List of English homographs

Homographs are words which are spelled the same, but with more than one meaning. Homographs may be pronounced the same (homonyms), or they may be pronounced differently (heteronyms, also known as heterophones).

Some homographs are nouns or adjectives when the accent is on the first syllable and verbs when it is on the second. When the prefix "re-" is added to a monosyllabic word, the hi word gains currency both as a noun and as a verb.

Most of the listed below are closely related: for example, "absent" meaning "missing", and as a verb meaning "to make oneself missing". There are however, also many cases in which homographs are of entirely separate origin, or whose meanings have diverged to the point that present-day speakers have little historical connection: for example, "bat" and "bear". Many, though not all of these have first syllables that evolved from Latin. Also, some words only exhibit stress alternation in certain varieties of English. For a list of homographs with different pronunciations (heteronyms) see List of heteronyms.


Main article: Polysemy

Polysemes are words which described an activity and later gained other meanings, such as those engaged in the activity, the product of the activity, the place or time where the activity occurs, or a verb concerning the activity. Here are some examples:

See also

Wiktionary has a category on English heteronyms
Look up List of dialect-dependent homophones in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Look up List of dialect-independent homophones in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

External links

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