ho·​mo·​graph | \ ˈhä-mə-ˌgraf How to pronounce homograph (audio) , ˈhō- \

Definition of homograph

: one of two or more words spelled alike but different in meaning or derivation or pronunciation (such as the bow of a ship, a bow and arrow)

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Other Words from homograph

homographic \ ˌhä-​mə-​ˈgra-​fik How to pronounce homographic (audio) , ˌhō-​ \ adjective

What are homonyms, homophones, and homographs?

Homonym can be troublesome because it may refer to three distinct classes of words. Homonyms may be words with identical pronunciations but different spellings and meanings, such as to, too, and two. Or they may be words with both identical pronunciations and identical spellings but different meanings, such as quail (the bird) and quail (to cringe). Finally, they may be words that are spelled alike but are different in pronunciation and meaning, such as the bow of a ship and bow that shoots arrows. The first and second types are sometimes called homophones, and the second and third types are sometimes called homographs—which makes naming the second type a bit confusing. Some language scholars prefer to limit homonym to the third type.

Examples of homograph in a Sentence

The words “bow” for a part of a ship and “bow” for a weapon that shoots arrows are homographs.

First Known Use of homograph

1873, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for homograph

Time Traveler

The first known use of homograph was in 1873

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Statistics for homograph

Cite this Entry

“Homograph.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/homograph. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for homograph


How to pronounce homograph (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of homograph

: a word that is spelled like another word but that is different in origin, meaning, or pronunciation


ho·​mo·​graph | \ ˈhä-mə-ˌgraf How to pronounce homograph (audio) , ˈhō-mə- \

Kids Definition of homograph

: one of two or more words spelled alike but different in meaning or origin or pronunciation The noun “conduct” and the verb “conduct” are homographs.

More from Merriam-Webster on homograph

Nglish: Translation of homograph for Spanish Speakers

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