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Steal and Steel

Commonly Confused Words

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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.

Examples:

  • "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.

Practice:

(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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