het·​ero·​nym | \ ˈhe-tə-rə-ˌnim How to pronounce heteronym (audio) \

Definition of heteronym

: one of two or more homographs (such as a bass voice and bass, a fish) that differ in pronunciation and meaning

Examples of heteronym in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis is Saramago’s novel about a heteronym’s return to Portugal from Brazil after Pessoa dies—Reis has conversations with the dead Pessoa, too, not with the ghost of Pessoa but dead Pessoa himself. Damion Searls, The New Republic, 14 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heteronym.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of heteronym

circa 1889, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About heteronym

Time Traveler for heteronym

Time Traveler

The first known use of heteronym was circa 1889

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near heteronym




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for heteronym

Cite this Entry

“Heteronym.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heteronym. Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!