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homograph

hom·o·graph

homograph

 
pronunciation:
ha m graef [or] ho m graef
features:
Language Note, Word Parts
part of speech: noun
definition: a word that has the same spelling as another but a different meaning and history. Homographs are often pronounced differently from each other. In the sentence, "She shed a tear over the tear in her dress," the two words spelled "t-e-a-r" are homographs.
derivation: homographic (adj.)
Language Note
Homograph, homonym, or homophone?



Homographs (from ancient Greek words for "same writing") are two or more words that are spelled the same but have different, unrelated meanings. Most homographs are pronounced the same, but some are not.

- punch (the drink), punch (the blow)

- lead (the heavy metal), lead (guide or direct)

- wind (moving air), wind (turn or coil)

- pen (the writing tool), pen (a place for a pig)



Homonyms (from ancient Greek for "same name") are two or more words that sound the same, but have different meanings. Some homonyms have the same spelling and some do not.

- hare (like a rabbit), hair (on your head)

- rank (a place in line), rank (smelly)



Homophones (from ancient Greek for "same sound") are two or more words that sound the same but are spelled differently.

- time (minutes and hours), thyme (an herb)

- size (how big), sighs (breathes out noisily)

- flu (influenza), flew (past tense of fly), flue (in a chimney)

- carat (weight of a diamond), caret (proofreading mark), karat (purity of gold), carrot (orange vegetable)



In some parts of the United States, there are words that are pronounced as homophones, but in other parts of the country, those same words are not. Do you think these words are homophones? marry, merry, Mary; pore, pour, poor; berry, bury; din, den
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