Homonyms

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English is full of words that have multiple uses. Some sound the same, others look the same, but all have different meanings and/or uses. For example, object (ob ject and ob ject) can be a noun or a verb, depending on pronunciation. Two, to, and too all sound the same, but are used as a number, a preposition, and an adverb and obviously are spelled differently. Grow your vocabulary range by knowing the differences among these words.
The following lists include the main words that fall under the general term homonym. They can be categorized as homophones (sound the same), homographs (spelled the same, pronounced differently), and true homonyms (look and sound the same). Refer to this list regularly to get to know these words. Don’t forget to look up words in a dictionary to find alternate meanings.


Homophones

Words that are spelled differently, but pronounced the same (or very close to the same) and with different meanings.

aid / aide air / err / heir aisle / I’ll / isle
allowed / aloud alter / altar ant / aunt
ascent / assent ate / eight aural / oral
ball / bawl band / banned bare / bear
base / bass berry / bury baron / barren
basis / bases beach / beech be / bee
been / bean berth / birth bite / byte
blew / blue bloc / block boar / bore
boarder / border bolder / boulder born / borne
bough / bow break / brake buy / bye / by
cache / cash caller / collar cannon / canon
canvas / canvass carrot / karat cast / caste
key / quay cede / seed ceiling / sealing
censor / censure / sensor census / senses cent / sent / scent
cereal / serial cession / session chased / chaste
check / cheque / Czech chews / choose Chile / chili / chilly
chute / shoot cite / sight / site clause / claws
close / clothes course / coarse colonel / kernel
compliment / complement core / corps council / counsel
crew / cruise cue / queue currant / current
dam / damn days / daze deer / dear
de / do / due die / dye disc / disk
discreet / discrete discussed / disgust draft / draught
duel / dual earn / urn elicit / illicit
elude / allude / illude facts / fax fair / fare
faint / feint fain / feign fairy / ferry
faux / foe faze / phase feat / feet
feted / fetid file / phial find / fined
fir / fur flair / flare flea / flee
flu / flew floe / flow flour / flower
forego / forgo for / four / fore foreword / forward
fort / forte foul / fowl gait / gate
gene / jean gild / gilled / guild gilt / guilt
gin / jinn knew / new gorilla / guerilla
graft / graphed grate/great grease/Greece
grill / grille groan/grown guessed/guest
guise / guys hail/hale hairy/harry/Harry
hall / haul halve/have hanger/hangar
he’d / heed he’ll / heal heal/heel
heal/heel heroin / heroine hear/here
hew / hue higher / hire him/hymn
him/hymn hoarse / horse hold/holed
hole / whole holy / wholly hour/our
hostel / hostile idol / idyll / idle in / inn
Inc. / ink innocent / innocents incite / insight
it’s / its jewel / joule knead / need
knight / night knot / not / naught know / no
knows / nose lacks / lax lain / lane
lead / lead / led leak / leek lean / lien
leased / least lends / lens lessen / lesson
lichen / liken lie / lye lightening / lightning
links / lynx loan / lone Mach / mock
made / maid male / mail main / mane
manner / manor mall / maul maize / maze
marry / merry meat / meet / mete meddle / medal
metal / mettle might / mite mind / mined
missed / mist miner / minor misses / Mrs.
moose / mousse morning / mourning muscle / mussel
mustard / mustered naval / navel none / nun
or / ore / oar one / won ordinance / ordnance
overdo / overdue paced / paste packed / pact
pail / pale pain / pane pair / pare / pear
palate / pallet / palette passed / past patience / patients
peace / piece peak / peek / pique peal / peel
pedal / peddle peer / pier per / purr
plain / plane plait / plate pleas / please
pole / poll / pole pour / pore / poor praise / preys / prays
pray / prey precedence / precedents presence / presents
principle / principal profit / prophet pros / prose
quarts / quartz rack / wrack wreck / wreak
rain / reign / rein racket / racquet raise / raze / rays
rap / wrap read / red read / reed
real / reel recede / reseed rest / wrest
review / revue roe / row right/rite/write/wright
wring / ring road / rowed / rode roam / Rome
role / roll root / route rye / wry
sail / sale saver / savor scene / seen
sea / see seam / seem see / sea
sees / seas / seize serf / surf sew / so / sow
sheer / shear sighs / size sink / synch
slay / sleigh soar / sore soared / sword
sole / soul some / sum son / sun
sordid / sorted staid / stayed stair / stare
stake / steak stationary / stationery steal / steel
storey / story straight / strait sucker / succor
suede / swayed suite / sweet sundae / Sunday
tail / tale tare / tear taught / taut
tee / tea team / teem tear / tier
their / they’re / there threw / through throne / thrown
thyme / time tide / tied tighten / titan
timber / timbre to / too / two toe / tow
troop / troupe vein / vain vary / very
verses / versus vice / vise wail / whale
waist / waste waive / wave wait / weight
waiver / waver want / wont war / wore
warn / worn warship / worship way / weigh / whey
we’ll / wheel were / whir weak / week
weather / whether wet / whet which / witch
while / wile whine / wine whirled / world
who’s / whose wood / would yoke / yolk
your / you’re / yore



Homographs

Words with the same spelling, but different pronunciation and meaning.

address (n., v.) bow entrance
evening lead live
object resume row
tear wind wound
minute buffet contract
incense refuse present
accent coordinate proceeds
subject bass axes
desert produce attribute
learned compact discount
project combine sewer
compound number compress
conscript conduct console
consort construct content
contest contrast converse
convict default digest
discharge exploit extract
impact implant import
incline in/decrease insert
interchange intrigue invalid
perfect permit pervert
polish progress protest
rebel recall recap
record refund reject
remake research resent
retard sow survey
suspect transport update
upset



Homonyms

True homonyms: same spelling and pronunciation (with some slight variations in stress), but different meanings and/or parts of speech.

arm(s) back bank
bark base bat
beam bear board
bolt book box
cabinet can case
cast cave chicken
check chair change
clear chip close
club command cool
current crane dear
deck down duck
dust employ even
exact fall fat
fawn file fine
fire flat fold
foot forearm frequent
glass grand grave
groom gross hail
heaven hood horn
iron jam journey
key kind know
left letter light
long lower lie
lying lies line
match may mole
mean nail objective
order park pile
pitcher point pole
pound pot quarry
recess reign remote
right rock rocket
rose row saw
seal second seek
serve set show
shower sign sink
spring space stalk
stall stud square
tank tender tie
tire trip trunk
wave watch well
yard