bizarre and bazaar

These two words might sound similar when spoken, but they are spelled very differently (and, of course, they mean very different things).

A bazaar (noun) is a market where goods and services are bought and sold. The word derives from the Persian bāzār and can, in modern times, refer to a department store or a fair (“especially for charitable purposes”). It came into English in the sixteenth century from the Italian bazarra.

“I bought a beautiful rug at a bazaar in Afghanistan.”

Bizarre, an adjective meaning “fantastical, odd, grotesque,” came into English from the French bizarre in the seventeenth century. The French word had been borrowed from the Italian bizarro, which had come to mean “strange, weird.” (See

Bizarre markings were found on the animals, who all died of mysterious causes over the course of six months.

In conclusion:

“I found this bizarre hat at the church bazaar.”



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