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Definition :

Words pronounced alike but having different spelling and meaning are called Homophones.

‘New’ and ‘Knew’; ‘no’ and ‘Know’; to, two, too: are some of the examples of homophones.


‘Meat’ refers to the flesh of four footed animal.

– but ‘meet’ which has the same pronunciation means to come together by chance or arrangement.

There are lot of homophones in the English language. The study of homophones enriches one’s vocabulary. Here is a list of common homophones. Study them deeply and understand the meaning carefully.

Some Important Homophones List


All [everything] All the people you invited have attended.
Awl [a small point tool] The wood was carved with an awl.
Ail [troubles] Mental agony ails her.
ale [Kind of beer] They were with ale for dinner.
Altar [Platform for worship] Sacrifices were offered on the altar.
Alter [to change] She had to alter her clothes after losing weight.
Aloud [noisely] Do not talk aloud.
Allowed [permitted] They were allowed to go out.
Ascent [The action of going up] Edmond Hillary made his ascent on Mount Everest first.
Assent [approval] The President gave his assent to the financial bill.
Advice [counsel] He gave an advice to his son .
Advise [To give counsel] Teacher advised all the students.
Adapt [To fit] Sachin found difficult to adapt in England.
Adopt [accept one as son] I want to adopt a child.
Birth [Born] She gave birth to a female child.
Berth [With bed] I reserved 4 berths for my family.
Bare [empty] He went bare footedly.
Bear [carry] You have to bear the inconvenience.
Bail [on condition let out] He was let on bail.
Bale [bundle] The cotton bale was loaded in the lorry.
Ball [football] I am watching football.
Bawl [shouted] The angry man bawled at me.
Brake [stop] The drive applied the brake.
Break [make into pieces] He tried to break the fused bulb.
Beech [a kind of tree] We sat under the shade in the beech.
Beach [sea shore] Children were playing in the beach.
Base [bottom, foundation] The base of the tower is broad.
Bass [notes for singing] He sang with base notes.
Bolder [More courageous] Abdul is bolder than Rahim.
boulder [A large smooth rock] There was a boulder blocking the path.
Boarder [A pupil who lives at a boarding school] Robert was studying as a boarder.
Border [Line dividing two countries] There is always a dispute about the Indo China border.
Born [Come to life] Jems was born in London.
Borne [Carried] She had borne the child.
Beat [to strike] Donot beat a baby.
Beet [a vegetable] Beet gives vitamin A.
Bred [Brought up] He was well-bred.
Bread [a baked food] Bread is a good food.
Be [To exist] You should be quiet.
Bee [Insect] Bees gives honey.
Blwe [did blow] Police man blew the whistle to stop the car.
Blue [A colour] I wear the blue trouser.
By [at] The chair was made by the carpenter.
Bye [By the way] Good bye.
Buy [To purchase] buy a ball.
Carat [Unit to measure diamond, gold:] Diamond is measured in carat.
Carrot [A kind of vegetable] Vitamin A is rich in carrot.
Ceiling [To cover upper surface] The ceiling of the rooms must be high.
Sealing [Stamp] We use a kind of wax for sealing letters.
Cereal [food grain rich in carbohydrate] Rice is a cereal.
Serial [forming a series] Serial number comes according to alphabetical order of the names.
Check [Examine or control] The teacher advised her students to check whether they have attempted all the questions.
Cheque [Bank written order] I got a cheque for $100 from my father.
Cell [small room] The prisoner is locked up in a cell.
Sell [exchange things for money] They sell the fruits at a high price.
Cymbal [a round brass plate used in a musical instrument] Rosy plays the cymbal in our school band:
Symbol [Emblem] Dove is the symbol of peace.
Cue [Signal] The director made a cue to the actor to start.
Queue [a line of people] There was long queue in the ticket counter.
Council [assembly] There is student’s council in this school.
Counsel [advice] Teacher guides and counsels the students.
Carrier [One who carries goods] This lorry is a public carrier.
Career [mode of living] What is your future career?
Canvas [Rough cloth] It is a canvas shoe.
Canvass [Asking for vote] M.L.A. canvassed for the candidate in the election.
Case [box / enclose] This is a suit case.
Cash [money] Don’t have cash in the pocket while you are in the bus.
Dual [double] He bought a dual desk.
Duel [fight] The boy was hurt in the duel.
Desease [sickness] He is weak because of disease.
Decease [death] She is the wife of the diseased.
Die [death] Many childred die on malnutrition.
Dye [colour] He applied dye to his hair.
Fair [good] She is a fair lady.
Fare [charge] The ticket fare has been hiked.
Flew [past tense for fly] Birds flew to warmer places.
Flue [pipe in a chimney] Smoke is let out through flue.
Grate [make harsh ground] The opposition parties grate the ruling party.
Great [famous] William Shakespeare was a great English poet.
Hew [chop or cut] The landlord asked the gardener to hew the branches.
Hue [colour] We can see birds of varied hues at London Wetland Centre.
Knight [soldier of a cavalry] The Knight fought bravely.
Night [darkness] He came to our house last night.
Lessen [to diminish] Machines lessen the burden of me.
Lesson [task] I learnt a lesson from him.
Loose [ill fitting] Her garments are loose.
Lose [failing to keep something] Don’t lose the opportunity.
Meter [Measurer] Thermometer is used to measure the temperature.
Metre [Measure in poetry] This poem is of penta metre.
Not [no] She was not going to school in this summer.
Knot [tied together] He tied a knot.
New [fresh] I bought a new car.
Knew [understood] She knew French.
Week [unit of time] I will come in next week.
Weak [becoming pale] She is so weak that she cannot walk quickly.
Wring [to twist] Wring the clothes after wash.
Ring [circle to produce a sound] He rings the bell.




Homophones – List of Minimal Pairs


Accept – receive Expect – not including
Access – approach Excess – too much
Adapt – to make fit Adopt – to accept
Acceed – to yield Exceed – to go beyond
Accessary – on who helps Accessory – Additional
Adverse – unfavourable Averse – disinclined to
Advise – verb Advice – noun
Affection – love Affectation – artificial manners
Affect – influence Effect – accomplish
Allusion – indirect reference illusion – unreal image
Allude – refer to elude – escape
Amend – alter in order ot improve emend – remove the errors
Amiable – good natured Unanimous – of one mind
Apposite – suitable Opposite – contrary to
Apprise – inform Appraise – evaluate
Ardent – eager Arduous – difficult
Artist – painter, sculotor etc. Artiste – one who performs an art singer, dancer etc.
Artistic – beautiful Artful – cunning
Biannual – half-yearly Biennial – once in two years
Casual – due to chance Causal – of a cause
Cemetery – a burial place Symmetry – hormony
Charted – mapped Chartered – hired by contact
Collision – violent hitting Collusion – secret agreement for a wrong purpose
Clemch – tight grip Clinch – settle a deal
Climatic – of a climate Climactic – of a climax
Coach – a four-wheeled carriage Couch – bed
Collaborate – work in partnership Corroborate – confirm something
Coma – unnatural deep sleep Comma – (,)
Contagious – spreading by contact Contiguous – adjoining
Corporal – of the body Corporeal – as opposed to the spirit
Corps – military force corpse – dead body
Council – a consulting body Counsel – advice
Confirm – establish firmly Conform – comply with
Crumble – break to pieces Crumple – crush into wrinkles
Dairy – milk and other milk and other milk products Diary – notebook of record
Decease – death Disease – illness
Diseased – sickly Deceased – dead
Defer – postpone Differ – be distinct from
Deference – respect Difference – dissimilarity
Descent – climbing downwards Decent – courteous
Defy – challenge Deify – make a god of worship
Despricate – disapprove Depreciate – Become less in value
Disburse – pay out money Disperse – drive away
Draught/Draft – rough outline of any writing Drought/Draut – want of rain
Elicit – draw out Illicit – illegal
Emigrant – a person who leaves his country Immigrant – a person who comes into a country
Eminent – famous Imminent – likely to happen soon
Enervate – to weaken Innervate – to stimulate
Ennumerable – that can be counted Innumerable – that cannot be counted
Exorcise – drive away an evil spirit Exercise – practice
Exhausted – tired Exhaustive – thorough
Facility – skill Felicity – great happiness
Facilitate – make easy Felicitate – congratulate
Goal – jail Goal – aim
Ghostly – of a ghoat Ghastly – horrible
Heaven – a place of god Haven – a place of safety
Humiliation – beign put to shame Humility – modesty
Hypercritical – over crittical Hypocrittical – relating to hypocrisy, flase
Idle – not active Ideal – perfect, the highest of its kind
Imaginary – unreal Imaginative – full of imagination
Immoral – wicked Amoral – not related ot morals
Industrial – of an industry dealing with manufacture Industrious – hard working
Ingenious – skilful, clever Ingenuous – frank, simple
Licence – noun License – verb
Moment – time Movement – act of moving
Moan – make a low sound of pain Mourn – regret the death of
Ordinance – law or order Ordance – the department dealing with military supplies
Occident – the west Accident – a mishap
Petrol – a fuel Patrol – keep watch my moving around
Prosecute – take legal action on Persecute – punish un justly
Potable – fit to drink Portable – able to carry about
Precede – go before Proceed – continue to advance
Precedent – a previous case take as an example President – the head or chairman
Quiet – calm Quite – completely
Refuge – sheltter from danger Refuse – waste material
Septic – infected and full of pus Sceptic – one who doubts in
Spacious – roomy Specious – showy but deceptive
Sever – cut Severe – serious
Solitude – loneliness Solicitude – anxiety
Succession – the coming of one thing after another Secession – withdrawing, splitting away
Temporal – worldly Temporary – not permanent
Thrash – beat with a whip Thresh – beat the grain out
Tycoon – a wealthy, powerful industrialist Typhoon – aviolent hurricane
Urban – of a city Urbane – refined, polished
Venal – dishonest Venial – small, pardonable
Vocation – a person’s regular occupation Avocation – a secondary occupation pursued for pleasure
Wreath – a garland of flowers Wreathe – cover or encircle
Wreck – ruin Wreak – give expression to, avenge


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