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

British Dictionary definitions for homophones


/ (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

Culture definitions for 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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.