Question & Answer Archive


Category:


Home / Archive / English

Question:

A word with the same spelling but different in meaning?



Answer:
Words that have the same spelling, and the same pronunciation, but different meanings are called homonyms. Examples are beat (rhythm) and beat (to whip, as eggs). But this term is also (confusingly) used for words that simply have the same sound (pronunciation), such as eight and ate. These are more correctly called homophones (sound alike words).

If they have the same spelling, but different pronunciations, they are homographs. (written the same) such as sow (female pig) and sow (to seed), or the tenses read (pronounced reed) and read (pronounced red). Homographs require a context clue to determine how they are pronounced.

There are a great number of homophones in English.
(see the related question for examples)

---

Autoantonyms (contranyms) are words that can have opposite meanings depending on their context (e.g. fast can mean "moving quickly" or "fixed firmly in place

---
Homonyms, homophones, and homographs
Think of it like this:
HomoNYM is the same (homo) in name (nym, here meaning spelling).
HomoPHONE sounds the same, as in the word "telephone."
HomoGRAPH means written (graph) the same, such as rose (flower) and rose (went up).

(for more information, see the Related Links below this box)

Related Questions:
Discuss the complex politics of english language in writing against the colonial encounter?

Should there be a comma in the sentence We will keep your resume on file for one year in the event that an opportunity arises?

What does it mean when somebody says mushrooms are to fungus as apples are to an apple tree?

A word rarely seen suddenly appears in many media. What is the word that describes this situation?

If you are the third son for your parents what is the question one has to ask for you to come out with that answer?

Powerpoints done by nineth graders on harper lee why she became interested in writing?

Which is an easier class psychology or sociology If comparing these courses to History of Texas which of the three is easier?