Alphabetical Word Guide
Here's a copy of the problem list (currently 424 words) sorted in alphabetical order, to save searching if you're just checking the usage of a word. For a list organized by type, such as homophones, please seee the Handy Word Guide.
In addition, there are some confusing words which are not homophones but tend to get misused a lot.a lot — many: There are a lot of trucks here here.
a part — an element of: A piston is a part of an engine.
a — indefinite article, used before a consonant: A big truck.
accept — to receive or welcome: He accepted the keys to the truck.
accurate — a measurement that is accurate is one that is correct (though not necessarily exact).
acme — the highest point: Performing in the Palladium was the acme of his career.
acne — zits: His face was pocked with acne scars.
acrophobia — the fear of heights.
ad — abbreviation for advertisement: An ad for trucks.
add — put more in: Add that to the stuff in the truck.
adverse — unfavorable, harmful: The adverse weather conditions slowed us down.
affect (n) — a technical term in psychiatry, referring to emotions.
affect (v) — have an effect on: The bad weather affected the roads.
agoraphobia — the fear of open spaces.
aid — assistance: Doctors provide aid to the sick.
aide — assistant: Every commander needs a good aide.
AIDS — Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.
aids — signals given to a horse by its rider.
aight — (not a word)
aisle — a place to walk: The bride walked down the aisle.
all ready — entirely ready: The trucks are all ready to go.
all right — synonym for ok: All right, let's do it.
allot — to give or assign: More than the allotted number of trucks.
allowed — permitted: He was allowed to say it.
allude — to refer to: The speaker alluded to the symbolism in Pilgrim's Progress.
allusion — indirect reference: Milton's poetry contains allusions to the classics.
alot — (not a word)
aloud — capable of being heard: He said it aloud.
already — before now: The trucks already left.
alright — (not a word)
an — indefinite article, used in place of "a" before a vowel: An empty truck.
and — conjunction: A truck and a car.
anecdote — a short, humorous story: He laughed at the funny anecdotes.
angel — a celestial being: Touched by an angel.
angle — where two lines meet: The road forked at a sharp angle.
antidote — remedy: The doctor administered the antidote.
anxious — to look forward to with dread: He anxiously awaited his physical.
any more — additional, extra: I'm full, so I can't eat any more shrimp.
anymore — from now on: Seafood gives me migraines, so I can't eat shrimp anymore.
apart — separated: He took the truck engine apart.
are — present tense of "to be": You are reading this.
assure — remove doubt; promise: He assured us that the truck was coming.
averse — opposed to, unwilling: He was averse to the idea and kept arguing.
away — elsewhere: The truck went away.
aweigh — lift clear of the bottom: Anchors aweigh!
bail (n) — money required to ensure that a person appears for trial: Bail was set at $10,000.
bail (v) — to empty a boat with a bucket, or leave an airplane: Bail out!
bale — a bundle of something: Bales of hay.
ball — a spherical object, often bouncy.
band — a ring or a musical group: What's your favorite band?
banned — past tense of ban: He got banned from FFN.
bare — unclothed: I have bare feet.
bawl — to yell, or to yell at someone: bawl them out.
bazaar — a middle eastern market: Let's go shopping in the bazaar.
bear — a furry creature; to carry; to tolerate: I can't bear bad writing.
bizarre — strange: I bought something bizarre.
board — a plank: Put that board in the truck.
boarder — someone who pays for housing and food: Mrs. Smith took in boarders.
border — an edge or frontier: The truck drove across the border.
bored — tired of: I'm bored with putting stuff in trucks; also, made a hole.
born — arrived via birth: I wasn't born yesterday.
borne — carried: A plane becomes airborne.
borrow — to recieve a loan: Can I borrow your truck?
brake — something to stop a vehicle: This truck has bad brakes.
breach — to break; something broken: a breach in the defenses.
bread — something you eat: A loaf of bread.
breadth — how broad something is.
break — to un-fix: Don't break anything.
breath — the air that is moved in and out of the lungs.
breathe — the act of moving air in and out of the lungs.
bred — various forms of breed: Racehorses are bred for speed.
breech — the rear end: a breech-loading gun.
bring — to move something toward the speaker: Bring it when you come.
bumble — to move clumsily. Bumblebees bumble around flowers.
bungle — to do incompetently: The mechanic bungled the truck repairs.
but — except: We have everything but a truck.
butt — what a billygoat does; a target; the posterior.
butte — a flat-topped hill
buy — purchase: I want to buy a truck.
by — a preposition: The truck is parked by the garage.
bye — short for goodbye (colloquial).
cannon — a really big gun: The cannon bombarded the fortress.
canon — an original or authoritative source: Fanfic writers should respect canon.
censer — a thing incense is burned in.
censor — to edit out prohibited content.
cents — pennies: The price is fifty cents.
chanty — a sailor's working song, probably from "chant".
chord — several simultaneous musical notes; a line across a circle.
cite — to refer to: Cite your references; to write up: Cited for speeding.
close — near: The truck was parked close to the car.
closed — not open: The door of the truck was closed.
cloth — what clothes are made out of.
clothes — what you wear.
cloths — multiple pieces or types of cloth.
coma — a deep state of unconsciousness from which a person cannot be aroused.
come on — let's go, continue: Come on, get on with it.
comma — a punctuation mark often misused by novice writers.
common — not rare: Trucks are very common examples here.
comon — (not a word)
complement — something which completes: A fine wine complements the meal.
compliment — praise: Good writers get genuine compliments.
compose — to make up: The parts compose the whole.
comprise — to contain: The whole comprises the parts.
conscience — internal sense of right and wrong: The thief had a guilty conscience.
conscious — awake: The truck driver is conscious.
consist (of) — to be made of: The whole consists of the parts.
constitute — to form: The parts together constitute the whole.
continous — constant, unbroken: The continuous roar of truck engines.
continual — happening again and again: The faucet drips continually.
copyright — the right to copy (such as a story). Not copywrite or copywright.
cord — a string, wire, or other long, flexible thing.
cored — removed the core from: He cored the apple.
costumer — someone who makes costumes: Costumers are found at SF cons.
council — a ruling committee: The town council banned loud car stereos.
counsel — (v) to advise; (n) a lawyer or advisor; advice.
cubical — cube-shaped: a cubical box.
cubicle — permanent "temporary" office: nobody likes working in a cubicle.
customer — someone who buys something: Customers are found in stores.
cymbal — one of a pair of metal discs used as a percussion instrument.
decimate — to destroy one-tenth: The mutinous Roman legion was decimated.
defuse — disarm; reduce tension: To defuse a bomb.
desert — A dry, sandy sort of place: North Africa is primarily desert.
dessert — a sweet food eaten at the end of a meal: Ice cream is a tasty dessert.
devastate — to cause extensive destruction: The city was devastated by bombing.
dew — water condensed on surfaces: The morning dew glistened on the roses.
die — to cease to live: The king must die; also, singular of dice.
diffuse — become widespread: Blood diffused through the water.
discreet — circumspect: Take a discreet peek at the secret files.
discrete — separate: The mixture is made of two discrete parts.
discussed — to talk about: The Heroes discussed their plan.
disgust — a strong loathing: He looked at the roadkill with disgust.
disinterested — neutral, impartial: A disinterested mediator.
do — to take an action: I didn't do it!
dominant (adj) — being in control: The rooster was the dominant chicken.
dominate (v) — to control: The rooster tried to dominate the chicken coop.
dual — having two parts: A dual-part story.
duel — a two-person fight: A story about a duel.
dye — to make another color: Dye the king's robes purple.
eager — to look forward to with keen desire: He eagerly awaited the circus.
effect (n) — consequence: The effect was that driving was hazardous.
effect (v) — to cause to happen: Perhaps this will effect a change in writers.
elicit — to draw forth: His hostile words elicited an angry response.
elude — to escape from or avoid: My muse is eluding me.
emigrate — to move out of a country.
eminent — conspicuous, prominent, famous: He was an eminent statesman.
ensure — make certain something happens: Ensure that the truck is here on time.
ex-patriot — Not a word; if it were, it would mean a person who is no longer a patriot.
except — excluding; to exclude: We have everything except a truck.
expatriate — someone living in a foreign country: An American expatriate in Paris.
fain — gladly: I would fain return.
fair — equitable; pleasant; a public gathering.
faire — Short for "Renaissance Faire".
fallow — not cultivated: The field was allowed to lie fallow this year.
falter — to fail: His bravery faltered when he saw the enemy.
fane — a shrine or temple.
fare — a price paid for passage: The bus fare was fifty cents.
fault — a problem: His big fault was his over-confidence.
faze — to disconcert: Nothing can faze him.
feign — to fake: He feigned interest.
fellow — companion, man in general: There's a fellow here with a truck.
fiscal — to do with money: The new fiscal year starts today.
flaunt — to wave about: He likes to flaunt his triumphs.
flew — past tense of fly: The bird flew.
flout — to openly defy: He likes to flout the rules.
flu — shortened term for influenza: He had the flu.
flue — the passage in a chimney: The smoke went up the flue.
follow — to travel behind: Follow that truck!
foreword — introduction to a book. The words that come before the book.
forward — opposite of backward: The truck went forward.
foul — a rules violation, or repulsive: The foul ball fell into foul water.
fowl — a bird: Chickens are fowl. (chicken coops, on the other hand...)
fraught — loaded, accompanied: The mission was fraught with danger.
fumble — to clumsily handle or drop. The courier fumbled with the packet.
gilt — fake gold: The sign on the truck had gilt lettering.
grisly — gory: A grisly murder.
grizzly — flecked with grey: Grizzly bears have grizzled fur.
guilt — a feeling of shame: The truck driver was overcome with guilt.
hair — what grows on a head. The king's hair is brown.
hare — a bunny. The king's hare has long ears.
heal — to make well: It takes time for broken bones to heal.
hear — to sense with an ear. (easy: hear, ear)
heel — part of the foot: The boot had a high heel.
heir — one who inherits. The king's heir is the prince.
here — not there. (easy: here, there)
hoard — a collection of stuff: A hoard of treasure.
home — a place someone lives: His home was the sleeper of his truck.
homing — Seeking a specific target: A homing pigeon; a homing missile.
honing — the act of sharpening: Honing a knife.
horde — a lot of people: A horde of Mongols.
house — a residential building, often single: The truck was parked by the house.
illicit — illegal, unlawful: The candidate accepted illicit donations.
illusion — something imaginary: A magician's tricks are illusions.
immigrate — to move into a country.
imminent — about to happen: The heroes were in imminent danger.
imply — suggest something: I'm not trying to imply that I own these characters.
infer — conclude from evidence: Don't infer that I own these characters.
insure — issue or obtain insurance: Be sure to insure the new truck.
interment — burial. The interment will be after the funeral service.
internment — captivity. He endured three years of internment.
isle — an island: Some enchanted isle.
it's — contraction of "it is": It's where the other trucks are.
its — possessive of "it": The truck is in its garage.
knew — understood: He knew all about trucks.
knot — an interlacing of a cord or rope: He tied a knot.
know — to have knowledge: I know that's a truck.
laying (lay) what you do to something else: Lay those coats on the bed.
leach — to remove with water: The nutrients were leached out of the flooded soil.
lead — a heavy metal: Turn lead into gold; to direct: Lead us to victory!
led — past tense of lead: You led us to the supermarket!
leech — a bloodsucking creature: There's a leech on my leg!.
lend — to make a loan: I'll lend you my truck.
lessen — reduce: Unload the truck to lessen its weight.
lesson — instruction: A tipped truck is a lesson in bad loading.
lie — an untruth: Never tell a lie.
lieu — place: Now only used in "In lieu of."
lightening — making lighter: Dumping cargo is a way of lightening a truck.
lightning — the cause of thunder: The truck was hit by lightning.
loath — reluctant: He was loath to drive the truck with worn-out brakes.
loathe — abhor: He loathed trucks.
loo — a British bathroom: I'm going to the loo.
loose — opposite of tight: The truck's lug nuts are loose.
looser — opposite of tighter: Your pants will feel looser if you lose some weight.
lose — opposite of find: How could you lose a whole truck?
loser — opposite of winner: The loser has to do the dishes for a week.
lye — a caustic chemical: Never drink lye.
lying (lie) — what someone or something (including you) does: The coats are lying on the bed.
may be — adv.+v. might be: I may be in the truck.
maybe — adv. possibly: Maybe we shouldn't drive this truck.
medal — a military decoration: The Iron Cross is a medal.
meddle — to involve oneself: Do not meddle in other people's business.
memento — an object kept as a reminder: She took photos as mementos of her trip.
metal — a material: Iron is a metal.
mettle — inner strength: It takes a lot of mettle to be a spy.
minuet — a dance of the 17th century.
minute (adj) — (pronounced my-newt) very small: A minute puncture in a truck tire.
minute (n) — (pronounced min-it) 60 seconds: This will only take a minute.
momento — Spanish for moment: Solo un momento.
moot — of no significance (esp. legal): If a truck is out of gas, its performance is moot. Also, arguable or open to question.
morn — morning: "When on a summer's morn I wake...."
mourn — to grieve: They mourned the loss of the only working truck.
muscle — a body part: I'm getting sore muscles from loading all those trucks.
mussel — a shellfish: A truckload of mussels going to market.
mute — not speaking: It is better to remain mute and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.
naught — nothing, lost, done in vain: It was all for naught.
naval — to do with the navy: Go to the naval base.
navel — the bellybutton: Go contemplate your navel.
new — not old: A new truck.
nimrod — a mighty hunter, from a person in the Bible.
no — a word of negation: That's no truck!
not — to express negation, denial, or refusal: That's not true!
now — the present time: The truck is here now.
our — possessive of "us": That is our truck!
pail — a bucket: The pail was full of water.
palatable — edible: A good cook can make anything palatable.
palate — the upper part of the mouth; taste perferences.
pale — light-colored: His face was pale; a barrier: beyond the pale.
palette — an artist's color tray; a range of colors.
pallet — a straw mattress; a platform used to move items: Load the pallets in the truck.
palpable — able to be felt: The tension was palpable.
passed — past tense of pass: The truck passed by.
past — before the present: A story of the past; preposition: The truck went past.
patience — endurance and perseverance: Beta readers need enormous patience.
patients — doctors' clients: Doctors prescribe diets for enormous patients.
peace — the opposite of war: The leaders signed a peace treaty.
peak — the top: Climb to the peak of the mountain.
peal — a sound: They heard the peal of bells.
pedal — something pushed with the foot; to ride a foot-powered vehicle.
peddle — to sell: The farmer's son peddled vegetables door to door.
peek — to look: Peek out the window.
peel — a vegetable skin: Potatoes have peels.
personal — specific to a person: That is my personal opinion.
personnel — employees: That is my opinion of the personnel.
perspective — angle of view: It can't be seen from this perspective.
petal — part of a flower, usually the showy part.
phase — a stage in something: Going through a phase.
physical — to do with the body: A physical handicap.
piece — a part of something: I want a piece of pie.
pique — to arouse: What you see will pique your curiosity.
plain — not fancy: It was a plain truck.
plains — flat terrain: Buffalo roamed the Great Plains.
plane — a flat surface; a woodworking tool; an airplane.
poisonous — toxic if ingested: Arsenic is poisonous.
Pole — a citizen of Poland: The truck driver was a Pole.
pole — a rod or staff: The flag flew from a tall pole.
poll — a survey: I got a call from someone taking a political poll.
pore — a hole; to study closely: Poring over intelligence reports is boring.
pour — to dump liquid on: Pouring coffee on intelligence reports is bad.
pray — to call upon a deity: Let us pray.
precise — a measurement that is precise is one that is exact (though not necessarily correct).
prey — hunter's target: The cat pounced on its prey; also, (v) to hunt.
principal — a main or important part; head teacher: The principal is my pal. (easy: both end in -al)
principle — a rule: A principle is a rule. (easy: both end in -le)
private — not public: That is private information.
privet — A type of shrub: A privet hedge.
prone — lying face down.
prospective — forthcoming or likely to occur: A prospective new client.
rain — to drip: Why is it raining in my kitchen?
raise — to move upward: Raise your hand.
rays — flat cartilaginous fish: Stingrays; lines: Rays of sunlight.
raze — to knock down: Raze the city.
read — interpret from written words: Please read this list of words.
read — performed reading: We read about trucks.
reckless — uncaring or unaware of danger: a reckless driver.
red — a color: That truck is red.
rede — advice or a rule (archaic): Right is thy rede.
reed — a grass-like water plant: The ducks hid in the reeds.
reek — to stink: The garbage truck reeked.
reign — to rule: The king reigns.
rein — what you steer a horse with, as in the phrase "To give free rein".
right — correct: The right way; permission: This man has no right to be here.
ring — something circular: Ring around the rosie.
rite — ritual: Getting your first bad review is a rite of passage.
road — what you drive on: There is a truck on the road.
rode — past tense of ride: I rode in the truck.
role — a function or a character: An actor plays a role.
roll call — checking attendance from a list.
roll — a list: The student made the honor roll.
sale — n. act or result of selling: This truck is for sale.
scar — n. a visible mark of a healed wound: A scar on his cheek. (scarred)
scare — v. to frighten: Trucks scare him. (scared)
scene — a location: They had already left the scene.
scents — smells: The scents of the flowers were intoxicating.
scull — to move with oars: The crew sculled the boat.
seam — stitching: To sew a fine seam.
seem — appear: The weather seems fine for now.
seen — past participle of saw: They were not seen.
sell — v. to make a sale: We should sell this truck.
sense — to detect: I sense a truck coming; wisdom: common sense is uncommon.
sensor — something that senses.
sew — to stitch: Sew a seam.
shanty — a hut or small building.
shear — to clip or cut: Shear a sheep.
sheer — undiluted: Sheer terror; very thin: Sheer curtains.
sight — something seen: What a sight that explosion was!
since — in the time after: I have added over 100 words since this started.
site — location: The bridge was the site of the explosion.
skull — the head bone: The Jolly Roger is a skull and crossbones.
sleight — skill or trickery: Sleight of hand.
slight — minimal: I have a slight headache.
sole — only; the bottom of the foot or shoe: The sole sole had a hole.
soul — spirit: His soul was tormented.
sow — to plant seeds: Sow barley.
stake — a pointy piece of wood: Stick a stake in that vampire; something at risk: The stakes were high.
steak — a tasty piece of meat: Stick a steak on that grill.
steal — to take unlawfully: Someone might steal that truck.
steel — a metal: Trucks are made of steel.
straight — directly: Go straight north.
strait — something tight or constricted: The Straits of Gibraltar, for instance.
suit — n. masculine formal wear: He bought a pinstriped suit; also, lawsuit.
suit — v. to fit or be appropriate: Soot suits you.
suite — n. a set of things: He bought a new bedroom suite.
summary — a short synopsis: A story should have a good summary.
summery — pertaining to summer: We look forward to summery weather.
supine — lying face up, on one's back.
symbol — a sign; something that stands for something else.
tail — a caudal appendage: The mouse has a long tail.
take — to move something away from the speaker: Take it when you go.
tale — a story: A tale about a cat and a mouse.
tenant — one occupying rented property: There was a tenant in the apartment.
tenet — a rule or principle The first tenet of writing is to know what you write.
than — the second half of a comparison: Trucks are bigger than bicycles.
their — possessive of "them": That is their stuff. (easy: her, our, your, their)
then — a time other than now: Wash the truck, then you can drive it.
there — location other than here: It's over there. (easy: T+here)
they're — contraction of "they are": They're reading too. (easy: they+are)
threw — verb, past tense of throw. He threw a rock.
throne — a fancy chair: The king was on his throne.
through — preposition: Walk through the gate.
thrown — past participle of throw: The court jester was thrown out.
timber — trees or logs: The truck was loaded with timbre.
timbre — tone: The sound of the truck's defective engine had a strange timbre.
to — think of towards: Going to town.
tomb — a grave: The Tomb of the Patriarchs is famous.
tome — a large book: This tome is about trucks.
too — also: I will go too; excessively: Too bad.
trader — one who trades or sells: He was a trader in spices.
traitor — one who betrays: He was a traitor to his country.
two — between one and three: Two trucks.
uninterested — not interested: He was uninterested in how the engine worked.
unique — the only one of its kind. Either something is unique, or it isn't. "Very unique" is very wrong.
vain — conceited: The movie star was vain; futile: It was in vain.
vale — a valley: The little brown church in the vale.
vane — a thin, flat surface, often moveable: A weather vane.
veil — a thin covering: A bridal veil.
vein — a blood vessel: The jugular vein.
venomous — capable of injecting toxin: Rattlesnakes are venomous.
vial — a small bottle: A vial of blood.
vicious — nasty: A vicious dog.
vile — foul: A bottle of something vile.
viscous — sticky or gooey: a viscous liquid.
waist — the middle of the body: A belt goes around your waist.
waive — to grant an exemption to: Waive the rules.
ware — goods such as pottery (often compound): The dishes were stoneware.
wares — goods for sale: The shopkeeper advertised his wares.
wary — afraid: I am wary of letting my characters become Mary Sues.
waste — squander; something wasted: Don't waste your time on bad fanfic.
wave — to flap around: Wave the flag.
way — path or direction: Which way did the truck go?
wear — to be clothed in: Wear a sweater when it's cold.
weary — tired: Reading fanfic at 3 am leaves me weary the next day.
weather — rain, snow, etc.: What is the weather like today?
weigh — check the weight of, or have weight: How much does that truck weigh?
were- — as in werewolf, etc.: creature that can change from human to animal form.
were — past tense of "to be": The trucks were here.
wet — damp, or to make damp: If you go out in the rain you'll get wet.
wether — a neutered ram; normally seen in the word "bellwether".
where — at what location: Where is the truck?
whet — to sharpen: Hard work will whet your appetite.
whether — or not: See whether it's raining.
whey — the liquid part of curdled milk, squeezed out from the curds.
which — pronoun. This is the newt which was once human.
whine — whimper or complain: Don't whine about the food.
who's — contraction of "who is": Who's on first?
who — pronoun for an unknown person, used as a subject: Who gave that to you?
whom — pronoun for an unknown person, used as an object: To whom did you give it?
whose — possessive of "who": Whose truck is this?
wine — fermented grape juice: A fine wine was served with the meal.
witch — n. person with magical powers: The witch turned me into a newt!
wreak — to inflict, especially vengeance: The bombing wreaked havoc on Dresden.
wreck — to ruin: The truck was wrecked when it ran off the road.
wreckless — not having wrecks (not really a word).
wright — someone who makes something: A playwright or a shipwright.
wring — twist tightly: Wring out the washcloth.
write — what we do: Write a story.
yore — ancient times: In days of yore.
you're — contraction of "you are": You're reading this.
your — possessive of "you": This is your stuff.