Awe, Or, Oar, and Ore

Awe, or, oar, and ore sound identical, but their meanings are very different; i.e., they are not homonyms.

Awe

The noun awe means wonderment, astonishment, or dread. (The word awe can also be used as a verb.)

Examples:
  • The employee was stuck with awe when his boss fired him.
  • He was filled with awe after seeing the breath-taking views of the Grand Canyon.
  • The students were awed by their new professor.
  • (This is an example of awe being used as a verb.)

Or

The conjunction or is used to offer an alternative or a replacement.

Examples:
  • Would you like cake or ice cream?
  • Complete your homework on time, or you'll fail the class.

Oar

The noun oar is a tool used to move a boat through water.

Examples:
  • Most Viking ships were powered by oars.
  • Warships had several oarsmen per oar because they were so long.

Ore

The noun ore is used to describe a mineral from which metal can be extracted.

Examples:
  • In 2005, China was the top importer of ores and metals ahead of the USA and Japan.
  • It is only worth extracting the ore if the metal is in a high enough concentration.

A Quick Test


Ways to Remember Awe and Oar

The word awe is the root of the word awesome.

The word oar has the same vowels as the word boat.