Commonly Confused Words
1. Diagnosis & Prognosis
Diagnosis means the process of determining by examination the nature and circumstances of a diseased condition.
Usage Example: The diagnosis for the diseases was long drawn out and complex and at times, it even failed.
Prognosis is the prospect of recovery after an illness or difficult situation.
Usage Example: The doctor was pleased with the prognosis of reversing diabetes for the given patient.
2. Diffident & Dissident
Diffident means lacking confidence in one's own ability, worth, or fitness; timid; shy.
Usage Example: His tone was soft and diffident, but words were very clear.
Dissident means disagreeing or dissenting, as in opinion or attitude.
Usage Example: The dissident groups have diverse methodologies.
3. Digress & Regress
Digress means to depart from the main subject in speech or writing.
Usage Example: The debate on art was suspended for sometime to digress on the availability of good reading material.
Regress means to move backward; go back.
Usage Example: Things came to such a pass that the school authority regressed to the old rules.
4. Dinghy & Dingy
Dinghy is any small boat, powered by sail, oars, or outboard motor.
Usage Example: The small dinghy was his lifeline as it helped him fish.
Dingy means of a dark, dull, or dirty color or aspect; lacking brightness or freshness.
Usage Example: The dingy room and the dreary weather saddened her spirits.
5. Disburse & Disperse
Disburse is to pay out or to expend.
Usage Example: The salaries were disbursed at the start of the month.
Disperse is to scatter something.
Usage Example: The particles were dispersed over a wide area.
6. Discomfit, Discomfort & Disconcert
Discomfit means to cause to lose one's composure.
Usage Example: The truth about her husband will discomfit her greatly.
Discomfort means lack of comfort; uneasiness; inconvenience.
Usage Example: The poor endure maximum discomfort.
Disconcert is to upset or to frustrate plans, etc. or to upset the composure or self-possession of; to embarrass; to confuse.
Usage Example: It is often the little things that disconcert while performing live.
7. Discreet & Discrete
Discreet means displaying wise reserve in one's speech or conduct; being prudent and careful.
Usage Example: You need to be discreet with my secrets.
Discrete means constituting a separate thing; distinct.
Usage Example: I want discrete items in gift package and no items should be the same.
8. Distracted, Distrait & Distraught
Distracted means to call attention away from the focus of a situation.
Usage Example: I was distracted by the noise.
Distrait means inattentive or preoccupied, especially because of anxiety.
Usage Example: I was distrait when my partner did not show up for the meeting.
Distraught means confused or stirred up due to mental conflict, anxiety or doubt.
Usage Example: Children often get distraught when they don't understand something.
9. Douse & Dowse
Douse means to wet thoroughly; to drench.
Usage Example: The fired had to be doused immediately.
Dowse is to use a divining rod to search for underground water or minerals.
Usage Example: He used a special rod to dowse for water on the farmer's land.
10. Definite & Definitive
Definite means clear, precise, positive.
Usage Example: It is definite that our team has won.
Definitive means conclusive, unconditional & final.
Usage Example: The judge asked definitive proof from the lawyer for his arguments.
11. Delusion & Illusion
A delusion is a wrong belief regarded as from the point of view of the person holding it( and has special uses in psychiatry, as in delusions of grandeur).
Usage Example: She has always had the delusion that she was a super-star.
An illusion is also an impression that something not true or real is true or real, but it is usually a fleeting impression, something that is regarded externally.
Usage Example: The work of a magician is to create illusions that are mesmerizing.
12. Disinterested & Uninterested
Disinterested refers to being unbiased and impartial. A disinterested person has no vested interest in the matter.
Usage Example: The members considering the bid should be disinterested and not receive any benefit from the deal.
Uninterested refers to a complete lack of interest in something or being indifferent to that particular thing or person.
Usage Example: She seems uninterested in what is going on around her.