Humanities › English Homophones: Poor, Pore, and Pour Commonly Confused Words Share Flipboard Email Print Tanes Jitsawart / Getty Images English English Grammar An Introduction to Punctuation Writing By Richard Nordquist English and Rhetoric Professor Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester B.A., English, State University of New York Dr. Richard Nordquist is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern University and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks. our editorial process Richard Nordquist Updated March 05, 2019 The words poor, pore, and pour are homophones: they sound alike but have different meanings. Definitions The adjective poor means needy, impoverished, inadequate, or inferior. As a noun, pore means a small opening, especially in an animal or plant. The verb pore means to read or study carefully. The verb pour means to dispense a drink or other substance. Examples Abby planted yuccas in her garden because nothing else would grow in the poor soil.The carbon dioxide storage method injects the gas into the microscopic pores of reservoir sediments 800 meters underground.Merdine pored over the rules, searching for a loophole."Happiness is a perfume which you cannot pour on someone without getting some on yourself." (Ralph Waldo Emerson) Practice Exercises (a) "____ down your warmth, great sun!" (Walt Whitman)(b) My doctor encouraged me to ____ over the small print on the medicine label.(c) Some types of make-up can block _____ and cause spots.(d) A rich person who needed a kidney could buy one, but a _____ person could not. Answers to Practice Exercises (a) "Pour down your warmth, great sun!" (Walt Whitman)(b) My doctor encouraged me to pore over the small print on the medicine label.(c) Some types of make-up can block pores and cause spots.(d) A rich person who needed a kidney could buy one, but a poor person could not.