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Put quite simply, a homograph is a group (usually a pair) of words that are spelled the same way, but

have different meanings. They may or may not be pronounced the same way, although the difference
in pronunciation is often just a shift in the accented syllable.
There is a whole class of homographs that end in -ate, usually with one being a verb and the other
being a noun or an adjective related to it. For example:
"Advocate" can be pronounced with a long "a" sound and mean to speak or write in support of
"Advocate" can also be pronounced with a short "a" sound and refer to a person who supports or
pleads the cause of another.

Common Homographs
Now that you know what they are, here are 40 examples of homographs:
accent - stress or emphasis/a manner of speaking or pronunciation influenced by the region in
which one lives or grew up
agape - wide open/a Greek word meaning love
attribute - a characteristic or quality/to think of as belonging to or originating in some person, place
or thing
axes - the plural of ax or axe/the plural of axis
bass - a deep voice or tone/a kind of fish
bat - a piece of sporting equipment used in baseball/a winged animal associated with vampires
bow - to bend at the waist/the front of a boat/a pair of tied loops
buffet - to hit, punch or slap/a self-serve food bar
bustier - an undergarment/more busty
compact - small/to make small/a small case for holding makeup
compound - to mix or combine/an enclosed area with a building or group of buildings inside
content - happy or satisfied/all that is contained inside something
contract - an agreement/to get, acquire or incur
coordinates - brings into proper place or order/a set of numbers used to calculate position
desert - a hot, arid region/to leave
digest - a condensed version of some information/to change food in the stomach into a form that
can be absorbed by the body
discount - a reduction in price/to underestimate the significance of or give no credence to
does - female deer (plural)/present, third person singular form of the verb do
down - in a lower position/soft, furry feathers
entrance - the place of entry/to bewitch, delight or enrapture
evening - late afternoon/making more even
fine - very good/sharp or keen/delicate or subtle/a sum of money paid to settle a matter
frequent - occurring regularly/to visit a place with regularity
incense - a substance that produces a pleasant odor when burned/to infuriate or make very angry
lead - to go first with followers behind/a type of metal
minute - 60 seconds or 1/60th of an hour/extremely small
moped - acted sad or gloomy/a bicycle with a motor
object - a thing you can see or touch/a goal/a noun that receives the action of a verb/to be
opposed to
proceeds - advances or continues on/the money or profit gained from some sale or venture
produce - to create or make/fresh fruits and vegetables
project - a plan or proposal/to throw or hurl forward/to cause a shadow or image to fall upon a
surface
putting - the present participle of put/the present participle of putt
number - a numeral/to count/more numb
refuse - waste or garbage/to reject or decline to accept
row - a fight/to propel a boat forward using oars/a line
second - 1/60th of a minute/after the first
subject - under some authority or control/to bring under authority or control/to make liable or
vulnerable/a topic/the noun in a sentence about which something is said in the predicate
tear - to rip/a drop of water from the eye
wind - to turn/moving air
wound - turned/an injury
This is just a small sample of all the homographs that exist. There are hundreds more just in English,
not to mention the homographs that exist in other languages and the ones that exist between
languages.

Homographs, Homophones and Homonyms


Its easy to confuse homographs with homophones and homonyms, but if you think about each word,
they make more sense.
Homo-, as you know, means same. But the end of each word tells us what is the same.
Homograph - Graph has to do with writing or drawing. When you think about a graph, you
envision a picture. If you read graphic novels, you know they have pictures. Someone drew them.
So homograph means same picture or same writing. Homographs are written (spelled) the
same.
Homophone - Phone has to do with sound. When you talk on the telephone, you hear the other
persons voice. When people in the 1800s used a gramophone, they were listening to music. And
phonology is the study of a languages sounds. So homophone means same sound.
Homophones are pronounced the same.
Homonym - Nym means name. Stevie Nicks and Stevie Wonder have the same first name, but
they clearly are different people. Its the same with homonyms. Theyre spelled the same
(homographs) and pronounced the same (homophones), but they have different meanings. Bow,
for example, means both to bend at the waist and the front of a boat.