Disillusion - dissolution

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Except in careful speech, these are homophones, and so a writer in a hurry can confuse them. (The careful speaker will voice the second '-si-' in disillusion with the same sound as in 'confusion' IPA: /ʒ/. The '-ti-' in dissolution is unvoiced, like the sound in 'attention' IPA: /ʃ/.) It may help you to distinguish them to note their etymology.

  • To disillusion is a verb meaning 'to take the illusion away from'. It is built from the prefix dis- , which has one '-s-', and the noun illusion, which does not start with '-s-'. So disillusion has only one '-s-' in its first syllable. (The related noun is disillusionment.)
  • Dissolution is a noun from the verb to dissolve. That in turn is built from dis- (one '-s-') and solve, which does start with '-s-'. So dissolution has two '-s-'s in the first syllable.