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)

Other Words from homograph

homographic \ ˌhä-​mə-​ˈgra-​fik How to pronounce homograph (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.
Recent Examples on the Web Should someone make a phishing website with a homograph of your domain, your business can take a major hit. Akram Atallah, Forbes, 25 Mar. 2022 There are a few common brandjacking tactics, but a recurring one is building a website that looks legitimate through the use of a domain homograph, or a domain that looks like yours at first glance but actually contains slight variations. Akram Atallah, Forbes, 25 Mar. 2022

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

First Known Use of homograph

1873, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About homograph

Time Traveler for homograph

Time Traveler

The first known use of homograph was in 1873

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near homograph




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for homograph

Last Updated

29 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Homograph.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/homograph. Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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

More Definitions for homograph


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


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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