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Steal and Steel

Commonly Confused Words


Steal and Steel

The verb steal means to take someone else's property without right or permission. Steal can also mean to move secretly.

As both a noun and an adjective, steel refers to a hard alloy of iron and carbon. Used figuratively, steel means hard, strong, and tough. As a verb, steel means to strengthen.


  • "The number one rule of thieves is that nothing is too small to steal." (Jimmy Breslin)

  • Blues singer Brownie McGhee played with a steel pick on a steel guitar.


(a) The finest _____ has to go through the hottest fire.

(b) "About the most originality that any writer can hope to achieve honestly is to _____ with good judgment." (Josh Billings)

Answers to Practice Exercises

Glossary of Usage: Index of Commonly Confused Words

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