This is part of the dif­fer­ence between series.

Recent­ly, some­one asked me to explain the dif­fer­ence between the words waver and waiv­er. Here’s the dif­fer­ence between the two.


Waver is a verb that means some­thing like being unsteady or unde­cid­ed.

  • In the end, her courage wavered as she stood to jump from the plane.
  • After his moth­er died, his faith in God wavered.


Waiv­er, on the oth­er hand, is a noun that refers to the process of waiv­ing some­thing (or a token of that process), and to waive some­thing means to dis­miss it.

  • Because he has lots his job, his land­lord gave him a waiv­er for that month’s rent.
  • The devel­op­er was friends with the devel­op­ment offi­cer, so he secured a waiv­er for his building’s excess height.
  • Before the pho­tog­ra­ph­er start­ed tak­ing pho­tographs, she had her clients sign a usage waiv­er.

Which words do you con­fuse? Let me know in the com­ments below.

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About Kim Siever

I am a copy­writer and copy­ed­i­tor. I blog on writ­ing tips most­ly, but I some­times throw in my thoughts about run­ning a small busi­ness.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter at @hotpepper.

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