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Homonyms: Definitions, Examples, & Memes

Homonyms have three "flavors," as defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

 

1. Homonym — words that are spelled and pronounced alike but differ in meaning

~ Example: a pool of water and pool the game.

 

2. Homophones — words pronounced alike but differ in meaning and/or spelling

~ Examples: all and awl; to, too, and two; and rite, right, write, and wright

 

3. Homographs — words that are spelled alike but differ in meaning and/or pronunciation

~ Examples: fair, market and fair, beautiful; and lead, to conduct and lead, metal

 

 

This post is for the homophone flavor.

And it's stocked with memes.


Homophone (noun):

one of two or more words pronounced alike

but different in meaning or derivation or spelling


than vs. then

then vs. than

  • Than is used as a function word, with comparative adjectives and comparative adverbs.
  • Then references time and denotes what is next.

ball vs. bawl

bawl vs. ball

  • Ball (as a verb) means to form something into a ball, like making meatballs.
  • Bawl means to cry loudly and unrestrainedly.

scalding vs. scolding

scolding vs. scalding

  • When something is scalding, it's boiling hot.
  • When someone is scolding, they are finding fault noisily or rudely, using harsh language.

adopted vs. adoptive

adoptive vs. adopted

  • Adoptive is defined as "relating to adoption."
  • Customarily, adopted is the term assigned to the child, and adoptive is the term assigned to the parent.

bear vs. bear vs. bare

bare vs. bear vs. bear

 

  • To bear something (used as a verb) means to wield or carry it.
  • A bear (as a noun) is an animal.
  • Something that is bare is uncovered or empty.

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