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

closed as general reference by Mitch, J.R., Kristina Lopez, tchrist, MetaEd Jan 26 '13 at 0:23

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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. – John Lawler Jan 25 '13 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 '13 at 21:58

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