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Read thousands of example sentences from current newspapers, magazines, and literature. We show you how words live in the wild and give you usage tips so that you're more confident about using the words you learn.

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labored

The adjective labored is used to describe something that is difficult or requires effort to perform. If you are pregnant with triplets by the ninth month your walking will be labored.

The adjective labored can describe something that is lacking natural ease or style. If you have to recite Shakespeare and you do so haltingly or self-consciously, then you have given a labored performance. If you then become really nervous and start to hyperventilate during a recitation of Hamlet's soliloquy, you will have labored breathing.

Choose your words

Caught between words? Learn how to make the right choice.

farther/ further

Use the word farther when you mean physical distance, like if you run farther than your friend. Use further for basically everything else. Further refers to abstractions like ideas or thoughts.
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imply/ infer

Imply and infer are opposites, like a throw and a catch. To imply is to hint at something, but to infer is to make an educated guess. The speaker does the implying, and the listener does the inferring.
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nauseated/ nauseous

If you’re nauseated you’re about to throw up, if you’re nauseous, you’re a toxic funk and you’re going to make someone else puke. These words are used interchangeably so often that it makes word nerds feel nauseated!
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homonym/ homophone/ homograph

This word set can be confusing, even for word geeks. Let's start with the basics. A homograph is a word that has the same spelling as another word but has a different sound and a different meaning. read more...

ambiguous/ ambivalent

Something ambiguous is unclear or vague, like the end of a short story that leaves you scratching your head. But if you're ambivalent about something, you can take it or leave it. Whatever. read more...

envy/ jealousy

It’s no fun to feel envy or jealousy because both make you feel inadequate. Envy is when you want what someone else has, but jealousy is when you’re worried someone’s trying to take what you have. If you want your neighbor’s new convertible, you feel envy. If she takes your husband for a ride, you feel jealousy. read more...

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