Commonly Confused Words
1. Biannual, Biennial & Perennial
Biannual means occurring twice a year; semi-annual.
Usage Example: The biannual board meeting was just a formality for the board members to meet each other twice in a year.
Biennial means lasting or enduring for two years.
Usage Example: They met after every two years at biennial conventions.
Perennial means perpetual; everlasting; continuing; recurrent.
Usage Example: Beautiful perennial daffodils lined both sides of the avenue.
2. Bidding & Biding
Bidding means command; summons; invitation.
Usage Example: The beggar was fed at the kitchen door at the old man/s bidding.
Biding means to wait for a favourable opportunity.
Usage Example: He was biding his time to take his revenge.
3. Bisect & Dissect
Bisect means to cut or divide into two equal or nearly equal parts.
Usage Example: Thunderstorm and lightning bisected the tree.
Dissect means make a mathematical, chemical, or grammatical analysis of; break down into components or essential features.
Usage Example: After the crash in the market, the analysts are busy dissecting the market
4. Bogey & Bogy
Bogey means a score of one stroke over par on a hole. This word is used for the game of golf.
Usage Example: After the penalty shot, he putted for a bogey.
Bogy means anything that haunts, frightens, annoys, or harasses, a hobgoblin; evil spirit.
Usage Example: They used a lantern as a bogy to frighten the children.
5. Breach & Breech
Breach means a gap made in a wall, fortification, line of soldiers, etc.; rift; fissure, any severance or separation.
Usage Example: The two political parties had a breach due to vested interests.
Breech is the lower, rear part of the trunk of the body,opening in the rear of the barrel of a gun where bullets can be loaded.
Usage Example: They had to load the breech of the gun before firing.
6. Bridal & Bridle
Bridal means of, for, or pertaining to a bride or a wedding.
Usage Example: She wore a sequined bridal dress.
Bridle is a part of the tack or harness of a horse, consisting usually of a headstall, bit, and reins. It can also mean something that curbs or restrains; check
Usage Example: He loosened the bridle and jumped off the horse.
He had to bridle his antagonism at the political gathering.
7. Broach & Brooch
Broach is an elongated, tapered, serrated cutting tool for shaping and enlarging holes. It is also used as a verb and it means to bring up a topic for discussion
Usage Example: He was called to broach the cask of wine.
He broached the delicate subject with some hesitation.
Brooch is a clasp or ornament having a pin at the back for passing through the clothing and a catch for securing the point of the pin.
Usage Example: She liked to sport her Cartier diamond brooch.
8. Cabal & Cable
Cabal means a small group of secret plotters, as against a government or person in authority.
Usage Example: The arms dealer offloads the ammunition at the hideout of the underworld cabal.
Cable is a very strong rope made of strands of metal wire, as used to support cable cars or suspension bridges.
Usage Example: He is currently working as a designer in a cable company.
9. Callous & Callus
Callous means insensitive; indifferent; unsympathetic.
Usage Example: He became aloof and callous after the tragedy.
Callus means a hardened or thickened part of the skin; a callosity.
Usage Example: Hard physical labor callused his hands and feet.
10. Cannon & Canon
Cannon means a mounted gun for firing heavy projectiles; a gun, howitzer, or mortar.
Usage Example: The temple was razed to the ground by the cannon fire.
Canon means one of a body of dignitaries or prebendaries attached to a cathedral or a collegiate church; a member of the chapter of a cathedral or a collegiate church.
Canon also means a general rule or standard, as of judgment, morals, etc.
Usage Example: The jury requested the judge to let the trial proceed according to the canons of law
11. Lose & Loose
Lose is a verb which means to fail, misplace or be deprived of something.
Usage Example: She lost her wallet at the mall.
Loose is an adjective which indicates that something is ill-fitting or not firm in its place.
Usage Example: Susan was wearing a loose shirt.
Vocabulary Preparation Series