Misused Words That Begin with the Letter D

Misused Words
That Begin with the Letter D

Defuse vs. Diffuse

Defuse means to remove the fuse of a bomb or to make a situation less dangerous.

The police quickly defused the crowd’s anger.

Diffuse means “to be spread out.”

The diffuse glow of the streetlight attracted bugs but provided little safety to the neighborhood.    

Desert vs. Dessert

A desert is a large sandy area with little water.
To desert means to run away from the military.

The troops were too far out in the desert to desert.

Dessert refers to yummies at the end of a meal.

The dessert was delicious.

Disassemble vs. Dissemble

To disassemble means to take something (usually a machine) apart.

The women proved they could disassemble the equipment faster than the men could.

To dissemble means to tell lies.

The president dissembled repeatedly in the State of the Union speech.

Disburse vs. Disperse

To disburse means to give out something, usually money.

Each Friday, management would disburse the paychecks.

To disperse means to spread out.

Fearing the enemy was approaching, the troops quickly dispersed.

Discreet vs. Discrete

Discreet means “to be secretive, usually regarding love affairs.”

Josephine was not discreet regarding her affairs, yet Napoleon loved her.

Discrete means “made up of separate parts that are not joined.”

The terrorist group was made up of discrete cells.

Disinterested vs. Uninterested

Disinterested means “not having a personal stake in something; also called “not having a dog in the fight.”

James was known as a disinterested party in the electric car controversy.

Uninterested means “not interested.”

Sandra was uninterested in the real estate proposal.

Individual or Small Group Activity






Individual or Small Group Activity

Complete the exercises:    Ohio

Optional Activity