A homonym is also called a homophone and a homograph.
2. A word identical with another in spelling and pronunciation, but differing from it in origin and meaning: Two examples of homonyms which are spelled the same are butter, the food, and butter, one who butts.
3. The same name or word used to denote different things: The words bare, bear and bye, bye; buy, buy are examples of homonyms, as indicated in the cartoons below.
Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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Whenever Laura is stumped about a definition for a confusing-word group, she checks the online dictionary because it is precise and clear; for example, homonym and homophone refer to words that have similar definitions, but the term homophone is more precise.
Two other words are homograph and heteronym which include spellings that may be the same; however, the definitions are very different.