In English vocabulary, homophones are a set of words that sound same but they are different in terms of meaning and function. These kinds of words can cause a lot of confusion among writers. Mixing them up can confuse the readers. So, you have to be very careful with word choice. Today, I am coming up with such a case i.e. I will compare defuse vs. diffuse.
I will explain each of these terms and provide you with their definitions and example sentences. I hope that after reading the whole post, you will get out of this confusion about whether to choose defuse or diffuse.
Defuse vs. Diffuse – What is the Difference, Definition & Meaning?
Is it defuse or diffuse?
Defuse and diffuse are very close to homophones. If you speak these words together and quickly, they will pronounce similar. However, they are quite different from each other in terms of meaning and function. Let us check out their definitions with examples one by one.
Defuse is used as a verb within a sentence. It means to reduce or to remove a tension or something like a difficult situation. It can be synonymous with disarm, calm, disable, etc.
1. They called the whole department to defuse the bomb.
2. There started uneasiness so; she defused the difficult situation by starting a peaceful conversation.
3. The quickest way to defuse fear or insecurity or anger is usually humor. I think comics figure that out quickly, and, once you figure it out, you think, ‘Hey if I can do this and get paid, that would be kind of cool. (Billy Gardell)
Diffuse is used as an adjective or a verb within a sentence. As an adjective, it means scattered outward to over a large area. It can also mean ‘not concentrated’.
1. Sorry, I can’t get you. Your message is quite diffuse.
2. You will need some time to make this business great and diffuse.
As a verb, diffuse is synonymous with scatter, disseminate, spread, or disperse. It means to scatter or to spread outward to over a large area.
1. He advised everyone to put the shades over the bulbs to diffuse the light.
2. It is the mission of the printer to diffuse light and knowledge by a judicious intermingling of black with white. (Frederick Douglass)
It is concluded that defuse and diffuse are quite near to homophones. They are not interchangeable. They are different in terms of meaning and function within sentences. Defuse is used as a verb, which means to remove tension from a difficult situation. Diffuse, on the other hand, means (as a verb) to scatter outward or (as an adjective) it means scattered outward or not concentrated.