[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. homophile,
  2. homophily,
  3. homophobe,
  4. homophobia,
  5. homophobic,
  6. homophones,
  7. homophonic,
  8. homophonous,
  9. homophony,
  10. homophyly

Origin of homophone

First recorded in 1615–25; back formation from homophonous

Can be confusedhomograph homonym homophone (see synonym study at homonym)

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for homophone


/ (ˈhɒməˌfəʊn) /


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

Word Origin and History for homophone



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