What Is A Homophone?

Homophones are words that have different meanings but are pronounced the same way.

Sometimes you’ll find that the words are spelled the same way, while other times they’ll be spelled differently.


Same Way

One homophone that is spelled the same way but has a different meaning is bow.

In Sherwood Forest, someone who meets Robin Hood might choose to bow to greet him. Robin Hood might then give him a bow and arrow.

Homophones that are spelled the same are both homonyms and homographs.

Different Way

One homophone pair that is spelled differently is sail and sale.

A person with a yacht might put it on sale because the sail is broken and he can’t afford to fix it.

Homophones that are spelled differently are called heterographs.

What Does Homophone Mean?

The word homophone comes from two Greek words that have been put together – homo and phone.

‘Homo’ means ‘same’ and ‘phone’ means ‘sound’ or ‘voice’. Homophone therefore literally means ‘same sound’ or ‘same voice.’

Make sure you check out our complete homophones list.