Defuse vs Diffuse

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What’s the difference between them?

Defuse

Meaning:

To make a situation less tense or dangerous.

Examples:

1. I quickly defused the tense situation by cracking a joke.

2. The bomb squad had to defuse the explosive device before it could be safely removed.

3. By discussing the issue calmly, we were able to defuse the argument before it escalated.

Diffuse

Meaning:

Spread out in all directions; dispersed.

Examples:

1) The aroma of freshly-baked cookies diffused through the house.

2) The professor diffused the tense atmosphere in the classroom with a joke.

3) The sun's rays diffused through the clouds, illuminating the sky.

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Synonyms

Antonyms

Defuse

1. Dispel

2. Neutralize

3. Allay

4. Abate

5. Calm down/ Alleviate tension

1. Ignite

2. Activate

3. Intensify

4. Heighten

5. Escalate

Diffuse

1. Disperse

2. Spread out

3. Disseminate

4. Dispersed

5. Dilute

1. Concentrate

2. Condense

3. Narrow

4. Gather

5. Unravel

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Defuse", "Diffuse".

1. 'Defuse' means to make a situation less tense or dangerous.

2. 'Diffuse' means to spread out in all directions or to be dispersed.

3. When deciding which word to use, ask yourself if you are trying to make a situation less tense or disperse something in all directions.

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

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Frequently asked questions

When is it appropriate to use the word 'defuse'?

Defuse should be used when a situation is tense or dangerous. It is used to reduce tension or the risk of harm, and is often associated with removing a bomb or defusing a hostile situation.

When is it appropriate to use the word 'diffuse'?

Diffuse should be used when describing something that is spread out in all directions or dispersed. It can be used to describe the spread of light, sound, or a liquid. It can also be used to describe the dispersion of an idea or concept.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, the two words do not share the same pronunciation. Defuse is pronounced (di-fyuz) while diffuse is pronounced (di-fyus).

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

One of the most common mistakes people make when using these words is confusing the two. It is important to remember that defuse is used when reducing tension or danger, while diffuse is used to describe something that is spread out in all directions. Another common mistake is mispronouncing the words, with the most common being confusing the pronunciation of defuse and diffuse.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. The bomb squad worked quickly to __________ the situation.

2. She tried to __________ the angry energy in the room.

3. The light from the lamp was __________ across the walls.

4. He tried to __________ the situation by talking calmly.

5. The smell of the perfume was __________ throughout the room.

6. He tried to __________ the situation by joking around.

1. Defuse

Explanation: Defuse means to make a dangerous situation less dangerous or tense. In this sentence, the bomb squad is working quickly to make the situation less dangerous or tense.

2. Diffuse

Explanation: Diffuse means to spread out over a wide area. In this sentence, she is trying to spread out the angry energy in the room.

3. Diffused

Explanation: Diffused means to spread out over a wide area. In this sentence, the light from the lamp is being spread out over a wide area across the walls.

4. Defuse

Explanation: Defuse means to make a dangerous situation less dangerous or tense. In this sentence, he is trying to make the situation less dangerous or tense by talking calmly.

5. Diffused

Explanation: Diffused means to spread out over a wide area. In this sentence, the smell of the perfume is being spread out over a wide area throughout the room.

6. Defuse

Explanation: Defuse means to make a dangerous situation less dangerous or tense. In this sentence, he is trying to make the situation less dangerous or tense by joking around.

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