homo-, hom- +

(Greek: same, equal, like, similar, common; one and the same)

This Greek prefix forms many scientific and other terms, often in opposition to hetero-. Don’t confuse this Greek homo- element with the Latin homo- which means “mankind”.

A part or organ that has the same evolutionary origin as another but differs in function, e.g., a bird’s wing in relation to the fin of a fish.
homology (hoh MOL uh jee)
1. Similar characteristics in two animals that are a product of descent from a common ancestor rather than a product of a similar environment.
2. The correspondence of a part or organ of one animal with a similar part or organ of another one, determined by agreement in derivation and development from a like primitive origin, as the foreleg of a quadruped, the wing of a bird, and the pectoral fin of a fish.
3. In chemistry, a similarity in compounds having the same fundamental structure but differing in constituents by a regular succession of changes; such as, the alcohols.
homolomorphism (hoh" muh MOR fizuhm, hom" uh MOR fiz uhm), homomorphic, homomorphous
1. In biology, similarity of external form or appearance but not of structure or origin.
2. In zoology, a resemblance in form between the immature and adult stages of an animal.
homolosine (huh MOL uh sin, huh MOL uh sighn)
Designating a world map combining two homolographic projections so as to portray continents with the least distortion possible.
Applied to leaves or branches (especially of mosses) which turn in the same direction.
Sexual reproduction in fungi involving the union of genetically similar nuclei from one thallus.
homomorphic, homomorphous
1. A reference to a plant with a dimorphous life cycle in which two different types of individuals in the life cycle are morphologically similar; isomorphic.
2. The regeneration of an organ or part similar to the one lost.
1. In biology, similarity of external form or appearance but not of structure or origin.
2. In zoology, a resemblance in form between the immature and adult stages of an animal.
3. Of, relating to, or characterized by a similarity of form but different structure.
4. Relating to two or more structures of similar size and form, usually of synaptic chromosomes.
5. In mathematics, a transformation of one set into another that preserves in the second set the operations between the members of the first set.
homomorphy (HOH muh mor' fee, HOM uh mor" fee)
In biology, imitative resemblance between unrelated organisms; adaptive mimicry without structural similarity.
1. Similarity of form with different fundamental structure; specifically, superficial resemblance between organisms of different groups due to evolutionary convergence.
2. Resemblance in external characteristics, while widely different in fundamental structure.
homonym (s) (noun), homonyms (pl)
1. A word which is identical with another one in pronunciation, but differing from it in spelling and meaning: Some examples of homonyms are fair and fare, read and reed.

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.

A word having the same pronunciation as another one but with different meanings.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Any of two or more words with the same pronunciations but different in spellings and meanings.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

homonym, homophone, homograph, heteronym
homonym (HAHM uh nim", HOH muh nim") (noun)
A word which is identical with another one in pronunciation, but differing from it in spelling and meaning: The word pairs "fair, fare" and "read, reed" are each an example of a homonym.
homophone (HAHM uh fohn", HOH muh fohn") (noun)
A word with the "same sound" as another one, is etymologically more precise and is less ambiguous in meaning than the reference "homonym": The words "him" and "hymn" are examples of homophones.
homograph (HAHM uh grahf, HOH muh graf") (noun)
A word that is identical with another one in spelling, but is different from it in origin and meaning, and sometimes in pronunciation: The words "bass" referring to a fish, and "bass" referring to the quality of the male voice, are examples of homographs.
heteronym (HET uhr uh nim") (noun)
A word with an identical spelling as another one but with different pronunciations and meanings: The word "row" is an example of a heteronym; such as, "row" meaning objects in a line and "row" meaning a quarrel or fight.

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.

1. A word that is spelled or pronounced in the same way as one or more other words but has a different meaning.
2. Someone with the same name as another.
3. In biology, a taxonomic name that is the same as one already designating a different species or genus and cannot therefore be used.
Identity of a sound or name with a diversity of sense; ambiguity.
homoousian (hoh" moh OO see uhn), homoousious
Identical in nature.

Information about Homophones and Homonyms, Explained and Demonstrated.

Another page about Homonyms, Homographs, and Homophones.

Confusing Words Related to Homonyms, Homophones, etc.: Units, Groups A to Y.

Inter-related cross references, directly or indirectly, involving word units dealing with "equal, identical, same, similar": auto-; emul-; equ-, equi-; homeo-; iso-; pari-; peer; rhomb-; syn-; tauto-.