Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

The Difference between Raise and Raze

Both words are pronounced exactly in the same way but differ completely in meaning.

“Raise” can be a verb or a noun, and has many meanings, one of which is to lift something to a higher position:

  • He raised his hand to be given a chance to answer the teacher’s question. 
  • The conductor raised his baton and the orchestra started playing. 
  • We raise one foot at a time in order to walk or run. 
  • She raised her cup to have a sip of coffee. 
  • On Independence Day, the national flag is raised. 
  • The terrorist raised his gun and took aim. 
  • He raised his eyebrows to show disapproval of his wife’s clothes. 

Another meaning of “raise” is to cause something to increase or become bigger, better or higher:

  • The government plans to raise taxes for high income groups. 
  • Don’t raise your voice at me.  Shouting will not help you. 
  • The raise in my salary has helped me lead an easier life. 
  • The airline needs to raise its customer service standards. 
  • The singer surpassed all expectations by raising his performance to a new level. 

“Raise” can also mean to cause to exist or to create:

  • Your answer raises doubts in my mind about your intentions. 
  • The announcement of a bonus raised loud cheers at the meeting. 
  • How can I raise funds to start my own business? 
  • He raised an objection to the appointment of the new director.
  • Many questions were raised as to why the manager resigned. 

“Raise” can be used to mean to take care of a person, animal or plant, until they are fully grown:

  • Martha was raised by her grandparents; her parents died when she was just two.  
  • The soil was fertile enough to raise crops such as wheat and rice. 
  • We raise are children to be kind, caring and thoughtful, to become good human beings when they grow up. 
  • The puppy had to be raised by hand and was fed milk with a dropper. 
  • She raised the sapling by watering it daily and today it is a healthy tree. 

“Raze”, on the other hand, signifies completely destroying or demolishing a town or a city or a building.

  • The bombing of Aleppo has razed the entire city and turned it into rubble. 
  • The building was razed to the ground because of a fire. 
  • We had to raze our old house in order to build a completely new one. 
  • The residents of posh beach-front properties refused to allow the government to raze their houses and build a new road. 
  • A 20-storey building was razed to the ground because the builder did not comply with the municipal regulations. 
  • It is a sad fact of history that many beautiful monuments have been razed to the ground because of numerous wars. 
  • A massive earthquake has razed most of the buildings in the city of Kathmandu. 

“Raze” is most often used to refer to knocking buildings down, but it can also describe tearing down other objects. You can raze the sand dunes in order to make the beach perfectly flat. Raze comes from the word rasen, meaning “to scrape or erase,” and it sounds similar to the word erase, which can help you remember its meaning. If you raze something, in a way it has been erased — it no longer exists in its previous form.

  • The mangroves were razed to the ground to carry out land reclamation. 
  • In 1999, Mayor Dennis Archer sent in his own team of bulldozers to razethe street art, but the artist stayed put and rebuilt.

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