Commonly Confused Words
1. Canvas & Canvass
Canvas means a closely woven, heavy cloth of cotton, hemp, or linen, used for tents, sails, etc.
Usage Example: She gifted a decorated canvas bag to her parents to take for shopping groceries.
Canvass means to solicit votes from potential voters in an electoral campaign.
Usage Example: The children raised one lakh by canvassing for the Cancer Society.
2. Capable & Culpable
Capable means having power and ability; efficient; competent.
Usage Example: He is quite capable of doing the work by himself.
Culpable means deserving censure; blameworthy.
Usage Example: The doctor is culpable of negligence in this case.
3. Carousal & Carousel
Carousal means a noisy or drunken feast or social gathering; revelry.
Usage Example: Bawdy language and wine flowed freely at the carousal.
Carousel means a continuously revolving belt, track or other device on which items are placed for later retrieval.
Usage Example: The wait at the airport carousel seemed endless.
4. Casual & Causal
Casual means happening by chance; fortuitous.
Usage Example: The casual meeting developed into a business partnership.
Causal means of, constituting, or implying a cause.
Usage Example: The causal part of the argument was baseless.
5. Cede & Seed
Cede means to yield or formally surrender to another.
Usage Example: The agreement amongst the two brothers made the elder one cede a part of his property to the younger one.
Seed means any propagative part of a plant, including tubers, bulbs, etc., especially as preserved for growing a new crop.
Usage Example: Some pods of the radish plant have been allowed to flower and go to seed.
6. Censer, Censor & Censure
Censer means a container, usually covered, in which incense is burned, especially during religious services.
Usage Example: The censers used daily were made of brass, the gold censers were used occasionally.
Censor means a person authorized to examine publications, theatrical presentations, films, letters, etc., in order to suppress in whole or part those considered obscene.
Usage Example: Though the board was satisfied with the results, yet the director decided to censor some scenes in the finale.
Censure means strong or vehement expression of disapproval.
Usage Example: She was advised not to risk the censure of her supervisor.
7. Clench & Clinch
Clench means to close (the hands, teeth, etc.) tightly.
Usage Example: Her tension was visible in the way she clenched her hands.
Clinch means to settle (a matter) decisively.
Usage Example: After much procrastinations, the deal was clinched by the two major conglomerates.
8. Cliché & Clique
Cliché means a word or expression that has lost much of its force through overexposure.
Usage Example: Reporters today are using so many clichés that it has become monotonous to hear the same story being repeated throughout the day.
Clique means a small, exclusive group of people; coterie; set.
Usage Example: Immigrants in foreign lands tend to form a clique of their own nationalities.
9. Climacteric, Climactic & Climatic
Climacteric carries the following meanings:
a. A period of life characterized by physiological and psychic change that marks the end of the reproductive capacity of women and terminates with the completion of menopause.
b. A corresponding period sometimes occurring in men that may be marked by a reduction in sexual activity, although fertility is retained.
c. A critical period or year in a person's life when major changes in health or fortune are thought to take place.
Usage Example: Homeopathy is a successful method of combating climacteric changes.
Climactic means pertaining to or coming to a climax.
Usage Example: The climactic images raised many goosebumps.
Climatic means of or relating to climate.
Usage Example: Apples are mainly grown in extremely cold climatic conditions.
10. Collision & Collusion
Collision means the act of colliding; a coming violently into contact; crash.
Usage Example: Astronomers are keenly watching an amazing collision between two asteroids in space.
Collusion means a secret agreement, especially for fraudulent or treacherous purposes; conspiracy.
Usage Example: Sometimes market conditions are conducive to cartels being formed without any collusion.
11. Stationary & Stationery
Stationary refers to an immobile or fixed state of something.
Usage Example: His bike collided with a stationary car.
Stationery refers to writing and other such office materials.
Usage Example: Rohan's shop offers a wide range of kid-friendly stationery.