Difficult Homonyms with Examples

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The diversity and complexity in the English language have helped tens of thousands of writers and its native and non-native speakers to write and speak with perfection. Words, phrases with meanings, synonyms, antonyms, grammatical composition as well as homonyms are part and parcel of the English language and thus constitute an important aspect. At times, a reader comes through two or more words, similar spellings, same pronunciation but with different meanings and the origin. This is what Homonyms are all about. Therefore, we can say that Homonyms are those words that constitute the same spellings and pronunciation however different meanings as well as origin. Moreover, memorising Homonyms will surely help you in improving your communication skills which will further help you crack competitive exams like IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, etc with flying colours! Here is a blog that will help you get the answers of “What are the 20 examples of homonyms?” through this comprehensive list!

Adjure: Urge or Request/To Request Earnestly.
Abjure: To Renounce, To Disown.

I adjure you to abjure smoking and alcohol consumption. 

Accept: To receive something
Except:  To take or leave out

Sugandha accepted her defeat in the tennis match.  

Except for Sachin Tendulkar, other batsmen could not score more than 50 runs.

Bail: The temporary release of an accused person
Bale: A large wrapped or bound bundle of paper, hay, or cotton.


Four accused, who were charged for rape and murder were given bail for a month.
She snatched the bale from Mary’s hands in a jiffy.

Bate: Angry mood
Bait: Food placed on a hook or in a net, trap, or fishing area to entice fish or other animals as prey.

Simran is in bate as her bait was smashed by her cousin while shooting a prank video.

Allusion: An indirect or passing reference
Illusion: A false perception of reality, a dream

Watching 4D movies is fun! It gives you an illusion that you are actually experiencing the same.

Jaffer made vague allusion of creating a water filter

Though understanding homonyms is important to gain a stronghold over the English language, memorising idioms with examples will give you an extra edge!

Amiable: Having or displaying a friendly and pleasant behaviour.
Amicable: Characterized by friendliness and absence of discord.

When I met Mr Shahruk Khan for the first time, his amiable personality took me in oblivion. 

The relationship between India and Pakistan has reached an amicable conclusion. 

Mousse: Light and fluffy dessert
Moose: Large animal in the deer family.

A group of people in the Canadian Jungle were serving mousse to a heard of moose. 

Gorilla: A powerfully built great ape with a large head and short neck
Guerrilla:  A member of a small independent group taking part in irregular fighting, typically against larger regular forces.

I saw a giant Gorilla on the Discovery Channel and dressed my cousin sister in the same look. 

The independent guerrilla groups in the Chattisgarh area are exponentially emerging with every passing day. 

Flea: A small wingless jumping insect which feeds on the blood of mammals and birds
Flee: Run away or escape from danger.

On National Geography, I have seen a buzzing group of a flea on a carcass.

Tens of thousands of Indian migrants working in Delhi flee to their native place due to Covid 19 outbreak.

Boar: A Wild Pig
Bore: Make someone bored or disinterested

A decade ago, on the Yamuna river bank, a heard of giant boars would roam freely without human intervention.

Reading fictional stories has turned me a bit boring. I think I should watch Netflix now.

Apart from homonyms and idioms, here is a comprehensive list of 50 difficult words with meanings for you to read!

Horse: Four-legged animals often used for riding or work.
Hoarse: A rough or husky voice.

When we went to picturesque Kashmir, I got a chance to ride a horse all day.

With a hoarse voice, I could easily guess its Paul.

Lynx: Type of medium-sized wild cat.
Links: Connections or points of contact.

In 50 USD, Mathew brought an adorable lynx.

Since I have links at the ministerial level, I can help you get your loan sanctioned.

Climactic: Forming a climax
Climatic: relating to climate, weather.

The Climactic scene of Oscar-winning movie, Ford Vs Ferrari was thrilling and exciting too.

The climatic conditions and diversity truly make Kashmir an earth’s paradise. 

Complacent: Self-satisfied or Smug
Complaisant: Willing to please’, obliging, gracious

I feel utmost complacent with the scores I achieved in the civil service exam.

One should always be complaisant to their parents and elders. 

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Discreet: Careful and prudent in one’s speech or actions
Discrete: Individually separate and distinct.

Jhon’s profile is very discreet. He never reveals his other side. 

Since Abraham and Siphon started copying from each other, the examiner gave them discrete space, away from each other. 

Just like homonyms, jumbled words also constitute an important part of scores of English exams. Read our blog on jumbled words and kickstart your preparation.

Flaunt: Display ostentatiously, especially in order to provoke envy or admiration or to show defiance.
Flout: Openly disregard

Don’t flaunt Michel, he has a tendency to throw you out of his home.

He flouted the rules despite being warned.

Forego: Precede
Forgo: Go Without

Don’t forego the butterscotch mousse, Sneha took a lot of time in cooking it.

I cannot forgo watching the movie today.

Loath: Reluctant, Unwilling
Loathe: Dislike greatly

I loath going to the USA this year.

I loathe playing games on smartphones and computers. 

Elicit: To draw or bring out
Illicit: Illegal

Indian Prime Minister drew elicit attention to people towards repercussions of the COVID 19 outbreak in the county.

It is illicit to violate traffic rules and regulations. 

Perquisite: A special right or privilege enjoyed as a result of one’s position
Prerequisite: Required as a prior condition

Tina gets a lot of perquisites apart from the monetary benefits.

Submitting a statement of purpose [SOP] is a prerequisite in universities abroad.

Done with the first set of 20 homonyms?
Let us have a look at another set of homonyms!

Groan: Despair, pleasure, etc.
Grown: Full-grown

Michel’s joke makes you more groan than his laugh. 

Jordon has grown his business from a grassroots level.

Holy: Sacred 
Wholly: Totally, completely 

I Have seen a holy relics of Jesus at Jerusalem.

He is wholly and solely depend on his family income. 

Links: Connection, attachment 
Lynx: a wild cat with yellowish-brown fur

His links with nature is mundane.

I love watching lynx in proximity. 

Aisle: A passage
I’ll:  Contraction of I will

I always love to board a flight with an aisle seat.

I’ll attend the party for sure. 

Altar: An elevated place or structure for religious rites
Alter: To change

Cleric was sermonizing on an altar. 

I had to alter my new jeans after I brought it online.

Cereal: A breakfast food
Serial: Sequential

I love having cereal in the morning breakfast. 

You should put this list in sequential order. 

Chile: Country in South America
Chili: Bean stew

I would love to explore more about Chile.

I would like to have a Chili soup. 

Desert: To abandon 
Desert: Dryland 

I can never desert you from my heart. 

I would love to explore the richness of the Rajasthan desert.

Doe: Female dear
Dough: Uncooked bread

Look how an adorable doe is sleeping.

You can make a relinquished cake out of this prepared dough.

Eminent: Distinguished
Imminent:  Soon

He is an eminent personality.

The birth of her child was quite imminent. 

Hay: Animal food
Hey: Interjection to get attention

I shall visit the supermarket to buy hay for my doe.

HEY!  look how picturesque landscape is this.

Foreword: Introduction to a book
Forward: Advancing

The foreword of the book Alchemist is appealing.

He has a forward thinking personality.

Mince: Chop with perfection 
Mint:  Type of sweet

You have to mince the meat till it turns yellowish.

I love mint tea. 

Knead: Massage 
Need: Want

I will have to get knead for relaxing my back pain. 

You need to put a mask on for saving yourself from Covid 19.

Certainly, these Homonyms will help you earning good scoring in PTE, IELTS etc. In order to enhance your skills in English language and build a strong foundation for your desirous universities then join Leverage Edu‘s IELTS coaching in Delhi/Gurgaon/Bangalore or in other locations. They will help you with gain a comprehensive understanding pertaining to the subject and help in your academic career. 

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  1. Though your work is fabulous, I believe these are homophones as homonyms have same spelling with different in meaning. Ex Bark – of dog, Bark- Bark of tree.

  1. Though your work is fabulous, I believe these are homophones as homonyms have same spelling with different in meaning. Ex Bark – of dog, Bark- Bark of tree.