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Caught between words?

Don't be confused! Learn how to make the right choice.
disassemble/ dissemble

Disassemble is to take something apart, like an old car motor, but dissemble is sneaky — it means to hide your true self, like the guy who said he was a mechanic but had never actually seen a motor, much less put one back together. Continue reading...

pitiable/ pitiful/ piteous/ pitiless

We don't often look at four words that can be easily confused for each other, but this pack is an exception. Continue reading...

reluctant/ reticent

Reluctant means resisting or unwilling, while reticent means quiet, restrained, or unwilling to communicate. Is it a distinction worth preserving? Continue reading...

prostate/ prostrate

Oh, for the want of a letter! Prostate is a gland found in male mammals, but prostrate, with an r, means to lie face down. Get them mixed up and you’ll thoroughly confuse your doctor. Continue reading...

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FEATURED WORD

evict

Use the verb evict to say that a tenant is being forced to move out of his home, usually through legal action. If you don't pay your rent, eventually your landlord will evict you.

Evict became part of the English language back in the 1530s. Based on the Latin word evincere, meaning "recover property, overcome and expel, conquer," even then it had a legal process attached to it. Before you evict someone, you have to complete official paperwork, though some landlords may succeed in evicting tenants without following the legal steps.