Misused Words: Rise, Raise, and Raze

It can be easy to get confused with rise and raise because their definitions are similar. So, here is today’s tip:


Image by ArtsyBee (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Rise is a verb that means to ascend (usually to a higher position). The verb tenses are rise, rose, risen.

For Example: The author rose and recited her most recently written poem.

For Example: I often rise early during the summer months.


Raise is a verb that means to lift. However, to raise isn’t just about physical lifting. The verb tenses are raise, raised, raised.

For Example: My in-laws had to raise their house after Superstorm Sandy.

For Example: It is not easy to raise children in today’s troubled times.

For Example: Her essay on the writings of James Joyce raised more questions than it answered.


Raze is a verb that means to destroy. It also means to scrape. (Alternatively, it is spelled rased.) It is not as common as it used to be but you will see this word now and again.

For Example: The farmer has to raze the old barn.

For Example: The workers must raze the ice from highway before it gets too dangerous.

For Example: It is a horrible fact that many trees are razed to the ground because of forest fires.

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