Before we pore over the various reports on the DNA samples, pour yourself a glass of fresh juice and stimulate your brain.

Homophones can be very bewildering. The pair ‘pore and pour’ is no different. When two words such as these sound exactly the same, it is easy to mix them up while talking. If a person is not focused while writing he may end up placing them in the wrong context.

Pore and pour have completely different meanings. Pore is a verb which means to study a document carefully. As a noun it also denotes a minute opening on a surface such as your skin.  Pour is a verb which means to make a liquid flow down or when it falls down on its own. An example would be ‘he got wet when the rain poured down on him.’

You would be surprised to learn that two phrases associated with these terms are also used incorrectly. ‘To pore over’ means to ponder over something attentively while ‘to pour over’ means to make a liquid flow over something, and this phrase is most commonly used while describing coffee brewing techniques. A set of basic differences between both the words are outlined below.

Pore vs pour – definitions, uses and examples

Definition of Pore

By definition, pore is verb which means to study with a lot of focus. The word pore is almost always paired with the two words through and over to make ‘pore over’ or ‘pore through’ which means to study through documents absorbedly.  Moreover, pore as a noun refers to a minute opening on a surface, such as the skin of an animal or the outer layer of a plant.

Example sentences of pore

  • He has oily pores on his skin so the dermatologist prescribed a sunblock that would rid his skin of excessive oil while keeping it adequately hydrated.

In the above sentence, a boy had oily pores on his skin. The word ‘pore’ denotes tiny holes or abrasions on his skin.   Thus, his dermatologist, understanding the need of his oily skin, prescribed a sunblock that catered his needs.

  • The director pored over the script for the drama and announced that it was going to be a hit.

The above sentence says that after deeply analyzing the script for the drama the director realized that it was going to be a hit. If the phrase ‘poured over’ had been used instead of ‘pored over,’ it would mean the director spilled something over his script.

  • The lawyers spent more than a week on this case, poring over minute details and studying the situation from many angles so that nothing missed their eye.

Here, the word ‘pore’ means studied. The lawyers who were working on an important case studied small details making sure nothing was missed out. They also interpreted the case form various angles to maximize their chances of winning the case.

Definition of pour

The verb pour means to make a liquid flow down gently over something. Mostly, you would find the word ‘over’ used alongside pour to make the phrase ‘pour over’ which means to place the liquid over the top of something. Even though the act of pouring is most often used for liquids it can also be used for pouring any other thing as well, for instance you can say ‘she poured the cluster of dirty napkins over the basket.’

Example sentences of pour

  • The fresh stream-water poured over the rocks which resulted in a small waterfall.

It is common to see this occur in mountainous regions. When stream water flows, sometimes it results in small or temporary waterfalls. This happens because rocks are not arranged in the stream’s path, they occur randomly and when there is a difference in height, the water might pour down (flow down) over the rocks causing a water fall.

  • Pouring excessive water over the plants can cause them to become waterlogged and suffocate.

Newbie gardeners might be under the impression that it is a good idea to water plants excessively so that they stay hydrated. However, this is not the case. Like humans, plants also need air to breathe and the roots need access to air while they are in the sand. If the sand is waterlogged, the plants cannot breathe and if left like this for long hours, the plants die. Hence, gardeners should pour (flood) medium amounts of water over their plants.

  • Visitors came pouring in when they heard about the demise of their father.

This sentence means that visitors came in large numbers when they came to know about the death of their father. This shows that the father was either a very influential person or a very charitable one.


These two words are common English terms so if you are not familiar with their meanings, you will be treated like an amateur in English. Here’s a recap of their differences. Take the letters ‘ore’ of pore, there is a meaning for each of these letters. Pore means an opening, and to read engrossedly. Hence ‘ore’ stands for opening, read engrossedly. Finally, pour means to flow or flood. We hope we’ve cleared the misconceptions associated with these words and helped you memorize their differences.