Difference Between Soar and Sore
The words ‘soar’ and ‘sore’ sound the same, but they mean different things. They are mainly a case of two unrelated words from different languages changing to be pronounced the same way. ‘Sore’ is Germanic, coming from Old English and meaning much the same as it does today, but ‘soar’ is from the Latin ‘exaurare’, which means ‘to rise into the air’.
‘Soar’ is most often used as a verb. It essentially describes the act of flight, especially when something is flying upwards.
“The airplane soared to 20,000 feet.”
It can also mean that the thing in question is remaining in the air easily.
“With the air calm, the glider soared over the plains.”
Figuratively, it can mean that something is rising rapidly.
“Over the next two days, the price of corn soared.”
Similarly, it means how someone’s mood can lift or their imagination can rise.
“The possibilities made his mind soar.”
It can also be used as a noun, where it essentially means the act of flying.
The word ‘sore’ can be used in more ways than ‘soar’, both in meaning and in word form. As an adjective, it most often means something, usually a body part, which is painfully sensitive.
“After four hours of walking, their feet were sore.”
“She was left feeling sore after he didn’t show up to their date.”
Sometimes, it can also mean that someone is likely to feel irritated, like in the phrase ‘sore loser’. In the same way, it can mean irritated at someone, usually when it is followed by the right preposition, such as ‘sore at’.
‘Sore’ might on occasion be used as an adverb, but it is much more common to use ‘sorely’ as the adverb.
As a noun, it means a patch of skin that has been wounded in some way. It’s most often red, swollen, or tender, and sometimes all three. An injury, an infection, or an inflammation can all cause sores. They can also be called blisters, ulcers, and lesions.
Sometimes, it can also be used to mean a difficulty or something else that is troubling, but this is not used as often.
“His sore is that he can’t find a job.”
In some cases, it can also refer to animals. A group of ducks on land is called a sore, as is a falcon in its first year or a male deer that is in its fourth year.
There is one possible meaning as a verb, but it is very specific. It means to mutilate the legs of an animal, especially a horse, in some way to produce a particular type of walk. Thankfully, the practice is dying out, as is this meaning of the word.
The two words are fairly easy to tell apart once you know what they mean, despite how similar they sound. ‘Soar’ is most often used as a verb, with some limited noun usage. ‘Sore’, on the other hand, is most often used as an adjective, with a few noun uses. While ‘sore’ can be a verb, it is a very technical use and will most likely not be heard outside of a few specific cases.
To summarize, ‘soar’ most often means to fly high or at a steady height. ‘Sore’ has a number of meanings, but the overall meaning is some sort of pain or irritation, such as a tender part on the body or a difficulty in life. The words are usually used in different contexts, so it is easy to tell which one a speaker meant.
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