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Maize vs. Maze

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  Angbeen Chaudhary  —  Grammar Tips
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If you were stuck in a confusing task that involved navigating a pathway from one point to another, what would you call it? Would you use the same word that you would use to refer to a widely planted grain crop that originated in Mexico? Initially, it might seem so. But these words, maze and maize, are homophones. They are pronounced similarly, but they mean different things. Maze and maize are never interchangeable, so it’s important not to confuse them. To discover whether you should choose maze or maize in any given situation, continue reading.

In this article, I will compare maize vs. maze. I will use each word in a sentence and demonstrate its proper context. I will also reveal a helpful trick to use when you can’t decide whether to choose maize or maze in your writing.


The word maize originated in mid-16th century: from Spanish maíz, from Taino mahiz. The word maze originated from Middle English (denoting delirium or delusion): probably from the base of amaze, of which the verb is a shortening.

Maize as noun:

The word maize is used as a noun in English language where it means a Central American cereal plant which yields large grains (corn or sweetcorn) set in rows on a cob. The many varieties include some used for stockfeed and corn oil.

Maze as noun:

The word maze is also used as a noun in English language where it means a network of paths and hedges designed as a puzzle through which one has to find a way.

The house has a maze and a walled Italian garden.

Maze as verb:

The word maze is also used as a verb which means to be dazed and confused.

Maize vs. Maze

She was still mazed with the drug she had taken.


The IAR&T, which is the zonal coordinating research institute in the South-West, declared in a statement issued by its Head of Public Relations Unit, Mr. Adeniyi Amusat, that an uncommon pest is presently ravaging maize on the field in the Southwest agro-ecological zone of Nigeria which may likely lead to shortage of maize in the region. (This Day Nigeria)

Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said on Thursday that despite two successive droughts, maize production during Kharif and Rabi was 21.02 million tonnes for 2015-16. (The HIndu)

South Africa will likely harvest 7.16 million tonnes of maize in 2016, 28 percent less than the 9.95 million tonnes reaped last year because of drought and late plantings, a government agency said on Thursday. (Reuters)

The owners of Sledd’s U-Pick Strawberry farm have crafted a massive sunflower maze over four acres that is in full bloom and ready for visitors. (Florida Today)

Help is on the way for The Maze Runner fans curious to learn the series’ backstoryincluding how Thomas came to build the Maze. (Publishers Weekly)

How to negotiate the medical bill maze in search of a better deal (The Los Angeles Times)

Maize or maze:

Despite sounding the same when pronounced, these two words have wholly different meanings and are not interchangeable in any way. Maize is a word for a grain crop that is also called corn. A maze is a pathfinding puzzle. Since maize and grain both contain the letter I, remembering that maize refers to a plant should be simple. You can always refer back to this article for further assistance, as well.

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