What is the term for words that sound alike but have different spellings and meanings? For example, there and their.


1 Answer 1


They are heterographic homophones. They are also homophonic heterographs. All words that sound alike are homophones, and all words that are spelt differently are heterographs, and these are both.

  • There are also homographic homonyms, like bear (v) and bear (n), as well as the heterographic ones bare and Bayer. Jan 25, 2013 at 21:23
  • @JohnLawler well we could define homonym as a homographic homophone, but that would include polysemes as well as true homonyms that don't share etymological roots, or at least branched away from each other before moving closer again.
    – Jon Hanna
    Jan 25, 2013 at 21:58

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