An article from Netimperative reports that Seekport's UK engine has released a new service that tries to identify homographs (words with the he exact same spelling but two different meanings) and then allow the searcher to clarify their search by simply clicking.
For example, a search for the word "tear" asks if I'm looking for material about a "muscle tear" or a "tear drop." If yes, I can then click and run a new, more focused search. Interesting idea that if nothing else might help remind searchers that using precise search terms can help deliver better results.
First prize of an Apple iPod photo will be awarded to the entrant who submits the most homographs, second prize of an iPod mini will be awarded to the most unusual homograph as decided by Seekport?s UK index team. In addition, iPod shuffles will be presented to five random contestants who submit at least one homograph. Homographs that are already listed on the Seekport search engine will not be admissible.
Google offers a feature to include synonyms (words with the same or nearly the same meaning) in your search. I've also found that using the dynamic clusters that Clusty provides can sometimes help with these types of issues.