Awe, Oar, Or, and Ore

by Craig Shrives

Awe, Oar, Or, and Ore

What are the differences between "awe," "oar," "or," and "ore"?
  • "Awe" means astonishment. For example:
    • The crowd were in awe of your performance.
    • (The word "awe" often appears in the phrase "in awe.")
  • "Or" is a conjunction used to offer an alternative. For example:
    • Would you like tea or coffee?
  • "Oar" is a tool used to propel a boat through water. For example:
    • Pull harder on the right oar.
  • "Ore" is a mineral from which metal can be extracted. For example:
    • Copper ore is mine in Afghanistan.
awe, oar, or, and oar

Awe, Or, Oar, and Ore

"Awe," "or," "oar," and "ore" sound similar, but their meanings are very different.


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

  • 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.)


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

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


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

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


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

  • 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.

Remembering "Awe"

The word "awe" is the root of the word "awesome."
Remembering "Oar"

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

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See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? How to write "dos and don'ts" who's or whose? What are conjunctions? The top 20 misspelled words List of easily confused words

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