I apologise in advance if this is a duplicate, but I did search this site and did not find exactly what I was after.

I've been searching on Google for a while now regarding homophones, homonyms and homographs, and I constructed a table to easily categorise words.


The problem is, I'm still confused as to their meanings. I'm interested in some professional definitions of the three word types (and if possible, of a heteronym) and also some help with completing my table.

Here's a diagram I found, but I found it a bit too messy to be able to be read:


Thank you very much.

  • "homonym" can mean either "homophone" or "homophone and homograph". – herisson Apr 30 '15 at 3:27

This wikipedia entry has a table like yours::

enter image description here

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Homophones are words which are pronounced in same way but may be spelt in different ways. For example:

cite, site, and sight

Homonyms are words which are spelt in the same way but pronounced and meant in different ways. For example,

minute [noun] and minute [adjective]

These words are pronounced in different ways when used to mean 'a unit of time' and 'tiny'.

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  • 1
    This is a good start on an answer to the poster's question. To make it even more useful, consider adding explanations of the terms homonym and heteronym. If you have access to "professional definitions" of the terms (which the poster asks for), consider citing them, too. – Sven Yargs Apr 30 '15 at 9:53

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