Words are import as they are often used to communicate to one another to explain a thought. There are many commonly mispronounced words. So how many words are in the English language? And the answer to that is a little more complicated than one would think.

There are many words that are derived from other languages like karaoke (Japanese) and paparazzi (Italian) that are commonly used in the English language. The official count would be difficult as there are some words that have different variations of itself like sing. We have the infinitive tense, “sing”, past tent, “sang” and present participle “singing.” All of these words are their own word but also a form of one word. Which do we count it as?

We couldn’t think of a world without words as they help us in so many different ways. We use words when we are typing, calling, signing and texting. Words help us understand street signs while driving. They also help us when we are cooking to understand how much of an ingredient to use. Point being is, words are a necessity to everyday life but there are cases where we can use symbols or gestures to get our point across.

Words are unique in their own way as many words look one way but when pronounced sound another way. Example, the word live is a homophone. It can be pronounced live or LIVE. Don’t get us started on Apthongs which are letters that are silent in words. Examples of that would be Aisle, it’s pronounced (il), silent s. Or for the word Knight, pronounced (nit), silent k. Or the word wrinkle, pronounced (rin-kel), silent w.

Marriam-Webster Dictionary, released a “More Commonly Mispronounced Words” article back in October and we thought it would be fun to unpack the words that many of us are mispronouncing on a regular basis! You can view the main list here. Enjoy.

  • Pronunciation

    Pronunciation: pruh-nun-see-AY-shun

    Marriam-Webster Definition: “The act or manner of pronouncing something.”

  • Miniature

    Pronunciation: MIN-ee-uh-choor or MIN-uh-choor

    Marriam-Webster Definition: “A copy on a much reduced scale.”

  • Intuit

    Pronunciation: in-TOO-it

    Marriam-Webster Definition: “To know, sense, or understand by intuition.”

  • Asterisk

    Pronunciation: AST-uh-risk

    Marriam-Webster Definition: “The character * used in printing or writing as a reference mark, as an indication of the omission of letters or words, to denote a hypothetical or unattested linguistic form, or for various arbitrary meanings.”

  • Acai

    Pronunciation: ah-sah-EE or ah-sye-EE

    Marriam-Webster Definition: “a small, dark purple, berrylike fruit with a juicy pulp that is often used in beverages or eaten raw and that is produced by a tall, slender palm (Euterpe oleracea) native to tropical rain forests of Central and South America.”

  • Jewelry

    Pronunciation: JOO-ul-ree or JOOL-ree

    Marriam-Webster Definition: “Ornamental pieces (such as rings, necklaces, earrings, and braclets) that are made of materials which may or may not be precious (such as gold, silver, glass, and plastic), are often set with genuine or imitatio gems, and are worn for personal adornment.”

  • Utmost

    Pronunciation: IT-mohst

    Marriam-Webster Definition: “Situated at the farthest or most distant point.”

  • Cumin

    Pronunciation: CUM-in, KYOO-min or KOO-min

    Marriam-Webster Definition: “A small annual herb (cuminum cyminum) of the carrot family cultivated for its aromatic fruit.”

  • Inchoate

    Pronunciation: in-KOH-ut or IN-kuh-wayt

    Marriam-Webster Definition: “Being only partly in existence or operation”

  • Candidate

    Pronunciation: KAN-duh-dayt, KAN-duh-dut, KA-nuh-dayt or KA-nuh-dut

    Marriam-Webster Definition: “One that aspires to or is nominated or qualified for an office, membership, or award.”

  • Cavalry

    Pronunciation: kal-ve-re

    Marriam-Webster Definition: “An army component mounted on horseback.”

  • Realtor

    Pronunciation: REE-ul-ter or REE-ul-tor

    Marriam-Webster Definition: “Used for a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors.”

    Or a person who sells homes.

  • Height

    Pronunciation: HIGHT

    Marriam-Webster Definition: “The part that rises or extends upward the greatest distance. The higher part.”

  • Chalet

    Pronunciation: sha-LAY

    Marriam-Webster Definition: A remote herdman’s hut in the Alps

  • Nuptial

    Pronunciation: NUO-shul or NUP-chul

    Marriam-Webster Definition: “of or relating to marriage or the marriage ceremony”

  • Macaron

    Pronunciation: mah-kuh-ROHN

    Marriam-Webster Definition: “a light, often brightly colored sanwich cookie consisting of two rounded disks made from a batter of egg whites, sugar, and almond flour surrounding a sweet filling (as of ganache, buttercream, or jam)”