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Homophones, Homonyms

and Heterophones


Definitions:

Homophones:  Two (or more) words that sound the same, but have different spellings

Homonyms:  Two (or more) words that are spelled the same & sound the same, but have different meanings.

Heterophones:  Two (or more) words with the same spelling, but different sounds and different meanings.


Disclaimer:  some of the homophones below only exist in American English, as American English has fewer sounds than other Englishes.
Examples:

Homophones

ad (advertisement) add    
ate eight 8  
be bee B  
ball bawl    
bean been (British pronunciation)    
bear bare    
beat beet    
bite byte    
blew blue    
boar bore    
bot bought    
bow  /bau/ bough    
brain brane    
brake break    
bred bread    
by bye buy bi~
'cause (because) cous  (cousin) cuz  
chew Choo, Choo!    
clause claws Claus  
coal Cole (name)    
cot caught    
Cyn (name) sin    
dear deer    
die dye    
do dew doo  (doo doo)  
do (musical note) doe dough  
done Dunn (name)    
drew Drue (name)    
dug Doug (name)    
eight ate 8  
eye I aye  
fair fare    
feat feet    
fin Finn    
finish Finnish    
flea flee    
flew flu    
for four fore 4
forest Forrest (name)    
gate gait    
Gee! G    
genes jeans    
gnat Nat (name; short for Nathan)    
gneiss nice    
grate great    
grease Greece    
hair hare    
hay hey    
heal heel    
hear here    
hi high    
hoe Ho! Ho! Ho! There's another "ho" but I'm not going to mention that one.  
hole whole    
holy wholly    
knew new gnu  
knight night    
knot not    
know no    
lad LADD    
lie lye    
loo lieu Lou Lu
mad MADD    
made maid    
main mane    
me mi (musical note)    
meat meet mete  
mic~
(microphone)
Mike    
might mite    
moor more    
morning mourning    
nay neigh    
none nun    
pain pane    
pair pear pare  
pall Paul (name)    
patience  patients    
pea pee    
peace piece    
peat Pete (name)    
pew Peeyoo! Peeyew!  
pie pi ( π )    
plain plane    
pole poll    
poor pore pour  
pray prey    
queue cue Q  
rain reign     
ray re (musical note)    
red read (past tense)    
read  (present tense) reed    
real reel    
reek wreak    
right rite write Wright (name)
role roll    
rot wrought    
sad SADD    
see sea C  
seen scene    
sew sow    
shoe shoo    
sign sine    
sight site    
slay sleigh    
sole soul    
some sum    
son sun    
sore soar    
stair stare    
stake steak    
steal steel    
talk tock (tick tock)    
tare tear    
tea tee T ti (musical note)
tear tare    
there their they're  
to too two Tue
toe tow    
~toon  (cartoon) tune    
wait weight Waite (name)  
walk wok    
war wore    
waste waist    
we wii wee  
we'll wheel    
wear where ware  
weather whether    
which witch    
who Hoo!  Hoo!    
why Y    
Woe Whoa    
won one    
wrote rote    
yoke yolk    
you ewe yew  

 

Homonyms

Word Meaning 1 Meaning 2 Meaning 3
bark (n.) the outer covering of a tree (v.) to make a dog sound  
bear (n.) animal (v.) to carry (v.) to endure
bore (v.)  to make sb bored (v.) to make a hole (v.) past tense of bear
bow  /bou/ (n.) weapon used with arrows (n.) ornament made with ribbon  
bow  /bau/ (n.) forward part of a boat (v.) to bend at the waist  
date (n.) day, month, year (n., v.) to go out with someone romantically (n.) a kind of fruit
fine (adj.) well (n., v.) a fee for violating the law (adj.) thin
fly (n.) an insect (v.) to soar in the air (in the sky) (a.) when a baseball is hit high in the air, it is called a "fly ball"
lead  /led/ (n.) a heavy, soft metal (n.) graphite in pencils  
light (n.) form of energy (n.) lamp (a.) not heavy
mean (adj.) of low status (n.) average (adj.) unkind
park (n.) recreational place (v.) to stop a vehicle  
Pat Proper name
(short for Patricia)
(short for Patrick)
(v.) to lightly hit someone with palm of hand, usually for sign of approval  
Ray Proper name (short for Raymond) (n.) a line of light  
right (n.) permission (a.) correct (a.) opposite of left
rock (n.)  a stone (v.)  to move back and forth as if to swing while still touching the ground (slang)  a kind of music
row (n.) a line of items (v.) to propel a boat with paddles  
sty (n.) a pen for pigs (n.) an infection on the eye  
Sue Proper noun (short for Susan) (v.) to take sb to court for money  
tie (n).  necktie (v. & n.)  to finish a race at the same time or with the same score is called a tie. (v.)  to make a knot

 

Heterophones

Word  /diction/ Meaning Word  /diction/ Meaning
lead  /leed/ or /li:d/ to show the way lead  /led/ a heavy, soft metal
Polish  /poh-lish/ person from Poland polish  /pah-lish/ shine
read  /reed/ or /ri:d/ to look at written language read  /red/ past tense of read
tear  /teer/ or /ti:r/ a drop of eye fluid tear  /tehr/ rip
wind  /wind/ breeze wind  /waind/ turn

 

 

 


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