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[hom-uh-fohn, hoh-muh-] /ˈhɒm əˌfoʊn, ˈhoʊ mə-/
Phonetics. a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not, as heir and air.
a written element that represents the same spoken unit as another, as ks, a homophone of x in English.
Origin of homophone
First recorded in 1615-25; back formation from homophonous
Can be confused
homograph, homonym, homophone (see synonym study at homonym) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for homophones


one of a group of words pronounced in the same way but differing in meaning or spelling or both, as for example bear and bare
a written letter or combination of letters that represents the same speech sound as another: ``ph'' is a homophone of ``f'' in English
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for homophones



1843, from the adjective homophone (1620s), from Greek homos "same" (see homo- (1)) + phone "sound" (see fame (n.)). Related: Homophonic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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homophones in Culture
homophones [(hom-uh-fohnz, hoh-muh-fohnz)]

Two words that sound alike. This category includes words that are spelled the same, such as trunk (of an elephant) and trunk (a storage chest), as well as words spelled differently, such as deer and dear.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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