Difference Between Homographs and Homophones

Main Difference – Homographs vs Homophones 

Homograph refers to a set of words that share the same spelling but different meanings, regardless of their spelling. Homophone refers to a set of words that share the same pronunciation but different meanings. Therefore, the main difference between homographs and homophones is that homographs have the spelling but different meanings whereas homophones have the same pronunciation but different meanings.

What are Homographs

The term homograph is derived from the two Greek words ‘homos’ meaning same and ‘graph’ meaning writing. Therefore, this term refers to words that share the same written form that has different meanings. To be more specific, homographs refer to words that share the same spelling. For example, let’s look at the word left. This word can have two meanings. One is the direction- opposite of right, and the other is the past tense of the verb leave. Although these two words have two different meanings, they have the same spelling. Given below are some more examples of homographs.

Wound: injury and the past tense of wind

Bat: bird and the act of hitting the ball with a bat

Dove: bird and the past tense of dive

It is also important to notice that homographs can have different pronunciations. Words that share the same spelling and pronunciation and words that share the same spelling and different pronunciation fall into the category of homographs.

The meaning of homonyms should be understood from the context. Given below are some sentences that contain different synonyms. See whether you can identify their true meaning.

The president of the bank walked along the river bank.

The man dove in water to rescue the drowning dove.

A bandage was wound around his wound.

Main Difference - Homographs vs Homophones

Dove vs Dove

What are Homophones 

The term homophone is derived from the two Greek words ‘homos’ meaning same and ‘phone’ meaning sound. Therefore, homophone can be defined as a word that has the same sound as another word, but has a different meaning. They also have different spellings. Some examples of homophones include feat-feet, stair-stare, here-hear, hole-whole, groan-grown, waist-waste, deer-dear, heal-heel, etc.

In writing it is very important to remember the spellings of the correct word; otherwise, the meaning of the whole sentence might change.

Given below are some sentences that contain homophones. See whether the correct homophone has been used in the correct place.

Wait here until I check her weight.

The girl who won the silver medal didn’t meddle in others’ business.

Can you hear the sound of the sea from here?

Difference Between Homographs and Homophones

Stairs vs Stares

Difference Between Homographs and Homophones 


Homographs refer to a set of words that share the same spelling but different meanings, regardless of their spelling.

Homophones refer to a set of words that share the same pronunciation but different meanings.


Homographs may or may not have the same pronunciation.

Homophones have the same pronunciation.


Homographs have the same spellings.

Homophones have different spellings.Difference Between Homographs and Homophones - infographic

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