Homophone Central Welcomes You

Homophones create challenges because they have different meanings but the same sound. They make people think. They open doors and sometimes they create humour.

You have come to a place that discusses different homophones, sometimes plays with them and invites you to go deeper into this vast, fascinating realm.

Every Monday features a homophone set for the week.

Apr 15, 2024

Homophone set for week of April 15, 2024 - baggie and baggy

baggie and baggy

From things that sag to flexible containers -- all things bag related.

baggie – n. proprietary – a small bag made of clear plastic, used for storing sandwiches, etc.

baggy – adj. – 1. (of clothes) loose fitting; 2. puffed out

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Apr 08, 2024

Homophone set for week of April 08, 2024 - vallar and valor

vallar and valor

Do you feel courageous? Maybe you are wondering why you haven't been given the credit that should be rightfully yours after all the ground-breaking work you have done. Maybe this set applies to you!

vallar – adj. – 1. pertaining to a rampart; 2. describing a crown or garland given to a soldier who was the first to mount an enemy's rampart; 2. also used to describe certain investments but this is usually capitalized

valor (valour) – n. – bravery

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Apr 01, 2024

Homophone set for week of April 01, 2024 - dairy, derry and dhurrie

dairy, derry and dhurrie

Don't let your ears fool you. These words may sound the same but each has a distinctive history and meaning.

dairy – n. – 1. a building or room for the storage, processing, and distribution of milk and its products; 2. a store where milk and milk products are sold; 3. milk and milk products; 4. Cape Breton a convenience store

derry – n. – 1. in Ireland, Londonderry; 2. Australia dislike, aversion, usually used with on; 3. a meaningless refrain or chorus in old songs; 4. a derelict building

dhurrie – n. – a rug of heavy cotton cloth, originally used in the Indian subcontinent

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Mar 25, 2024

Homophone set for week of March 25, 2024 - fabal and fable

fabal and fable

Beans? Old stories? Jack and his tales? And so much more! So, dive deep and explore this fascinating pair...

fabal (fabel, favel) - adj. - n 1. old term for, of or belonging to a bean, especially broad beans, the term still pops up in some scientific articles in the cereal sciences. The Oxford English Dictionary online, does have it with this meaning and quotes dictionaries from the 1600's but it can also be found in A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (1901) by James Murray, William Craigie and Charles Onions; 2. used as a family name and as product names

Do Not Confuse with the actual bean, Vicia faba L.

fable - n. & v. - n. a story that may or may not be fictious, and often has some form of lesson embedded in it and may relate to historical characters. The facts of these stories cannot be verified; v. tell something that lacks details that can be confirmed, to prattle, to invent history

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Mar 18, 2024

Homophone set for week of March 18, 2024 - hail and hale

hail and hale

Whereas the first can definitely affect the second, their meanings and histories come from very different areas.hail – n. & v. – n. – pellets of frozen rain falling in showers from cumulonimbus clouds; v. – 1. tr. [often foll. by as] acclaim, commend, or endorse vigorously (hailed him king; hailed as a success); 2. originate from

hale – adj. & v. – adj. – strong, healthy; n. – 1. the act of hauling; 2. a haul or catch of fish; 3. in the plural, the two handles of a wheelbarrow or plough; v. – 1. drag or draw forcibly; 2. make whole, heal

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Mar 11, 2024

Homophone set for week of March 11, 2024 - jagt and yacked

Jagt and Yacked

Imagine sailing on a crystal clear summer day. Now, what are you sailing on? Who are your companions? Maybe this set describes both your boat and your activities.

jagt – n. – a small, single-mast vessel similar to a cutter or sloop, with square sails

yacked – v. simple past of yack – 1. chatted; 2. engaged in persistent, light conversation

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Mar 04, 2024

Homophone set for week of March 04, 2024 - lam and lamb

lam and lambCan you image a whole flock of woolly beasts all sneaking out of the pasture while their sheep dog slept? No?Maybe it's time to look more closely at the young of these sneaks.

lam – v. & n. – v. – 1. tr. thrash, hit; 2. intr. (followed by into) hit (a person, etc.) hard with a stick, etc.); n. – North American slang on the lam – in flight, especially from the police

lamb – n. & v. – n. – 1. a young sheep; 2. the flesh of a lamb as food; 3. a mild or gentle person, especially a young child; v. – 1. (of a ewe) give birth to lambs; 2. tend (lambing ewes)

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Feb 26, 2024

Homophone set for week of February 26, 2024 - vairy, vary and very

vairy / vary / veryTinctures, changes, and so much change. We have adjectives, adverbs, nouns and verbs. Be careful of what you hear. Ancient and modern encapsulated in three sounds.

vairy – adj. & n. – of a coat of arms, having multiple colours or tinctures

vary – v. – change, become different

very – adv. – to a great or high degree; truly; absolutely; actually; in actual fact

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Feb 19, 2024

Homophone set for week of February 19, 2024 - knark, narc and nark

knark, narc and narkWhereas the first two may seem closely related, the third stands alone as nasty and different.

knark – n. – illegal drugs

narc – n. – 1. a drug enforcement agent

nark – n. & v. - n. - 1. an informant; 3. a persistent complainer; v. 1. annoy, irritate; 2. spy for authorities

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Feb 12, 2024

Homophone set for week of February 12, 2024 - raab and rob

raab and robOne of the easiest distinctions between these two words, is that the first, builds up those that devour it while the second shows the actions of those who who deprive others of any and all of their possession. To steal from another, can never be seen as honourable.

raab – n. – a winter vegetable, Brassica rapa var. Cymosa, related to cabbage, more pungent than broccoli

rob – n. & v. – n. – a thick fruit syrup; v. – 1. plunder, pillage, steal; 2. deprive another of something; 3. overcharge

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Feb 05, 2024

Homophone set for week of February 05, 2024 - taar, tahr and tar

taar / tahr / tar

taar – n. – a type of tambourine with jingling plates in the rim

tahr – n. – a shaggy type of goat endemic to the Middle East, they have rubbery hooves that provide traction on steep slopes and cliffs

tar – n. & v. – n. – 1. a thick, viscid, black or dark-coloured, inflammable liquid, obtained by the destructive distillation of wood (esp. pine, fir, or larch), coal, or other organic substance; chemically, a mixture of hydrocarbons with resins, alcohols, and other compounds, having a heavy resinous or bituminous odour, and powerful antiseptic properties; it is much used for coating and preserving timber, cordage, etc. 2. to beat unmercifully, to reduce to a state of helplessness; 3. a telegram; 4. to smear or cover with tar

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Jan 29, 2024

Homophone set for week of January 29, 2024 - xero and zero

xero / zero

xero – adj. – dry, often used as a prefix

zero – n. & v. – n. – 1. arithmetical figure “0” which denotes ‘nought’; used figuratively for nothing; v. – to set the sights using known distances or scales using known weights

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Jan 22, 2024

Homophone set for week of January 22, 2024 - zein and zine

zein – n. – Biochemistry, a group of alcohol soluble proteins from protein bodies in the endoplasmic reticulum of corn (maize) endosperm

zine – n. – a small distribution magazine produced independently for a narrow niche readership

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Jul 31, 2023

Homophone Set for the Week - cannable, cannibal

cannable - adj. - 1. foods that can be preserved using the canning method; 2. products or food produced from cannabis

cannibal - adj. & n. - 1. one that devours its own kind or species; 2.a bloodthirsty, ruthless, destructive person or animal

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May 08, 2023

Homophonte Set for Week - bole, boll, bowl

This set looks back over the millennia. Gazing at stately tree trunks, abundance of seeds and human development. All three sound the same, but oh the differences!Look around you and see how many boles, bolls, bowls - you can find.

bole / boll / bowl

bole – n. – 1. a tree trunk; 2. a fine clay (compact, earthy)

boll – n. – a rounded capsule containing seeds, esp. cotton or flax

bowl – n. – 1. a usu. round deep basin for food or liquid; 2. any deep-sided container shaped like a bowl; 3. a bowl-shaped natural basin; 4. football – a post season game or tournament between leading football teams; v. tr. – roll along the ground; v. intr. – play a game of bowling

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May 01, 2023

Homophone Set for the Week - ewe, yew, you, yu

As we are well into spring, we think of the natural world around us. This set fits right in thinking of new born lambs with their mothers, trees putting out new greenery, and drinking vessels to share with others. Time to get outside and enjoy.

ewe – n. – an adult female sheep

yew – n. – 1. any dark-leaved evergreen conifer of the genus Taxus having seeds enclosed in a fleshy red aril and historically often planted in church yards; 2. its wood, used formerly for a material for bows and still used in cabinet making

you – n. & pron. – n. – the personality or essential nature of the person or persons being addressed; pron. – 1. used with v. tr. – ones being addressed; 2. in an exclamatory statement

yu – n. – an ancient Chinese wine vessel in the form of a small metal pail with a swing handle and a decorative cover, popular in the Shang and Early Zhou periods

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Apr 24, 2023

Homophone set for the week - xiphioid, ziphioid

Have you ever wondered about the giants that live in salt waters? These two adjectives help us keep two groups separate. The swordfish and the toothed whales. Knowing these terms will help you as you dive into the fascinating realms of marine biology and commerce.

xiphioid – adj. – resembling or related to the genus Xiphias, large scramboid fish including the common swordfish

ziphioid – adj. & n. – adj. – resembling or related to the family Ziphiidae, a family of toothed whales; n. – a member of this whale family

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Apr 19, 2023

English homophone phonetics

Introductory page for phonetics for homophones in English

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Apr 03, 2023

Homophone set for the week - gimbal, gimble

gimbal/gimble

gimbal – n. – 1. hinge; 2. connecting link in a machine; 2. a unit used to stabilize cameras especially for action footage in videography and usually contains artificial intelligence components

gimble – v. – grimace, make a contorted face

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Mar 27, 2023

Homophone set for the week - festal, festel

festal - adj.& n. - pertaining to a feast day or special occasion; 2. being in a holiday mood

festel - n. - an old term for a clasp or fastener

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Jan 16, 2023

Homophone set for the week - ugli, ugly

ugli – n. – a type of hybrid citrus fruit developed in Jamaica

ugly – adj. – unpleasant or offensive

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Jan 09, 2023

Homophone set for the week - tea, tee, ti

tea – n. – a drink usually made by steeping leaves etc. in hot water

tee – n. & v. – n. – 1. a peg used to hold a ball in sports such as golf and football; v. – 1. drag, pull, drag; 2. accuse; 3. place a ball on a tee; 4. connect or branch off using a tee-piece

ti – n. – 1. a musical note; 2. several trees of the genus Cordyline (formerly included in Dracæna) with edible roots

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Jan 02, 2023

Homophone set for the week - sault, sou, sous, sue, xu

A new year begins with hopes and dreams and baggage from the old.

This set contains of number of these elements as well. International coins, running water, superiors vs. subordinates and a few legal matters to keep you on your toes...

sault – n. – large rapids or waterfalls

sou – n. – 1. a French coin of low value; 2. a very small amount of money

sous – adj. – someone ranking second in command

sue – v. – 1. institute legal proceedings against a person; 2. entreat; 3. make a legal petition

xu – n. – a Vietnamese coin worth 1/100th of a dong, it is seldom used currently

Dec 26, 2022

Homophone set for the week - rain and reign and rein

The Feast of St. Stephen. Although, not as well known as St. Nicholas, Stephen is remembered as a person of impeccable character. And the first Christian martyr.

rain – n. & v. – n. liquid water precipitation or anything that similarly falls; v. – water falling from the sky etc.

reign – n. & v. – n. – the duration of a rule or when something predominates; v. – 1. to prevail, predominate, rule; 2. to persist, continue

rein – n. & v. – n. – 1. a long narrow strap used to lead or control animals; 2. something used to control or guide; v. – to fasten something with or control use the use of long narrow straps; also used figuratively

Dec 19, 2022

Homophone set for the week - quince and quints

Perhaps the first reminds you of 'The Owl and the Pussycat' or just a tasty treat. But the second may be even more intriguing...

quince – n. – any tree or shrub of the genus Cydonia bearing fruit used as a preserve or flavouring especially C. oblonga

quints – n. pl. of quint – indicates sets of five or of fifths such as quintuplets, musical intervals

Dec 12, 2022

Homophone set for the week - packs or pacs or pacts or pax

All four can be nouns, but only one can be a verb. In this season of mixed emotions, these four seem particularly appropriate. Especially with family dynamics.

packs – n. pl. & v. 3rd pers. sing. present of pack – n. – 1. a collection of things grouped together for carrying, or disposal of or to be used as a set or with a common purpose; 2. groups of similar animals such as wolf packs; v. – 1. to fill a container for storage or transportation; 2. filled to capacity; 3. to carry a gun

pacs – n. pl. – soft shoes or moccasins meant to be worn inside boots

pacts – n. pl. – treaties, agreements, bargains

pax – n. – a political peace brought on by subjecting one group to another

Dec 05, 2022

Homophone set for the week - ode and owed

On the eve of St. Nicholas Day, we remember one who inspired so many.

Some sing his praises without stopping to think how indebted human culture is to the likes of him.

ode – n. – a lyric poem which historically was meant to be sung

owed – v. – past tense of owe, to be indebted

Nov 28, 2022

Homophone set for the week - noon and nun

Not only can homophones challenge us but so can homographs. Words that look the same but have different sounds. Like the second member of this set.

noon – n. – a mid-day break or a reference to this time

nun – n. – 1. the fourteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet; 2. any Phoenician or Semitic letter that resembles the Hebrew letter in form or sound

Do Not Confuse with nun – a woman who is a member of a religious orderThis word is a homophone of none

Nov 21, 2022

Homophone set for the week - manakin or manikin or mannequin or mannikin

As you look at the seasonal decorations at this time of year, you might be wondering just what you should call the forms that you see.

While all four are possible, only two are likely.

manakin – n. – 1. any of several, small, fruit-eating passerine birds of the family, Pipridae, native to the tropical regions of the Americas, usually brightly coloured; 2. medieval armor – a type of glove worn by soldiers in the 12th century AD

manikin – adj. & n. – adj. – diminutive, undersized; n. – 1. a small representation of a person; 2. an adult of short stature; 3. a model of the human body used in teaching anatomy and medically related disciplines especially in simulated situations

mannequin – n. – 1. a dressmaker or their employee; 2. someone who models clothes; 3. a model of a human figure used to display clothes

mannikin – any of numerous small waxbills of the genus Lonchura, usually having brown, black and white feathers

Nov 14, 2022

Homophone set for the week - lewis and louis

At first glance, these look like a pair of proper nouns. But if you dig deeper, you'll find more rich history and their common noun roots, and even a verb lurking within.

Be careful to not use the French pronunciation.

lewis – n. & v. – n. – 1. an iron tool used for moving stone blocks; 2. a type of shears used to cut woolen cloth; 3. a light-weight, gas-operated machine gun; v. – fasten using an iron tool on stone blocks

louis – n. – a French coin from the 17th -18th century

Nov 07, 2022

Homophone set for the week - knead and kneed and need

Like November in Canada, these three verbs create diverse, vivid imagery.

knead – v. – 1. work dough, clay, etc., into a smooth mass by pressing and folding (either with the hands or a machine); 2. blend or weld together; 3. massage or pummel

kneed – v. past tense & part. of knee – touch or strike with the knee

need – v. & n. – v. intr. – 1. stand in want of, require; 2. be under obligation; 3. be necessary; n. – 1. want or requirement; 2. circumstances of requiring some course of action; 3. a condition of lacking or requiring some necessary thing either physically or psychologically – destitution, poverty; 4. a crisis, time of difficulty, distress or trouble, an emergency

Oct 31, 2022

Homophone set for the week - jinks and jinx

Halloween. Some love it. Some hate it. But very few can completely ignore it.

Rich in history, the traditions have mingled to form a strange mix where people seem to forget who they are. Or at least pretend to.

jinks – n. pl. & v. – n. – 1. pranks; 2. frolics; v. – 1. move suddenly to and fro; 2. dodge, quick elusive turns; 3. swindle; 4. make short, metallic sounds

jinx – n. & v. – n. – an unlucky force, person, or thing; v. tr. – to be or put a curse on someone or something

Oct 24, 2022

Homophone set for the week - icie and icy

Like many other three and four letter words, these present challenges.

Though related, they should never be confused.

icie – n. – crushed ice packed in a cone and covered with syrup, often eaten on hot summer days

icy – adj. – covered with a layer of frozen water, slippery as on ice, cold – near freezing, emotionally cold

Oct 17, 2022

Homophone set for the week - hawg and hog

In some circles, this first term is as common, as the second is to others.

Both provide meals for many.

hawg – n. – a large fish

hog – n. & v. – n. – 1. a male pig; 2. a greedy person; 3. a large, heavy motorcycle; v. – 1. hoard; 2. monopolize; 3. do something completely or thoroughly

Oct 10, 2022

Homophone set for the week - gnawed and nod

Canadian Thanksgiving comes when much of our autumn harvest is being gathered.

The first may well describe the feasting, but the later is given with gratitude.

gnawed – v. – simple past and past participle of gnaw – 1. chewed; 2. worn away by small bites or pieces; 3. corroded, wasted away, consumed

nod – n. & v. – n. – 1. an up and down movement of the head indicating assent or drowsiness; 2. this motion to give an order; 3. a simpleton; 4. back of the neck; v. – 1. bow the head to give assent, greeting or command; 2. involuntarily let the head fall forward especially when sleepy

Oct 03, 2022

Homophone set for the week - firs and furs and furze

From forest giants to shrubs to hairy animal skins, these never cease to amaze people.

firs – n. p. of fir – 1. any of various evergreen trees of the genus Abies having single flattened needles and erect cones with deciduous scales; 2. any of several similar or related trees such as Douglas fir; 3. the wood of these trees

furs – n. pl. of fur – 1. the thick coat of soft hair covering a mammal’s skin; 2. the hair covered dressed pelt of such a mammal; 3. a garment made from such hides; v. tr. – 1. to cover, line or trim with hairy mammal skins, not to be confused with leather; 2. to provide garments made with these types of skins.

furze – n. – any of several spiny shrubs of the genus Ulex, especially U. europaeus, native to Europe and having fragrant yellow flowers and black pods

Sep 26, 2022

Homophone set for the week - eyelet and islet

The 'let' on the ends of these words indicates that both are little. In the same way that a 'bloglet' gives a morsel and not as much substance as a regular blog post.

eyelet – n. – 1. a small hole or perforation, used for fastening with a cord or hook; 2. a small hole edged with embroidered stitches as part of a design; 3. a peephole; 4. a small eye

islet – n. – a very small island

Sep 19, 2022

Homophone set for the week - days and daze and deys

The third member of this set takes us back in history in a way that the first two do not.

All three provide challenges.

days – n. pl. of day – 1. the time between sunrise and sunset; 2. a 24-hour period; 3. the lifetime of a person or thing; 4. a period of the past or present

daze – n. & v. – n. – a state of confusion of bewilderment; v. – stupefy, bewilder

deys – n. – a ruling official of the Ottoman empire in northern Africa, especially a governor of Algiers before the French conquest in 1830

Sep 12, 2022

Homophone set for the week - brain and brane

From the wonders of the anatomical nerve center to mathematics and beyond to the edges of the universe.

This set holds the limits.

brain – n. – the soft convoluted mass of nervous tissue within the skull of vertebrates; 2. (often pl.) informal – intellectual ability; 3. informal – shrewdness or cunning; 4. informal – a person who plans and organizes; 5. an electronic device, such as a computer, that performs similar functions to those of the human brain; v. tr. – 1. to smash the skull of; 2. slang – to hit hard on the head

brane – n. – 1. a hyper-dimensional membrane; 2. in cosmology, the outer edge of the known universe

Sep 05, 2022

Homophone set for the week - cops and copse

Ah, the joys of the Labour Day weekend.For anyone, who has been caught in a speed trap, this set may hold a sad memory...especially if the second had concealed the first.

cops – n. pl or 3rd pres. sing. of cop – n. – 1. Slang a police officer; 2. Brit. a capture or arrest; v. tr. – 1. capture or arrest an offender; 2. receive, suffer; 3. take, seize, win

copse – n. – a small wood or thicket

Sep 01, 2022

Homophone Central Database

tiny gecko on thumb

This page introduces Homophone Central's database of over 6000 homophones and gives instructions on how to use it.

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Sep 01, 2022

Homophones beginning with the letter U

Homophones that begin with the letter U. Later it will have links to the specific set for each word.

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Sep 01, 2022

Homophones beginning with the letter T

Homophones that begin with the letter T. Later it will have links to the specific set for each word.

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Sep 01, 2022

Homophones beginning with the letter S

Homophones that begin with the letter S. Later it will have links to the specific set for each word.

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Sep 01, 2022

Homophones beginning with the letter R

Homophones that begin with the letter R. Later it will have links to the specific set for each word.

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Sep 01, 2022

Homophones beginning with the letter Q

Homophones that begin with the letter Q. Later it will have links to the specific set for each word.

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Sep 01, 2022

Homophones beginning with the letter P

Homophones that begin with the letter P. Later it will have links to the specific set for each word.

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Sep 01, 2022

Homophones beginning with the letter O

Homophones that begin with the letter O. Later it will have links to the specific set for each word.

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Sep 01, 2022

Homophones beginning with the letter N

Homophones that begin with the letter N. Later it will have links to the specific set for each word.

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