Homonyms are “one of two or more words spelled and spoken alike but different in meaning,” according to the dictionary. To further complicate matters, homonyms can be divided into two groups: homophones and homographs.

What is Homonyms

The name is homnymon, which is the neuter form of homnymos and means “having the same name” in Greek. The prefix homo- in Greek means “same,” while the ending -nym signifies “name.” We may better understand the subcategories of homophone (homo means “same”; phone means “voice or sound”) and homograph (graph from grapho, which means “write”) by understanding the roots of these words. More on those variations to follow.


The term “homonym” is used to describe all words that share the same spelling or phoneme but have different meanings. A word is always a homonym whether it be a homophone, homograph, or both. That one is simple.


These are words that look alike but mean something very different. The most often taught homophones in schools, for instance, are there/their/they’re and to/too/two. Although some word groups sound the same, their meanings and applications differ. Rows/rose, one/won, and build/billed are other examples of homophones.


Words with the same spelling as others but different meanings are called homographs. For instance, the words lead (which rhymes with bed and means “to be in charge of”) and lead (which means “a hazardous metal” and has a different meaning) have the same appearance but are pronounced differently. Like the word bear, certain words share the same spelling and sound. Bear is a noun that refers to “a hairy, lumbering creature” and a verb that implies “to carry.” It’s generally simpler to just refer to these words as homonyms as they can be both homophones and homographs. Read Also : Best 50 Antonyms

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