Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Words that sound different than their meanings, a curated list

Hi there. I'm sure you can agree that lists are sometimes comforting. Because of that, I've begun a list of words that sound different from their meaning. All entries below are taken from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary. If you have a word to suggest, leave it in the comment section below and I will add it to our list. Who knows, perhaps someday this list will be absolutely complete. Thank you and I hope you find this list comforting.

Restive ?res-tiv, adj.

1. stubbornly resisting control

2. marked by impatience or uneasiness

Nonplus ?nän-?pl?s, n.

1. a state of bafflement or perplexity

As a transitive verb:

1. to cause to be at a loss as to what to say, think, or do

Inflamamable in-?fla-m?-b?l, adj.

1. flammable

Noisome ?no?i-s?m, adj.

1. offensive to the senses and especially to the sense of smell

Spendthrift ?spen(d)-?thrift, n.

1. a person who spends improvidently or wastefully

Trenchant /?tren-ch?nt, adj.

1. keen, sharp

2. vigorously effective and articulate

3. sharply perceptive : penetrating

Disabuse ?dis-?-?byüz, trans. v.

1. to free from error, fallacy or misconception

Enormity i-?no?r-m?-t?, n.

1. an outrageous, improper, vicious, or immoral act

2. the quality or state of being immoderate, monstrous, or outrageous; especially : great wickedness

Fulsome ?fu?l-s?m, adj.

2. aesthetically, morally, or generally offensive

3. exceeding the bounds of good taste : overdone

4. excessively complimentary or flattering

Toothsome ?tüth-s?m, adj.

1. a : agreeable, attractive

b : sexually attractive

2. of palatable flavor and pleasing texture

Malinger m?-?li?-g?r , trans. v.

1. to pretend or exaggerate incapacity or illness so as to avoid duty or work

Ingenuous in-?jen-y?-w?s, adj.

2. a : showing innocent or childlike simplicity and candidness

b : lacking craft or subtlety