Sound Alike Words for Medical Transcriptionists – Part 2 (D – L)

One of the challenges in medical transcription is that the audio quality is not always of optimal quality.  There are many words that sound alike, and some can be difficult to understand, even in context.  Below is Part 2 (D – L) listing sound alike words that are encountered by medical professionals, along with a brief definition.  It’s helpful for both health care professionals and transcriptionists to review them to make sure they are deliberate in their pronunciation as well as to understanding the context in which they are used.


decision a choice made among options

discission an incision or cutting into


denervation loss of nerve supply

enervation loss of nervous energy

innervation supply of nerves to a part


dental relating to teeth or dentistry

dentil one of a series of small rectangular blocks forming a molding


denticle a conical pointed projection

identical the same


desperate frantic

disparate markedly distinct in quality


device equipment or mechanism designed for a purpose

devise to plan, design, or contrive


diaphysis the body or shaft of a long bone that ossified from a primary center

diathesis an inborn tendency to develop certain diseases or other abnormal conditions


diarrhea abnormally loose and frequent bowel movements

diuria a crystalline substance derivable from two molecules or urea

diuresis excretion of abnormally high amounts of urine


discreet a judicious reserve in one’s speech or behavior

discrete separate or individually distinct, as in discrete mass


dissension strong disagreement; discord

distention state of being distended or enlarged


dysphagia difficulty in swallowing

dysphasia difficulty in speaking


dystaxia difficulty in controlling voluntary movement

dystectia defective closure of the neural tube, resulting in malformation


Ebstein angle; anomaly; disease

Epstein Epstein-Barr virus, disease


eczema a type of dermatitis

exemia loss of fluid from blood vessels


ejection expelling, throwing out

ingestion taking of food or liquid into the body through the mouth

injection a shot; congestion


elicit to bring out, as in elicit a response

illicit illegal, as in illicit drugs


emanate to flow out or proceed from; to originate from

eminence a prominence or projection, particularly of bone

eminent important, well known, prominent

imminent likely or about to occur


enema injection of fluid into the rectum

intima innermost structure

intimal pertaining to the inner layer of a blood vessel


ephedrine an alkaloid

epinephrine a catecholamine

Excedrin a pain reliever for headaches


erasable removable with an eraser

irascible easily provoked to anger


ethanal acetaldehyde

ethinyl ethynyl

ethanol alcohol

ethenyl vinyl


eyes and nose parts of the anatomy above the lips

I’s & O’s intake and output


facial pertaining to the face

fascial pertaining to or of the nature of fascia

faucial pertaining to the passage from the mouth to the pharynx


false not true

falx a sickle-shaped organ or structure, as in falx cerebri


farther physical distance, as in driving farther than planned

further extension of time or degree, as in further care before discharge


fascicle a band or bundle of fibers, as in muscle or nerve

vesical pertaining to the bladder

vesicle a small sac containing fluid, as in the lesions seen in chickenpox


faze to cause to be disconcerted, as in the problem didn’t faze him

phase a stage of development

phrase a group of words


fibers slender structures or filaments

fibrose to form fibrous tissue

fibrous composed of or containing fibers


filamentous composed of long threadlike structures

velamentous in the form of a sheet or veil


filiform thread-shaped; a slender bougie

phalliform shaped like a penis

piliform shaped like or resembling hair


flanges projecting borders or edges

phalanges plural of phalanx; bones of the fingers or toes


fornix arch-shaped roof of an anatomical space

pharynx the throat


fovea a cup-shaped pit or depression

folia plural of folium, a leaf-like structure

phobia a fear or morbid dread


gaited walking or running in a certain manner, as in a gaited horse

gated an entrance or opening, as in gated magnetic resonance cardiac imaging


glands cells that function as secretory or excretory organs

glans a conical-shaped structure, as in glans penis


Gleason score for grading prostate carcinoma

Glisson capsule; tissue covering the liver


glisten to sparkle

glucoside a glycoside in which the sugar content is glucose

glycoside any of the class of compounds that yield a sugar and an aglycon upon hydrolysis, as in cardiac glycoside


graft tissue implanted from one point to another

graph a diagram with connecting points


hear to listen

here where you are right now


hemolysis disruption of the integrity of the erythrocyte membrane causing release of hemoglobin

homolysis lysis of a cell by extracts of the same type of tissue


Hertel rigid dilator stone forceps; exophthalmometer

Hurthle as in Hurthle cell adenoma, Hurthle cell carcinoma, Hurthle cell tumor


heterotopia displacement of parts or organs; presence of tissue in an abnormal location

heterotrophia nutritional disorder

heterotropia strabismus


holder a container; a device for immobilizing a part of the body, as in head holder

Holter a heart monitor


HNP herniated nucleus pulposus

H&P history and physical


humerus long bone in upper arm

humorous funny


ileac pertaining to the distal portion of the colon

iliac pertaining to the superior portion of the hip bone


ileum distal portion of the colon

ilium superior portion of the hip bone


inanimate without life or spirit, as in an inanimate object

innominate nameless, as in an innominate artery


inanition loss of vitality

inattention failure to pay attention

inhibition self-restriction of freedom of activity


incidence rate or frequency of occurrence

incidents single occurrences, events, or happenings

instance case or example


incision a wound made in surgery

schism disunion or discord

scission cleavage; splitting


infarction necrosis caused by obstruction, as in myocardial infarction

infection invasion of the body by organisms that can cause disease

inflection change in vocal pitch or loudness; bending forward

infraction incomplete fracture; breaking of a rule


installation placing in a position or office

instillation injecting slowly


irradiate to treat with radioactivity

radiate to spread out from a center, as in the pain radiates into the lower leg


jewel a precious stone

joule a unit of energy

jowl a fold of flesh hanging from the jaw


karyon nucleus

kerion a secondarily infected granulomatous lesion


keloid a hyperplastic scar

keroid resembling horn or corneal tissue


kempt referring to a neat appearance

kept past tense of keep


labial pertaining to a lip or lip-like structure

labile unstable, as in labile blood pressure


lassitude listlessness

latitude freedom of choice; plane of reference


leak an accidental opening that permits substance or information to escape

LEEP loop electrosurgical procedure (gyn)

LLETZ laparoscopic laser excision of the transformation zone (gyn)


Leiden genetic mutation associated with clotting factor V

Leyden genetic mutation associated with clotting factor IX


lesser smaller when comparing two things, as in lesser evil

lessor one who conveys property by a lease


liable responsible for

libel defamation by written or printed words


libido sexual desire

livedo bluish discoloration of skin


lice parasites

lyse to break up or disintegrate, as in lysis of adhesions


lightening decreasing in weight

lighting illumination

lightning a flash of light produced by electricity in the atmosphere, as in thunder and lightning


liver large gland in the abdomen

livor discoloration appearing on the body after death

loop an oval or circular ring formed by bending a vessel or cylindrical organ


loupe a magnifying glass

loose not securely attached

lose to misplace



2Ascribe Inc. is a medical transcription services agency located in Toronto, Ontario Canada, providing medical transcription services to physicians, clinics and other healthcare providers across Canada.  With WEBscribe, a client interface portal for document management, 2Ascribe continues to implement and develop technology to assist and improve the transcription process for physicians and other healthcare providers.  As a service to our clients and the healthcare industry, 2Ascribe offers articles of interest to physicians and other healthcare professionals, medical transcriptionists and office staff, as well as of general interest.  Additional articles may be found at and

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