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acceptance

Acceptance is taking something given to you. You might be relieved by your friend's acceptance of your apology for accidentally riding your bike over his foot.

An acceptance of someone or something is also an indication that you approve of or believe in it (or them). If you dye your hair green and wear a suit made of bear fur, gaining your grandmother’s acceptance may prove difficult if she's a conservative dresser and an animal lover. In legal terms acceptance is language signifying consent to the terms of an offer, leading to the creation of a contract.

Choose your words

Caught between words? 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.
read more...

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.
read more...

reluctant/ reticent

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

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. read more...

entomology/ etymology

Don’t bug out! Entomology is the study of insects, but etymology is the study of words. They sound similar and both end in -logy, which means “the study of,” but don’t mix them up unless you like completely confusing people. read more...

formidable/ formative

Formidable describes a foe you're slightly afraid of, but formative describes what formed you. Perhaps a formidable gym teacher told you to get the lead out during your formative years in grade school, and now you're a world-class athlete. (Or a bookworm, depending on how you react to formidable foes.) read more...

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