Homonyms

Homonyms generally include two categories of word types: homophones and homographs.

  • Homographs are words that are spelled the same but have different meanings.
  • Homophones Homophones are words that have exactly the same sound (pronunciation) but different meanings and (usually) different spelling.

For example, the following two words have the same sound, but different meanings and spelling:

  • hour and  our

In the next example, the two words have the same sound and spelling, but different meanings:

  • bear (the animal)
  • bear (to carry)

Usually homophones are in groups of two (our, hour), but very occasionally they can be in groups of three (to, too, two) or even four. If we take our “bear” example, we can add another word to the group:

  • bare (naked)
  • bear (the animal)
  • bear (to tolerate)

This list contains both homophones and homographs

adedrink type, as in lemonade
aidto help or assist
aideassistant
affectchange
effectresult or consequence
airatmosphere (the stuff we breathe)
errto make a mistake
aislewalkway
I’llI will
isleisland
allowedpermitted
aloudout loud
antpicnic pest
auntrelative, as in your mom’s sister
arccurve
arkNoah’s boat
atechewed up and swallowed
eightnumber after seven
bareuncovered
beargrizzly animal
berryfruit from a bush
buryto put underground
basebottom part
bassdeep or low
beto exist
beebuzzing insect
beachsandy shore
beechtype of tree
beatto pound
beettype of edible plant
berthtie up
birthto be born
bitenibble
byte8 bits (computer data)
blewpast of blow
bluecolor of ocean
boarpig
borenot interesting boreto drill
borougharea or district
burrowdig through
burrosmall donkey
boughbranch
bowbend or curtsy
buoyfloater
boyyoung man
brakestop pedal
breaksmash
breadbakery food
bredform of breed
broachmention
broochpin
browseyebrows
browselook around
buypurchase
bybeside
byoriginating from,
byeshort for goodbye
cellcompartment
sellvend
centpenny coin of USA
sentdid send
cerealbreakfast food
serialsequential
Chilecountry in South America
chilibean stew
chillyfrosty
chordmusical tone
cordrope
citequote
sitelocation
sightview
closeopposite of open
clothesclothing
complementenhance; go together
complimentpraise
councilcommittee
counselguidance
creaksqueak
creekstream of water
crewsgangs
cruiseride on a boat
deardarling
deerwoodland animal
dewmorning mist
dooperate
duepayable
diecease to exist
dyecolor
doefemale deer
doughuncooked bread
dualdouble
duelbattle
ewefemale sheep
yousecond-person personal pronoun
eyesight organ
Ime
fairequal
fareprice
fairyelflike creature with wings
ferryboat
fazeimpact
phasestage
featachievement
feetplural of foot
firtype of tree
furanimal hair
fleasmall biting insect
fleerun
flewdid fly
fluillness
flourpowdery, ground up grain
flowerblooming plant
foron behalf of
forefront
fourone more than three
forthonward
fourthnumber four
knewdid know
newnot old
gorillabig ape
guerrillawarrior
greasefat
Greececountry in Europe
groanmoan
grownform of grow
hairhead covering
harerabbit-like animal
hallpassageway
haultow
halvecut in two parts
havepossess
hayanimal food
heyinterjection to get attention
healmend
heelback of foot
hihello
highup far
hoarsecroaky
horseriding animal
holeopening
wholeentire
holeyfull of holes
holydivine
whollyentirely
hoursixty minutes
ourbelonging to us
kneadmassage
needdesire
knightfeudal horseman
nightevening
knottied rope
notnegative
knowhave knowledge
noopposite of yes
leadmetal
ledwas the leader
lessenmake smaller
lessonclass
loanlend
lonesolitary
madedid make
maidservant
mailpostage
maleopposite of female
marryto wed
merryvery happy
meatanimal protein
meetencounter
nonenot any
nunwoman who takes special vows
oarboat paddle
orotherwise
oremineral
ohexpression of surprise or awe
owebe obligated
onesingle
wondid win
overdodo too much
overduepast due date
pailbucket
palenot bright
painhurt
panewindow glass
peacecalm
piecesegment
peakhighest point
peekglance
plainordinary
planeflight machine
planeflat surface
polepost
pollsurvey
poornot rich
pourmake flow
prayimplore God
preyquarry
principalmost important
principlebelief
rainwater from sky
reinbridle
raptap
wrapdrape around
realfactual
reelroll
rightcorrect; not left
writescribble
ringencircle
wringsqueeze
rolefunction
rollrotate
roseflower
rowslines
sailmove by wind power
salebargain price
scenelandscape
seenviewed
seaocean segment
seeobserve with eyes
seamjoining edge
seemappear
sewconnect with thread
soas a result
sowplant
soarascend
sorehurt place
solesingle
soulessence
somea few
sumamount
stealswipe
steelalloy
tailanimal’s appendage
talestory
theirbelonging to them
thereat that place
they’rethey are
totoward
tooalso
toefoot appendage
towpull along
varydiffer
verymuch
wailhowl
whalehuge swimming mammal
waistarea below ribs
wastesquander
waitkill time
weightmeasurable load
warbattle
woredid wear
warncaution
wornused
waypath
weighmeasure mass
weus
weetiny
weaknot strong
weekperiod of seven days
weatherclimate
whetherif
whichthat
witchsorcerer
yourbelonging to you
you’reyou are