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Maize vs. Maze

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  Marius Alza  —  Grammar Tips
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Maize” and “maze” are two quite controversial words, which we are going to discuss and detail a lot in the following article. If you only need a quick solution and resume of how to correctly use “maize” and “maze”, what each means and how they are used correctly according to their lexical signification, you can jump right to the conclusion.

But, if you are confused by their spelling similarities, by the meanings they carry, if you have doubts about the contexts where they are used and why they are preferred for other words, than we recommend reading this entire article. We will help you sort out the differences between “maize” and “maze” and not only; plus, with relevant examples and explanations from notorious dictionaries, you’ll get a better understanding of these words, which will also contribute to better assimilating the information and remembering their correct meanings for longer.

Maize vs. Maze

Grammatically and structurally analyzing the words, there is only one letter making “maize” different from “maze”. Otherwise, the words sound perfectly identical and seem very similar – this is also the cause of the confusions and doubts they create among English users who misspell them or simply use them with the same meaning.

But lexically speaking, there is absolutely nothing bringing “maize” close to “maze”. The words have different meanings and they also carry along other lexical dilemmas. We are going to discuss them right away, in the paragraphs below, where you’ll also find some sentences to show you the right context where these words are relevant and used correctly.

When do we use “maize”?

“Maize” is just another word for “corn”. It is a noun referring to that long, tall plant, with yellow seeds eaten as food, either boiled, baked or fried. The lexical dilemma carried by “maize” is when exactly it should be used and why it should replace “corn”. Well, the answer is simple: “maize” is the UK word, “corn” is used by US English speakers. Apart from this linguistic difference, the words are perfect synonyms.

Example: Please add some maize on the pizza, it offers a whole different taste and makes it a lot more delicious! – “maize” is a UK word for the US “corn”.

When do we use “maze”?

“Maze”, on the other hand, is a noun that defines a complicated system of paths, where getting lost is very easy. Now, the lexical dilemma bought by “maze” is if it is or it isn’t the same with “labyrinth”.

Generally, yes, you could say that “maze” is synonyms with “labyrinth”, though there are some subtle differences between them too. A “labyrinth” is unicursal, usually having only one correct path leading to the center or to the exit, whereas a “maze” is a multicursal puzzle, with complex branching and multiple choices of directions and paths, all resulting in different conclusions and consequences.

Example: It was so easy to get lost in the maze of his thoughts, there was chaos in his mind and soul. – “maze” refers to a complicated system of paths where one can easily become lost.

Conclusion

Both “maize” and “maze” are nouns, the first being a perfect synonym for “corn”, used in British English, and the second being another word for “labyrinth”, referring to a more complex system of directions, choices and paths, where one can easily get lost. Therefore, they might look and sound similar, but there are major differences in the meanings of “maize” and “maze” and this is why they should not be confused one for the other!

Maize vs. Maze

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