Easily Confused Words: Browse vs. Brows

Browse and Brows are easily confused words.

The spell-check application of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up of these two words. Spell-check is looking for words that aren’t in its dictionary, and words that resemble words in its dictionary but are possibly spelled wrong. Spell-check isn’t perfect. It doesn’t know and can’t guess what word you wanted or what word you meant, it can only judge the words on the page. If you used words that are all spelled correctly, it gives you a pass anyway. Similarly, autocorrect on mobile phones might suggest one word instead of the other, it would be easy to do since both words start with “b-r-o-w-s.”

Browse is a verb, it means to look without searching for one thing in particular. When you surf the web, you’re doing it in a “browser” window.

Brows is a noun, the plural of brow. Brows is short for eyebrows, the strips of hair that grow above your eyes that tend to follow the contours of your skull from your nose to your temples.

The following sentence uses both words correctly:

Belinda was very particular; sometimes she took over a hour to browse the mascaras and brows items in the beauty aisle of her neighborhood drug store.


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