ho·​mo·​phone | \ ˈhä-mə-ˌfōn How to pronounce homophone (audio) , ˈhō-\

Definition of homophone

1 grammar : one of two or more words pronounced alike but different in meaning or derivation or spelling (such as the words to, too, and two)
2 : a character or group of characters pronounced the same as another character or group

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Other Words from homophone

homophonous \ hō-​ˈmä-​fə-​nəs How to pronounce homophonous (audio) \ 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 homophone in a Sentence

“To,” “too,” and “two” are homophones.

Recent Examples on the Web

Plus, there is the idea that race horses are sometimes sold for meat and this homophone is a little too sensitive a topic to be amusing. John Cherwa, latimes.com, "Racing! Magnum Moon wins Rebel Stakes as Solomini finishes second," 18 Mar. 2018

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

First Known Use of homophone

1843, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for homophone

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Time Traveler for homophone

The first known use of homophone was in 1843

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More Definitions for homophone



English Language Learners Definition of homophone

: a word that is pronounced like another word but is different in meaning, origin, or spelling


ho·​mo·​phone | \ ˈhä-mə-ˌfōn How to pronounce homophone (audio) , ˈhō-mə-\

Kids Definition of homophone

: one of two or more words pronounced alike but different in meaning or origin or spelling The words “to,” “too,” and “two” are homophones.

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More from Merriam-Webster on homophone

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with homophone

Spanish Central: Translation of homophone

Nglish: Translation of homophone for Spanish Speakers

Comments on homophone

What made you want to look up homophone? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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