the press.

 Censor is someone whose job is to examine books/movies etc .
 The report was cleared by the American censors .

 Climactic and climatic
 Climatic pertains to weather . Ex : Climatic changes / conditions .
 Climactic pertains to the climax . Ex : The climactic scene between the  father and child in the drama .

 Complacent and complaisant
 Complacent means to be satisfied with oneself .
 We must not become complacent about progress.
 complaisant means to readily accept what is said .
 She was a complaisant wife and dutiful daughter.

Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Chinmay Korhalkar - Tuesday, 17 June 2008, 02:50 PM
  I'll add a few to the list :

1. affect – effect

The most important thing to remember is that affect is used as a verb and effect is normally used as a noun. When they are used in this way, they are similar in meaning, signifying ‘influence’, ‘impact’ or ‘change’. Compare the following:
  • 'The really hot weather affected everybody’s ability to work.'

  • 'I know my neighbours play loud music late at night, but that doesn’t affect me.I can sleep through anything.'

  • 'The number of tourists travelling to Britain this year has not been affected by the strength of the pound.'

  • 'The tablets which he took every four hours had no noticeable effect on his headache.'

  • 'My words of comfort had little effect. She just went on crying and wouldn’t stop.'
Note: we talk about someone or something having an effect on something or someone. If we use effect as a verb, it means to ‘carry out’ or to ‘cause something to happen’, but it is used only in very formal English. Consider the following:
  • 'Repairs could not be effected because the machines were very old.'
2.Fault,Weakness,Drawback,Flaws :

Fault is not so much used to talk about someone’s character. Instead we talk about electrical, mechanical or technical faults:
There was a fault in the wiring and I had no idea how to correct it.
There was a delay in the broadcast of the programme and this was due to a technical fault.
A mechanical fault caused the train to come off the rails.
A fault then describes a weakness in something, primarily. But sometimes it is used to describe a weakness in someone’s character:
She has her faults, but, on the whole, she’s a nice person.
We all have our own faults, I suppose.
We also have the frequently used expression: It’s (not) my/your/his/etc fault. This is a more idiomatic way of saying: I am (not) to blame or I am (not) responsible (for this unfortunate situation).
It’s not my fault he’s late. Don’t blame me.
I’m sorry. It’s my fault. I forgot to pass on the message.

If you don’t get enough sleep, it’s entirely your own fault.
It was partly the teacher’s fault for giving them too much homework.
We use flaw mainly to talk about a minor fault or weakness in something which make it less effective or valuable. We talk about flawed arguments for example. Note also a flawless complexion:
There’s a flaw in your argument. I agree with you up to a point, but the last part doesn’t make complete sense to me.
There was a tiny flaw in the necklace and it certainly wasn’t worth all the money we had paid for it.
She attributed her flawless complexion to the moisturising creams she used.
However, we can also talk about serious or major flaws:
There are major flaws in the way we train teachers in this country.
There were serious flaws in the construction of the pedestrian bridge.
And, yes, we can also use flaw to describe a fault in someone’s character:
The only flaw in his character was his short temper – he tended to fly off the handle at the slightest provocation.
Weaknesses generally describe the state or condition of being weak and of lacking strength or resilience.
The main weakness of this government is that it keeps changing direction on key policy issues.
He showed great weakness in not owning up to his part in the bad behaviour.
Weaknesses can also refer to faults or problems that make something less attractive or effective:
They were keen to know how well it would sell in Russia so they listed all the strengths and weaknesses of their product for this market.

The only weakness in her character that I could spot was that she seemed to be over-dependent on others.
Note that if you have a weakness for something, you are very fond of it:
I have a great weakness for chocolate. I can never refuse it.
We use drawback to refer to a feature of something which makes it less useful or acceptable than it could be. Drawback is often synonymous with disadvantage, but note that drawforward does not exist as an alternative to advantage!
The only drawback / disadvantage with this accommodation is that it’s a fifteen-minute walk to the bus-stop.
The main drawback of this examination is that it takes two months before the results are released.

3.Hear & Listen :

We use hear for sounds that come to our ears, without us necessarily trying to hear them! For example, 'They heard a strange noise in the middle of the night.'

Listen is used to describe paying attention to sounds that are going on. For example, 'Last night, I listened to my new Mariah Carey CD.'

So, you can hear something without wanting to, but you can only listen to something intentionally. An imaginary conversation between a couple might go:
'Did you hear what I just said?'
'No, sorry, darling, I wasn't listening.'

Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Dagny Taggart - Thursday, 19 June 2008, 11:52 AM
  Next Set:

complement and compliment

continuous and continual

council and  counsel

councillor and counsellor

credible and creditable

definite and definitive

Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Abhinav Agrawal - Thursday, 19 June 2008, 07:51 PM
  Hi Dagny mam,

complement (n): something that completes
compliment (n): expression of praise

Continuous : uninterrupted
continual : again and again

Council (n): a administrative body
counsel (v): advise

councillor : a member of a council
counsellor : one who counsels

credible : capable of being believed
creditable : creditworthy, deserving praise

definite : certain, indisputable
definitive : conclusive
Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Gul Gul - Thursday, 19 June 2008, 10:54 PM

Auger (n) : A long flexible steel coil for dislodging stoppages in curved pipes.

Augur (v) : Indicate by signs

Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by pihu shree - Friday, 20 June 2008, 01:38 AM

hi everyone,


Compliment  (noun, verb)


1>     a remark that expresses praise or admiration of sb:to pay sb a compliment (= to praise them for sth)

2>              Compliments [pl.] (formal) polite words or good wishes, especially when used to express praise and admiration. 

3>              E.g.: Please accept these flowers with the compliments as a gift from the manager.



                Polite words or good wishes, especially when used to express prerise and               



Compliment / Complement


These words have similar spellings but completely different meanings.

 If you compliment someone, you say something very nice to him or her. E.g. She complimented me on my English.

If one thing complements another, the two things work or look better because they are together, E.G.: The different flavors complement each other perfectly.


The adjectives are also often confused.


Complimentary:  E.G.: She made some very complimentary remarks about my English. It can also mean ‘free’. E.G.: There was a complimentary basket of fruit in our room.


Complementary: The team members have different but complementary skills.



Continual (adjective)

                Happening repeatedly usually in an annoying or inconvenient way.


Continuous (adjective )

1>          happening or existing for a period of time without interruption. E.G.: She was in continuous employment until the age of sixty-five. The rain has been continuous since this morning.

2>          spreading in a line or over an area without any spaces. E.G.: a continuous line of traffic

3>          repeated many times (SYN  continual), E.G.: For four days the town suffered continuous attacks. (Continual is much more frequent in this meaning.)

4>          (grammar) = progressive: the continuous tenses


Continuous / Continual


These adjectives are frequently used with the following nouns:

Continuous             continual

process                   change       

employment            problems    

flow                       updating

line                        questions

speech                    pain

supply                    fear


Continuous describes something that continues without stopping.


Continual usually describes an action that is repeated again and again.

The difference between these two words is now disappearing.

In particular, continual can also mean the same as continuous and is used especially about undesirable things: E.G.:Life was a continual struggle for them.

However, continuous is much more frequent in this sense.


Counsellor(UK) [Councelor (US)]

  1>       Someone who trained to listen to people and give them advice about their problem.

  2>       A lawyer

  3>       Someone who look after children at summer camp.


Councillor (UK) [Councilor (US)]

 1>        A member of council.

 2>        An elected member of local government.



1>       That can be believed or trusted (Syn.  Convincing).

2>       That can be acceped, because it seems possible, that it could be  successful

           (Syn. Viable).



1>       Of a quite good standerd and deserving praise or approval or trust.

2>       Morally good.

Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Dagny Taggart - Monday, 23 June 2008, 09:03 AM

definite and definitive

defuse and diffuse

desert and dessert

discreet and discrete

draft and draught.

draw and drawer

Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by pihu shree - Monday, 23 June 2008, 09:31 PM

hi dagny ma'am,

my reply for this exercise:

Definite and Definitive

Definite: Fixed certain or clear

Something that is certain to happen

Definitive : Not able be questioned, final, complete, or best to be changed

Defuse and Diffuse


1 to stop a possibly dangerous or difficult situation from developing, especially by making people less angry or nervous: Local police are trying to defuse racial tension in the community.

2 to remove the fuse from a bomb so that it cannot explode

Diffuse : adjective, verb

1 spread over a wide area: diffuse light

2 not clear or easy to understand; using a lot of words: a diffuse style of writing

Desert and Dessert


1 an area, often covered with sand or rocks, where there is very little rain and not many plants

2 To leave somebody without help or support

Syn. Abandon: her husband deserted her.

3 To go away from a place and leave it empty

SYN abandon: The villages had been deserted.

4 If a particular quality deserts you, it is not there when you need it: Her courage seemed to desert her for a moment

Dessert :

Sweet food eaten at the end of a meal

Discreet and Discrete


Careful in what you say or do, in order to keep something secret (not attract too much attention) or to avoid causing embarrassment or difficulty for somebody.

Discrete :

1 Independent of other things of the same type

2 Having a clear independent shape or form;

3 Separate

Draft and Draught


1 A piece of text, a formal suggestion or a drawing in its original state, often containing the main ideas and intentions but not the developed form

2 A written order to a bank to pay money to somebody

Drought :

A long period when there is little or no rain

Draw and Drawer


1 To make picture of something or somebody

2 To pull something

3 To attract

Drawer :

A part of a piece of furniture such as a desk, used for keeping things in. It is shaped like a box and has a handle on the front for pulling it out.

Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Dagny Taggart - Thursday, 26 June 2008, 08:01 AM

That's an excellent postsmile
Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Dagny Taggart - Thursday, 26 June 2008, 08:03 AM

egoism and egotism

envelop with envelope

exceptionable and exceptional

fawn and faun:

flaunt and  flout

flounder and founder

Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by pihu shree - Thursday, 26 June 2008, 03:43 PM

hi Dagny Ma'am,

first of all thanks for compliment nd these are my replies for this exercise.

Egoism and Egotism

Egoism (Egotism): Tendency to think yourself and consider yourself better and more important than other people.

[Egoism or Egotism is a noun]

I would like to introduce two more words that are:

>>Ego-surfing (Noun): the activity of searching the Internet to find places where your own name has been mentioned

>>Ego trip (Noun): an activity that sb does because it makes them feel good and important

Envelop and Envelope

Envelop (verb): To cover or wrap or surround something completely

Envelope (noun): A flat usually square or rectangular paper container of letter.

Exceptionable and Exceptional

Exceptionable (adjective): offensive or upsetting

Exceptional (adjective): much greater than usual, especially in skill, intelligence, quality, etc. (Syn: out standing)

Fawn and Faun

Fawn (Noun) 1> a young deer

2> having pale yellowish brown color

(Verb) 3> (fawn on/ upon) if an animal fawn on you, its very friendly towards you and rub itself against you.

4> (fawn over) to praise someone too much and give him or her a lot of attention, which is not sincere in order to get positive reaction

Faun (noun): (in the ancient Roman stories) a god of the woods, with a man’s face and body and a goat’s legs and horns

Imaginary creatures like a small man with the goat’s back legs, tail, ears and horns.

Here I would like to mention one more word “Fauna” this word came from “Faun” refers to all the animals living in an area or a time period.

Flaunt and Flout

Flaunt (verb): to show or make obvious something you are proud of in order to get admiration

E.G. He's got a lot of money but he doesn't flaunt it.

Flout (Verb): to intentionally disobey a rule, law, or custom

Flounder and Founder

Flounder (Verb): To experience great difficulties or be completely unable to decide what to do or say next (Have Difficulty).

Founder (Noun): 1.a person who starts an organization, institution, etc. or causes something to be built

(Verb): 2. (Of a plan, etc.) to fail because of a particular problem or difficulty

3. (Of a ship) to fill with water and sink

Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Dagny Taggart - Monday, 30 June 2008, 07:42 AM

Good work Pihu but keep revising the words smile

forego and forgo

grisly with grizzly

hoard with horde

imply and infer

loath and loathe

loose with lose


Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by pihu shree - Tuesday, 1 July 2008, 10:18 PM

hi ma'am,

i love to be complimented, this give me energy nd thnx for complimenting me.

okay... my replies for this exercise are:

Forego and Forgo

Forego (or Forgo ): to not have or do something enjoyable

Foregoing : Used to refer to something that has just been mentioned. E.G.: the foregoing discussion.

(Opposite: following)

Grisly with Grizzly

Grisly: extremely unpleasant and frightening, especially because death or blood or violence is involved.

E.G.: Life is explosion on the track at Jaipur after grisly bomb explosions.

Grizzly (bear): a very large greyish brown bear from North America and Canada.

Hoard with Horde

Hoard: to collect large amounts of something and keep it in a safe, often secret, place.

Horde : a large crowd or group of people.

Imply and Infer

Imply: 1. to communicate an idea or feeling without saying it directly. 2. to make it seem likely that something is true or exists. 3. to involve something or make it necessary.

Infer: to form an opinion or guess that something is true because of the information that you have.

[Very often infer and imply both are used in same sense but the is a big difference between both, ‘to imply (something)’ is to make an idea indirectly whereas ‘to infer (something)’ is to make some conclusion. Dear ma’am I hope this explanation would be correct…]

Loath and Loathe

Loath: to be not willing to do something.

Loathe: to hate somebody or something very much.

Loose with Lose

Loose: 1.not firmly fixed in place.

2.Describes items which are not fixed or held together or to anything else.

Lose: 1. To be unable to find something/somebody.

2. to stop feeling something.

3. to have less of something than you had before

4. to fail to get something.

Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Dagny Taggart - Thursday, 3 July 2008, 11:52 AM
  Pihu keep going and keep revising smile

Luxuriant and  luxurious

Marital and  martial

Militate and militate against

naturism and naturist

naturalism and naturalist

officious and official

ordinance and  ordnance

Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by priya singh - Thursday, 3 July 2008, 05:46 PM


1-luxuriant-(adj)-abundant or lush in growth

                   producing abundantly, fertile

                   sentence:-to settle in luxuriant country

luxurious-characterized by luxury, of rich variety

2-marital-of or pertaining marriage

martial(adj):-inclined to war or associated with war or the armed forces

3-naturism(noun)-going without clothes as a social practice

                      the beleif that attributes everything to nature as

naturist(noun):a person who appreciates the beauty  of nature

4-naturalism(noun):factual representation especially the practice of   

                      describing  precisely the actual circumstances of   

                      human life in literature.

naturalist(noun)-a person who studies or is an expert in natural history

5-officious(adj):excessive eagerness in offering unwanted services or advice to others

official(noun)-person appointed to an office with certain duties

         (adj)-pertaining to an office or position of duty

6-ordinance(noun)-an authoritative rule or law

ordnance(noun)-military weapons with thier equipment ,cannon.

Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Dagny Taggart - Monday, 7 July 2008, 08:48 AM

Good work Priya smile

palate and palette

pedal and peddle.

perquisite and prerequisite

perspicuous and perspicacious

principal and  principle


Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Chinmay Korhalkar - Tuesday, 8 July 2008, 06:06 PM
1) Palate or Palette
    a)The palate is literally the roof of the mouth, and so the means of testing  the taste of 
       something, or the pleasure of taste itself
        Too much junk food can ruin your palate.
        The white wine appealed to her palate.

    b)A palette is the board on which an artist mixes paints to make different colours.
       It is sometimes used to refer to a range of colours.

2) Pedal & Peddle
    a) Pedal
            i)of or having to do with the foot or feet
           ii) a lever operated by the foot, used in transmitting motion, as on a 

    b) Peddle
          To travel about selling : peddling goods from door to door.

Perquisite and Prerequisite     
    a) Perquisite
          i)A payment or profit received in addition to a regular wage or salary,
            especially a benefit expected as one's due.
                Among the president's perquisites were free use of a company car
                and paid membership in a country club.
Something claimed as an exclusive right- A prerogative
                Politics was the perquisite of the upper class.

    b) Prerequisite
required beforehand
                Having a good General awareness is a prerequisite for cracking

Perspicuous and Perspicacious
    a) Perspicuous
          clear in statement or expression; easily understood; lucid

    b) Perspicacious
          having keen mental perception and understanding

5) Principal & principle
    a) Principal
          i) head of an organization.
         ii) first in rank, authority, importance, degree, etc.
             principal is applied to the thing or person having precedence over all  others by reason  
             of size, position, importance, etc.
                   e.g. The PRINCIPAL rivers of India

    b) Principle
          i) belief, the ultimate source, origin, or cause of something;
         ii) a rule of conduct, esp. of right conduct.
           e.g. the principle of a gasoline engine is internal combustion
Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Dagny Taggart - Thursday, 10 July 2008, 09:04 AM

Chinamy, Good Work. But keep revising.

proscribe and prescribe

regretful, and regrettable

shear, and sheer

stationary and stationery

story and storey

titillate and titivate

Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Chinmay Korhalkar - Thursday, 10 July 2008, 01:25 PM
  1. Proscribe & Prescribe
    i) Proscribe :
                          To denounce or condemn.To prohibit; forbid.
            e.g.The parents will proscribe riding bicycles in the street if they see
                  their children not looking for approaching cars.
ii) Prescribe :
                         a)To set down as a rule or guide; enjoin.
                         b)To order the use of(a medicine,etc)
           e.g. The doctor has prescribed me a tablet against cold.

2. Regretful & Regrettable :
    i) Regretful :
                      Full of regret; sorrowful or sorry.
                e.g. India's regretful stint at the Asia cup.
   ii) Regrettable :
                      deserving regret.
                e.g. A regrettable lack of funds,regrettable remarks.

3. Shear & Sheer :
    i) Shear :
                   a)To remove ( hair) by cutting or clipping.
                   b) To divest or deprive as if by cutting:
                        The prisoners were shorn of their dignity.
ii)Sheer  :
                   Thin, fine, and transparent: sheer curtains; sheer chiffon.

4. Stationary & Stationery :
    i) Stationary :
                   Steady,not moving.
                      e.g. a stationary ship.
   ii) Stationery :
                   Writing paper and envelopes.writing material.

5. Story & Storey :
    i) Story :
            An account or recital of an event or a series of events,true or fictitious
    ii) Storey :
             floor, deck or level is the level of a building above ground.

6.Titillate & Tilivate :
    i)Titillate :
           a)To stimulate by touching lightly; tickle.
           b)touch (a body part) lightly so as to excite the surface nerves and
              cause uneasiness, laughter
   ii) tilivate:
             To make decorative additions make smarter
                e.g.She titivated her old dress with a new belt.

Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Dagny Taggart - Monday, 14 July 2008, 08:39 AM

Tortuous and torturous

Unexceptionable and unexceptional,

unsociable and unsocial and antisocial

venal and  venial,

who's and whose

wreath and wreathe

your and you're

Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Chinmay Korhalkar - Monday, 14 July 2008, 02:40 PM
  1. tortuous & Torturous :
    =>tortuous : Full of twists & turns,
                   not direct or straightforward, as in procedure or speech; intricate;                      tortuous negotiations lasting for months.
Torturous :
                   Full of torture.

2.Unexceptionable and unexceptional

not offering any basis for exception or objection; beyond criticism
               an unexceptionable record of achievement.
not exceptional; not unusual or extraordinary.

3. unsociable and unsocial and antisocial
not sociable; having, showing, or marked by a disinclination to
               friendly social relations; withdrawn.
    => unsocial :
                Having or showing a lack of desire for the company of others.
    => Antisocial :
                Something against social behaviour,
                antagonistic, hostile, or unfriendly toward others; menacing;
                threatening: an antisocial act.

venal and  venial
       => Venal :
open to bribery; mercenary: a venal judge.
      =>Venial :
excusable; trifling; minor: a venial error; a venial offense.

who's and whose
       => Who's : Who is.
                         Who's on the other side of the call?
       => Whose : The possessive case of who used as an adjective
                         Whose phone is this?

wreath and wreathe

       => Wreath :
a circular band of flowers, foliage, or any ornamental work, for  
            adorning the head or for any decorative purpose; a garland
     => wreathe :
             to encircle or adorn with or as with a wreath.

7. your and you're

       => your : Possessive case of you.
                Is this your purse?
       => You're :
                You Are.
                   You're responsible for this defeat.

The Complete List
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 15 July 2008, 09:30 AM

Hi All,

Here is the complete list sent by Mallikarjun. A special thanks from the entire TG I’ll add the list in TG Wiki as well so that it stays on the website forever.


Hi Dangy Madam
Small contribution from my side.

Commonly Confused Words

These are some of the pairs of words that are most often confused with each other.


adoptive with adopted: children are adopted, but parents are adoptive.

adverse, 'unfavourable, bad', with averse, which means 'strongly disliking or opposed to', as in I am not averse to helping out.

affect and effect: affect means 'make a difference to', whereas effect means 'a result' or 'bring about (a result)'.

ambiguous with ambivalent: ambiguous primarily means 'having more than one meaning, open to different interpretations', while ambivalent means 'having mixed feelings'.

amoral with immoral: amoral means 'not concerned with morality', while immoral means 'not conforming to accepted standards of morality'.

appraise with apprise: appraise means 'assess', while apprise means 'inform'.

augur, 'be a sign of (a likely outcome)', with auger (a tool used for boring).

censure with censor: censure means 'express strong disapproval of', whereas censor means 'suppress unacceptable parts of (a book, film, etc.)'.

climactic, 'forming a climax', with climatic, which means 'relating to climate'.

complacent, 'smug and self-satisfied', with complaisant, which means 'willing to please'.

complement, 'a thing that enhances something by contributing extra features', with compliment, which means 'an expression of praise' or 'politely congratulate'.

continuous and continual: continuous primarily means 'without interruption', and can refer to space as well as time, as in the cliffs form a continuous line along the coast; continual, on the other hand, typically means 'happening frequently, with intervals between', as in the bus service has been disrupted by continual breakdowns.

council, an administrative or advisory body, with counsel, advice or guidance.

councillor with counsellor: a councillor is a member of a council, whereas a counsellor is someone who gives guidance on personal or psychological problems.

credible with creditable: credible means 'believable, convincing', whereas creditable means 'deserving acknowledgement and praise'.

definite ('certain, sure') with definitive, which means 'decisive and with authority'.

defuse, 'remove the fuse from (an explosive device)' or 'reduce the danger or tension in (a difficult situation)', with diffuse, which means 'spread over a wide area'.

desert (a waterless area) with dessert (the sweet course)!

discreet, 'careful not to attract attention or give offence', with discrete, which means 'separate, distinct'.

draft and draught. In British English draft means 'a preliminary version' or 'an order to pay a sum', whereas a draught is a current of air or an act of drinking; in North American English the spelling draft is used for all senses. The verb is usually spelled draft.

draw, which is primarily a verb, with drawer meaning 'sliding storage compartment'.

egoism and egotism: it is egotism, not egoism, that means 'excessive conceit or self-absorption'; egoism is a less common and more technical word, for an ethical theory that treats self-interest as the foundation of morality.

envelop with envelope: envelop without an e at the end means 'wrap up, cover, or surround completely', whereas an envelope with an e is a paper container used to enclose a letter or document.

exceptionable ('open to objection; causing disapproval or offence') with exceptional ('not typical' or 'unusually good').

fawn with faun: a fawn is a young deer, and a light brown colour; a faun is a Roman deity that is part man, part goat.

flaunt with flout; flaunt means 'display ostentatiously', while flout means 'openly disregard (a rule)'.

flounder with founder: flounder generally means 'have trouble doing or understanding something, be confused', while founder means 'fail or come to nothing'.

forego and forgo: forego means 'precede', but is also a less common spelling for forgo, 'go without'.

grisly with grizzly, as in grizzly bear: grisly means 'causing horror or revulsion', whereas grizzly is from the same root as grizzled and refers to the bear's white-tipped fur.

hoard with horde: a hoard is a store of something valuable; horde is a disparaging term for a large group of people.

imply and infer. Imply is used with a speaker as its subject, as in he implied that the General was a traitor, and indicates that the speaker is suggesting something though not making an explicit statement. Infer is used in sentences such as we inferred from his words that the General was a traitor, and indicates that something in the speaker's words enabled the listeners to deduce that the man was a traitor.

the possessive its (as in turn the camera on its side) with the contraction it's (short for either it is or it has, as in it's my fault; it's been a hot day).

loath ('reluctant; unwilling') with loathe, 'dislike greatly'.

loose with lose: as a verb loose means 'unfasten or set free', while lose means 'cease to have' or 'become unable to find'.

luxuriant, 'rich and profuse in growth', with luxurious, which means 'characterized by luxury; very comfortable and extravagant'.

marital, 'of marriage', with martial, 'of war'!

militate, which is used in the form militate against to mean 'be an important factor in preventing', with mitigate, which means 'make (something bad) less severe'.

naturism (nudism) and naturist (a nudist) with naturalism and naturalist: naturalism is an artistic or literary approach or style; a naturalist is an expert in natural history, or an exponent of naturalism.

officious, 'asserting authority or interfering in an annoyingly domineering way', with official, which means 'relating to an authority or public body' and 'having the approval or authorization of such a body'.

ordinance, 'an authoritative order', with ordnance, which means 'guns' or 'munitions'.

palate and palette: the palate is the roof of the mouth; a palette, on the other hand, is an artist's board for mixing colours.

pedal and peddle. Pedal is a noun denoting a foot-operated lever; as a verb it means 'move by means of pedals'. Peddle is a verb meaning 'sell (goods)'. The associated noun from pedal is pedaller (US pedaler), and the noun from peddle is pedlar or peddler.

perquisite and prerequisite: a perquisite is a special right or privilege enjoyed as a result of one's position; prerequisite is something that is required as a prior condition for something else; prerequisite can also be an adjective, meaning 'required as a prior condition'.

perspicuous, 'expressing things clearly', with perspicacious, which means 'having a ready understanding of things'.

principal, 'first in order of importance; main', with principle, which is a noun meaning chiefly 'a basis of a system of thought or belief'.

proscribe with prescribe: proscribe is a rather formal word meaning 'condemn or forbid', whereas prescribe means either 'issue a medical prescription' or 'recommend with authority'.

regretful, 'feeling or showing regret', with regrettable, which means 'giving rise to regret; undesirable'.

shear, 'cut the wool off (a sheep)', with sheer, which as a verb means 'swerve or change course quickly' or 'avoid an unpleasant topic', and as an adjective means 'nothing but; absolute', 'perpendicular', or '(of a fabric) very thin'.

stationary and stationery: stationary is an adjective with the sense 'not moving or changing', whereas stationery is a noun meaning 'paper and other writing materials'.

story and storey: a story is a tale or account, while a storey is a floor of a building. In North America the spelling story is sometimes used for storey.

titillate and titivate: titillate means 'excite', whereas titivate means 'adorn or smarten up'.

tortuous, 'full of twists and turns' or 'excessively lengthy and complex', with torturous, which means 'characterized by pain or suffering'.

turbid and turgid: turbid is generally used in reference to a liquid and means 'cloudy or opaque'; turgid tends to mean 'tediously pompous' or, in reference to a river, 'swollen, overflowing'.

unexceptionable, 'that cannot be taken exception to, inoffensive', with unexceptional, 'not exceptional; ordinary'.

unsociable with unsocial and antisocial: unsociable means 'not enjoying the company of or engaging in activities with others'; unsocial usually means 'socially inconvenient' and typically refers to the hours of work of a job; antisocial means 'contrary to accepted social customs and therefore annoying'.

venal ('susceptible to bribery; corruptible') with venial, which is used in Christian theology in reference to sin (a venial sin, unlike a mortal sin, is not regarded as depriving the soul of divine grace).

who's with whose; who's is a contraction of who is or who has, while whose is used in questions such as whose is this? and whose turn is it?

wreath and wreathe: wreath with no e at the end means 'arrangement of flowers', while wreathe with an e is a verb meaning 'envelop, surround, or encircle'.

your with you're; you're is a contraction of you are, while your is a possessive determiner used in phrases such as your turn.


Re: The Complete List
by Gul Gul - Tuesday, 15 July 2008, 05:01 PM

See if this Helps.....

We can Update this and make it even better.....

Will be better if everybody has print out of the same....

We can prepare more excels of similar kind...It  will be handy for all of us....

Re: The Complete List
by Dagny Taggart - Wednesday, 16 July 2008, 08:27 AM

This is an excellent way to learn. You can just take a printout, and carry it with you where ever you go. I'll add both your's and Mallikarjun's sheets in TG wiki today for Zank Zoo. smile

Re: The Complete List
by Rishi Kapoor - Sunday, 20 July 2008, 06:11 PM
  Hi Dagny mam,
where is wiki? I m sorry but i m unable to locate the link!
Re: The Complete List
by Dagny Taggart - Monday, 21 July 2008, 12:32 PM
  We have removed Wiki from the site. Wiki is something that students can edit so, someone deleted the entire stuff. Although I have a backup of the entire thing, I'll update it in grammar Btw how's work going on?
Re: The Complete List
by Divya Dsouza - Monday, 21 July 2008, 11:35 PM
Hi Dagny,

Here's a list i had got last year. it's called Tricky Words. Hope it helps.

Re: The Complete List
by Rishi Kapoor - Monday, 21 July 2008, 11:42 PM
  Hi Mam,
Job is going fine. Turbulence in capital market has done something good to me- less work pressuresmile. I m still unable to find time for studies but utilizes all I get.
I am waiting for WIKI. I have to study all of its content.
Btw, Just check out your email to find the message sent by me.

Re: The Complete List
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 22 July 2008, 07:54 PM

The only good thing during the whole day was your mail. Thank Will reply


Thank you for the list. It looks good. I'd rather say that you paste the entire list in Catakshari thread. Or if you want me to do it, let me know.

Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Top CAT - Saturday, 26 July 2008, 09:18 AM

Commonly Looked Up Words

The following are believed to be the words most frequently looked up in dictionaries, excluding vulgarities, based on studies of words looked up in online dictionaries between 1997 and 1998. The words are listed in reverse order of frequency, and brief definitions are given. For complete definitions, it is recommended that you look the words up in a proper dictionary.


an example that serves as a pattern or model.


a riddle answered by a pun; also, a paradoxical, insoluble, or difficult problem.


the juxtaposition of incongruous or contradictory terms.




a well-fortified position.


a revelation.


the faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.


any of various brain diseases.


a wooden or iron grate, suspended in front of a gateway and lowered to block passage.


a speculative formulation which serves as a guide in the investigation of a problem.


implied comparison between two things by calling or implying that one is the other.


characterized by a narrow, often ostentatious concern for book learning and formal rules.


selecting and employing individual elements from a variety of sources, systems, or styles.


one who hates women.


overbearing pride; arrogance.


conspicuously bad or offensive.


a word fabricated from the initial letters of a name or phrase.


the interaction of multiple agents or forces in such a way that the combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.


the branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of being.


the belief that the destruction of existing political and/or social institutions is necessary for future improvement.


a step-by-step procedure for solving a particular problem or set of problems.


the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of knowledge.


intended for or understood by only a particular group.


relying on or derived from observation or experiment; guided by practical experience rather than theory.


conjectural; involving chance or randonmess.


the state of being unimpaired, sound, whole, complete, or strictly moral.


an exaggeration.


a relationship of mutually beneficial or dependence.


an apparent contradiction which may nevertheless be true.


dealing with facts and actual occurrences; practical.


exhibiting servile compliance.


a warning, qualification, or explanation.


the practice of ending the life of an individual suffering from a terminal illness or incurable condition.


the art or study of using language effectively and persuasively; more generally, verbal communication.


the predominant influence of one state over others.


emphasizing the whole and the interdependence of its parts.


to complain persistently and whiningly


division into two usually contradictory parts or opinions.


cheerfully confident or optimistic; also, having a healthy, reddish color.


of or relating to meaning.


inadequacy or insufficiency.


soft and porous, as a sponge.


open to more than one interpretation.




strikingly conspicuous; prominent.


subject to whim; impulsive and unpredictable.


playfully jocular; humorous.


one who attempts to gain a personal advantage by servile flattery.


a dictatorial person.


a code of correct conduct.


one who believes that existence of God cannot be known but does not deny the possibility that God exists.


identification with and understanding of another's situation, feelings, and motives.


talkative; garrulous.


characterized by lightness and insubstantiality; intangible.


something that is peculiar, irregular, abnormal, or difficult to classify.

Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Dagny Taggart - Saturday, 26 July 2008, 09:35 AM
  That is a wonderful list and you have presented it neatly. Thank
Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Top CAT - Friday, 26 December 2008, 10:12 AM
  thread important for XAT 2009

1. SYN.—

caricature refers to an imitation or representation of a person or thing, in drawing, writing, or performance, that ludicrously exaggerates its distinguishing features;

Burlesque implies the handling of a serious subject lightly or flippantly, or of a trifling subject with mock seriousness;

a parody ridicules a written work or writer by imitating the style closely, esp. so as to point up its peculiarities or affectations, and by distorting the content nonsensically or changing it to something absurdly incongruous;

travesty, in contrast, implies that the subject matter is retained, but that the style and language are changed so as to give a grotesquely absurd effect;

satire refers to a literary composition in which follies, vices, stupidities, and abuses in life are held up to ridicule and contempt;

lampoon refers to a piece of strongly satirical writing that uses broad humor in attacking and ridiculing the faults and weaknesses of an individual


2. SYN.—

an epicure is a person who has a highly refined taste for fine foods and drinks and takes great pleasure in indulging it;

a gourmet is a connoisseur in eating and drinking who appreciates subtle differences in flavor or quality;
gourmand, occasionally equivalent to gourmet, is more often applied to a person who has a hearty liking for good food or one who is inclined to eat to excess;

a gastronome is an expert in all phases of the art or science of good eating;

a glutton is a greedy, voracious eater and drinker


3. SYN.—

severe applies to a person or thing that is strict and uncompromising and connotes a total absence of softness, laxity, frivolity, etc. [a severe critic, hairdo, etc.];

stern implies an unyielding firmness, esp. as manifested in a grim or forbidding aspect or manner [a stern guardian];

austere suggests harsh restraint, self-denial, stark simplicity [the austere diet of wartime], or an absence of warmth, passion, ornamentation, etc. [an austere bedroom];

ascetic implies extreme self-denial and self-discipline or even, sometimes, the deliberate self-infliction of pain and discomfort, as by religious fanatics [an ascetic hermit]

—ANT. mild, lax, indulgent


4. SYN.—

range refers to the full extent over which something is perceivable, effective, etc. [the range of his knowledge];

reach refers to the furthest limit of effectiveness, influence, etc. [beyond the reach of my understanding];

scope implies considerable room and freedom of range, but within prescribed limits [does it fall within the scope of this dictionary?];

compass also suggests completeness within limits regarded as a circumference [he did all within the compass of his power];

gamut, in this connection, refers to the full range of shades, tones, etc. between the limits of something [the full gamut of emotions]


5. SYN.—

circumference refers to the line bounding a circle or any approximately circular or elliptical area;

perimeter extends the meaning to a line bounding any area, as a triangle, square, or polygon;

periphery, in its literal sense identical with perimeter, is more frequently used of the edge of a physical object or in an extended metaphoric sense [the periphery of understanding];

circuit now usually refers to a traveling around a periphery [the moon‘s circuit of the earth];

compass refers literally to an area within specific limits but is often used figuratively [the compass of the city, the compass of freedom]


6. SYN.—

despise implies a strong emotional response toward that which one looks down upon with contempt or aversion [to despise a hypocrite];

 to scorn is to feel indignation toward or deep contempt for [to scorn the offer of a bribe];

disdain implies a haughty or arrogant contempt for what one considers beneath one‘s dignity [to disdain flattery];

contemn, chiefly a literary word, implies a vehement disapproval of a person or thing as base, vile, or despicable


7. SYN.—

hate implies a feeling of great dislike or aversion, and, with persons as the object, connotes the bearing of malice;

detest implies vehement dislike or antipathy;

despise suggests a looking down with great contempt upon the person or thing one hates;

abhor implies a feeling of great repugnance or disgust;

loathe implies utter abhorrence —ANT. love, like


8. SYN.—

love implies intense fondness or deep devotion and may apply to various relationships or objects [sexual love, brotherly love, love of one‘s work, etc.];

affection suggests warm, tender feelings, usually not as powerful or deep as those implied by love [he has no affection for children];

attachment implies connection by ties of affection, attraction, devotion, etc. and may be felt for inanimate things as well as for people [an attachment to an old hat];

infatuation implies a foolish or unreasoning passion or affection, often a transient one [an elderly man‘s infatuation for a young girl]




9. SYN.—

murmur implies a continuous flow of words or sounds in a low, indistinct voice and may apply to utterances of satisfaction or dissatisfaction [to murmur a prayer];

mutter usually suggests angry or discontented words or sounds of this kind [to mutter curses]; to

mumble is to utter almost inaudible or inarticulate sounds in low tones, with the mouth nearly closed [an old woman mumbling to herself]


10. SYN.—

sad is the simple, general term, ranging in implication from a mild, momentary unhappiness to a feeling of intense grief;

sorrowful implies a sadness caused by some specific loss, disappointment, etc. [her death left him sorrowful];

melancholy suggests a more or less chronic mournfulness or gloominess, or, often, merely a wistful pensiveness [melancholy thoughts about the future];

dejected implies discouragement or a sinking of spirits, as because of frustration;

depressed suggests a mood of brooding despondency, as because of fatigue or a sense of futility [the novel left him feeling depressed];

doleful implies a mournful, often lugubrious, sadness [the doleful look on a lost child‘s face] —ANT. happy, cheerful


11. SYN.—

happy generally suggests a feeling of great pleasure, contentment, etc. [a happy]; marriage

glad implies more strongly an exultant feeling of joy [your letter made her so glad], but both glad and happy are commonly used in merely polite formulas expressing gratification [I‘m glad, or happy, to have met you];

cheerful implies a steady display of bright spirits, optimism, etc. [he‘s always cheerful in the morning];

joyful and joyous both imply great elation and rejoicing, the former generally because of a particular event, and the latter as a matter of usual temperament [the joyfuljoyous family] throngs, a

ANT. sad



12. SYN.—

accidental describes that which occurs by chance [an accidental encounter] or outside the normal course of events [an accidental attribute];

fortuitous, which frequently suggests a complete absence of cause, now usually refers to chance events of a fortunate nature;

casual describes the unpremeditated, random, informal, or irregular quality of something [a casual visit, remark, dress, etc.];

incidental emphasizes the nonessential or secondary nature of something [an incidental consideration];

adventitious refers to that which is added extrinsically and connotes a lack of essential connection



13. SYN.—

destroy implies a tearing down or bringing to an end by wrecking, ruining, killing, eradicating, etc. and is the term of broadest application here [to destroy a city, one‘s influence, etc.];

demolish implies such destructive force as to completely smash to pieces [the bombs demolished the factories];

raze means to level to the ground, either destructively or by systematic wrecking with a salvaging of useful parts;

to annihilate is to destroy so completely as to blot out of existence [rights that cannot be annihilated]


14. SYN.—

poverty, the broadest of these terms, implies a lack of the resources for reasonably comfortable living;

destitution and want imply such great poverty that the means for mere subsistence, such as food and shelter, are lacking;

indigence, a somewhat euphemistic term, implies a lack of luxuries which one formerly enjoyed;

penury suggests such severe poverty as to cause misery, or a loss of self-respect

ANT. wealth, affluence



15. SYN.—

crowd is applied to an assembly of persons or things in close proximity or densely packed together and may suggest lack of order, loss of personal identity, etc. [crowds lined the street];

throng specifically suggests a moving crowd of people pushing one another [throngsTimes Square]; of celebrators at

multitude stresses greatness of number in referring to persons or things assembled or considered together [a multitude arrayed against him];

swarm suggests a large, continuously moving group [a swarm of sightseers];

mob, properly applied to a disorderly or lawless crowd, is an abusive term when used to describe the masses or any specific group of people;

host specifically suggests a large organized body marshaled together but may be used generally of any sizable group considered collectively [he has a host of friends];

 horde specifically refers to any large predatory band [a horde of office seekers]


16. SYN.—

food is the general term for all matter that is taken into the body for nourishment;

fare refers to the range of foods eaten by a particular organism or available at a particular time and place [the fare of horses, a bill of fare];

victuals  is a dialectal or colloquial word for human fare or diet;

provisions  in this connection, refers to a stock of food assembled in advance [provisions for the hike];

ration refers to a fixed allowance or allotment of food [the weekly ration] and in the plural (rations) to food in general [how are the rations in this outfit?]


17. SYN.—

curse is the general word for calling down evil or injury on someone or something;

damn carries the same general meaning but, in strict usage, implies the use of the word “damn” in the curse [he damned his enemies = he said, “Damn my enemies!”];

execrate suggests cursing prompted by great anger or abhorrence;

imprecate suggests the calling down of calamity on someone, esp. from a desire for revenge;

anathematize strictly refers to the formal utterance of solemn condemnation by ecclesiastical authority, but in general use it is equivalent to imprecate —ANT.bless



18. SYN.—

scold is the common term meaning to find fault with or rebuke in angry, irritated, often nagging language [a mother scolds a naughty child];

upbraid implies bitter reproach or censure and usually connotes justification for this [she upbraided me for my carelessness];

berate suggests continuous, heated, even violent reproach, often connoting excessive abuse [the old shrew continued berating them];

revile implies the use of highly abusive and contemptuous language and often connotes deliberate defamation or slander [he reviled his opponent unmercifully];

vituperate suggests even greater violence in the attack [vituperating each other with foul epithets]


19. SYN.—

criticize, in this comparison, is the general term for finding fault with or disapproving of a person or thing;

reprehend suggests sharp or severe disapproval, generally of faults, errors, etc. rather than of persons;

blame stresses the fixing of responsibility for an error, fault, etc.;

censure implies the expression of severe criticism or disapproval by a person in authority or in a position to pass judgment;

condemn and denounce both imply an emphatic pronouncement of blame or guilt,

condemn suggesting the rendering of a judicial decision, and denounce, public accusation against persons or their acts —ANT. Praise


20. SYN.—

praise is the simple, basic word implying an expression of approval, esteem, or commendation [to praise one‘s performance];

laud implies great, sometimes extravagant praise [the critics lauded the actor to the skies];

acclaim suggests an outward show of strong approval, as by loud applause, cheering, etc. [he was acclaimed the victor];

extol implies exalting or lofty praise [the scientist was extolled for his work];

eulogize suggests formal praise in speech or writing, as on a special occasion [the minister eulogized the exemplary life of the deceased]


21. SYN —

deception is applied to anything that  deceives, whether by design or illusion;

fraud suggests deliberate deception in dishonestly depriving a person of property, rights, etc.; subterfuge suggests an artifice or stratagem used to hide one's true objective, to evade something, or to gain some end;

trickery implies the use of tricks or ruses in deceiving others;

chicanery implies the use of clever but tricky talk or action, esp. in legal actions


22. SYN.—

female is the basic term applied to members of the sex that is biologically distinguished from the male sex and is used of animals or plants as well as of human beings;

feminine is now the preferred term for references, other than those basically biological, to qualities thought to be characteristic of or suitable to women, as delicacy, gentleness, etc.;

womanly suggests the noble qualities one associates with a woman, esp. one who has maturity of character;

womanish, in contrast, suggests the weaknesses and faults that are regarded as characteristic of women;

effeminate, used chiefly in reference to a man, implies delicacy, softness, or lack of virility;

ladylike refers to manners, conduct, etc. such as are expected from a refined or well-bred woman


Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Top CAT - Friday, 26 December 2008, 10:17 AM

23. SYN.—

male is the basic term applied to members of the sex that is biologically distinguished from the female sex and is used of animals and plants as well as of human beings;

masculine is applied to qualities, such as strength and vigor, traditionally ascribed to men, or to things appropriate to men;

manly suggests the noble qualities, such as courage and independence, that a culture ideally associates with a man who has maturity of character;

mannish, used chiefly of women, is most often used derogatorily and implies the possession or adoption of the traits and manners thought to be more appropriate to a man;

virile stresses qualities such as robustness, vigor, and, specif., sexual potency, that belong to a physically mature man



24. SYN.—

superficial implies concern with the obvious or surface aspects of a thing [superficial] and, in a derogatory sense, lack of thoroughness, profoundness, significance, etc. [superficial judgments]; characteristics

shallow, in this connection always derogatory, implies a lack of depth of character, intellect, meaning, etc. [shallow writing];

cursory, which may or may not be derogatory, suggests a hasty consideration of something without pausing to note details [a cursory inspection] —ANT. deep, profound





Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Dagny Taggart - Friday, 26 December 2008, 09:51 PM
  Excellent compilation , Top CAT smile
Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by naren l - Monday, 29 December 2008, 03:05 AM
  Hiii ..

I was just going thru this interesting list of synonyms .
I have attached this list of synonyms i found on google .
Hope it helps .

Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Dagny Taggart - Thursday, 1 January 2009, 04:56 PM
  Thank you Naren. Your contribution is
Re: Mallikarjun has confused me even more..
by Sumana Sil - Sunday, 8 September 2013, 12:42 AM
  Hi! I would love to appreciate the wonderful endeavors of whosoever has created this site and has come up with such an exotic idea which is apposite for many competitive exam aspirants. But that now am a part of this entire program as well, hence i would love to share an important annotation in this regard. There should be another pair in the list of commonly confused words: Historical and Historic, which i could not find in the list provided.
Thanks and regards.