Homophones are words that have the same pronunciation, but different meanings and different spellings. The word, ‘Homo’ implies similarities.
Types of Homophones
There can be various types of Homophones in the English language-
Ones that have the same spellings and pronunciation but different meanings. These types of homophones are also known as Homographs and/or Homonyms.
Rose (the flower) & Rose (past form of the verb, rise)
On the other hand, homophones that have different spellings and different meanings but similar pronunciations are called Heterographs.
Carat (the unit of gold purity) & Carrot (the vegetable)
Additionally, homophones of multiple phrases or words are known as Oronyms. These phrases are most commonly used in word games.
“I scream” & “Ice cream”
There can be a wide number of homophones of each type in the English language.
Let’s have a look at some of the most widely used homophones-
|Word 1||Word 2|
|Affect: Meaning- to make a difference on something|
Example- Pollution affects the environment badly.
|Effect: Meaning- the result of something|
Example- The teacher effected many changes in the time table.
|Idle: Meaning- to be free; not being in motion|
Example- He got used to sitting idle during the vacations.
|Idol: Meaning- image or representation of God|
Example- My mother is my idol.
|Hole: Meaning- a hollow place in a solid body|
Example- There was a hole in the wall.
|Whole: Meaning- Complete|
Example- She taught the whole class.
|Knot: Meaning- to tie 0r fasten by looping a piece of string or rope|
Example- She tied a knot at the end of the cord.
|Not: Meaning- to forbid|
Example-Do not go out during the afternoon.
|In: Meaning- be enclosed or surrounded by something|
Example- I kept the book in the drawer.
|Inn: Meaning- a pub, generally in the country|
Example- We stayed at the inn.
|Him: Meaning- referring to a male person|
Example- She was talking to him the other day.
|Hymn: Meaning- a religious song or poem|
Example- The mother was hymning to God.
|Flour: Meaning- a powder obtained by grinding wheat or grains|
Example- She bought the flour to make bread.
|Flower: Meaning- the part of a plant that bears the seed|
Example- I bought her a rose flower.
|Fair: Meaning- human complexion, way of treating people equally|
Example- The rules were not fair to the minor class.
|Fare: Meaning- the money paid for for a journey on public transport|
Example- The fare of a private cab is too high.
|Coarse: Meaning- rough in texture|
Example- Her woollen jacket was coarse.
|Course: Meaning- route or direction|
Example- The flights follow their own course.
|Heel: Meaning- the back part of a human ankle|
Example: She had pain in her heels.
|Heal: Meaning- to become healthy again|
Example- She healed very soon after being affected by the disease
|Buy: Meaning- to purchase|
Example- I will go to buy a dress tomorrow.
|By: Meaning- identifying the agent of an action|
Example- The food was prepared by my mother.
|There: Meaning- referring to a place somewhere far away|
Example- I will meet you there tomorrow.
|Their: Meaning- referring to a group of people|
Example- I did not like their way of talking to you.
|Meet: Meaning- to be in the company of someone|
Example- I will meet him after a month.
|Meat: Meaning- the flesh of an animal|
Example- She loves to eat meat.
|Hear: Meaning- to listen to something|
Example- I wanted to hear what she had to say.
|Here: Meaning- to be at this place of position|
Example- I called her here.
|Won: Meaning- the past form of ‘win’|
Example- She won the game last year.
|One: Meaning- the lowest cardinal number|
Example- There is room for only one person.
|Know: Meaning- be aware of something|
Example- I want to know about the course in english.
|No: Meaning- to refuse to something|
Example- I had no idea about where she was.
|Hour: Meaning- a period of time|
Example- I talked to her for an hour.
|Our: Meaning- associated with the speaker and the second person|
Example- This is all about our relation with them.
|Sell: Meaning- give or hand over|
Example- She will sell her house next year.
|Cell: Meaning- a small room in which a prisoner is locked, the smallest unit of an organism|
Example- The prisoners were given the food in their cells.
|Wait: Meaning- stay where one is until a particular time or event|
Example- She had to wait at the restaurant for a long time.
|Weight: Meaning- a body’s relative mass|
Example- She was at least 4kgs in weight when she was born.
|Week: Meaning- a period of 7 days|
Example- There are 4 weeks in a month.
|Weak: Meaning- having little physical energy|
Example- She had gone weak during her illness.
|Wear: Meaning- have something to weak on body|
Example- She will wear a blue dress tomorrow.
|Where: Meaning- to what place or position|
Example- Where were you yesterday?
|Waist: Meaning- part of human body below the ribs and above the hips|
Example- He put his arm around her waist.
|Waste: Meaning- something which is not of use|
Example- All the food that I made last night went to waste.
|Stationary: Meaning- not moving|
Example- The blood donation bus was stationary at the campus.
|Stationery: Meaning- material used to write|
Example- She bought a lot of stationery to practice calligraphy.
|Sole: Meaning- the undersurface of a person’s foot|
Example- The soles of their feet were dirty.
|Soul: Meaning- the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal|
Example- Their songs lacked soul.
|Write: Meaning- mark letters, words or symbols on a surface|
Example- She had a habit of writing
|Right: Meaning- morally good or justifiable|
Example- She believed herself to be right in the debate.
|Some: Meaning- an unspecified amount|
Example- There was some sugar in the tea.
|Sum: Meaning- a particular amount of money|
Example- I gave her a sum equal to her tuition fee.
|Tail: Meaning- The hindmost part of an animal|
Example- The dog was wagging its tail.
|Tale: Meaning-the narrative of a story|
Example- She narrated a delightful children’s tale.
|Son: Meaning- A boy or man in relation to parents|
Example- Their son was 21 years old.
|Sun: Meaning- The star around which the earth rotates|
Example- The sun sets in the east.
|Sight: Meaning- vision|
Example- The bird was out of her sight.
|Site: Meaning- an area of ground on which a building is constructed|
Example- The site was proposed for a shopping mall.
|Seam: Meaning- a line where two pieces of fabric are sewn together|
Example- This thread can be used to seam a garment.
|Seem: Meaning- impression of something having a good quality|
Example- She seemed annoyed with them.
|Prey: Meaning- the animal that is hunted by another one for food|
Example- The lion was looking for its prey.
|Pray: Meaning- address a prayer to God|
Example- She used to pray to God before becoming an atheist.
|Plain: Meaning- simple or basic in character|
Example- She wears plain clothes
|Plane: Meaning- a plat surface|
Example- She was sitting on a plane surface
|Sail: Meaning- a wind catching apparatus|
Example- We went out to sail on the lake.
|Sale: Meaning- exchange of something for money|
Example- She bought the dress on sale
|Dear: Meaning- regarded with deep affection|
Example- She was very dear to her parents.
|Deer: Meaning- a wild animal|
Example- She saw a deer in the zoo.
|Eye: Meaning- a pair of organs in human body used for sight|
Example- She could not see through her eyes.
|I: Meaning- a letter in the English alphabets, referring to oneself|
Example- I did not like to talk to her.
|Complement: Meaning- contributing extra features to something|
Example- Her dress complemented her beauty.
|Compliment: Meaning- to praise somebody or something|
Example- She was used to receiving compliments from him.
|Cereal: Meaning- a grain used for food|
Example- She ate a bowl of cereal for breakfast.
|Serial: Meaning- a story or play appearing in regular installments|
Example- She is watching a new three-part drama serial.
|Brake: Meaning- device used to stop a moving vehicle|
Example- She used the brakes as a dog came in front of her car.
|Break: Meaning- separate into pieces, interrupt|
Example- She took a break from studying.
|Aisle: Meaning- passage between rows of seats|
Example- She was walking down the aisle.
|Isle: Meaning- a small island|
Example- She went to an isle for her honeymoon.
|Mail: Meaning- letters and parcels sent by post|
Example- I received a mail yesterday.
|Male: Meaning- masculine|
Example- The audience had more males than females.
|None: Meaning- not any|
Example- None of us wanted to go to the class.
|Nun: Meaning- a member of religious community of women|
Example- The Church had a lot of nuns.
|Root: Meaning- origin of something, generally, part of a plant attached to the ground|
Example- The cactus has deep roots.
|Route: Meaning- a way or course taken to get from starting to an ending point|
Example- The route between Mumbai and Goa is scenic.
|Sea: Meaning- expanse of salt water covering most of the part of the earth|
Example- There is a ban of dumping the waste into the sea.
|See: Meaning- vision|
Example- She could finally see through her eyes after the surgery.
Meaning- important, main
Example- Delhi is India’s principal city.
|Principle: Meaning- a fundamental truth or proposition|
Example- The judge followed the basic principles of justice.
|Suite: Meaning- a set of room designated for a person’s or family’s use|
Example- They booked a suite for the new couple.
|Sweet: Meaning- the taste of sugar or honey|
Example- The tea was very hot and sweet
|Tow: Meaning- to pull a vehicle with a chain or rope|
Example- The police had to tow the car standing in the middle of the road.
|Toe: Meaning- the finger at the end of the foot|
Example- She cut her toe with a big stone.
|Way: Meaning- method or style of doing something|
Example- I did not like their way of cooking.
|Weigh: Meaning- find out how heavy someone or something is|
Example- The suitcase weighed beyond 15kg.
|Poor: Meaning- lacking sufficient money |
Example- The maid was too poor to buy a TV.
|Pour: Meaning- flow rapidly in a steady stream|
Example- She poured some water to the glass.
The above list consists of almost all the common homophones that we use daily, along with their meanings.
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