Homonym noun (hom·​onym)

Definition of Homonym

1.

a. Grammar — Homograph

The homonyms there and their

b. Grammar — Homograph
The words lead, as in the metal, and lead, as in the verb, are homonyms.

c. Grammar: One of two or more words spelled and pronounced alike but different in meaning (such as the noun quail and the verb quail).

2. Namesake

One that has the same name as another — especially one who is named after another or for whom another is named.

3. Biology: A taxonomic designation rejected as invalid because the identical term has been used to designate another group of the same rank.

What is a Homonym?

Homonyms confuse people because it can refer to three distinct classes of words.

Homonyms may be words with identical pronunciations but different spellings and meanings, and can even refer to three distinct classes of words — such as to, too and two.

Homonyms may be words with identical spellings and identical pronunciations but different meanings — such as arm (the appendage) and arm (a division of a company).

Homonyms may also be words that are spelled the same but are different in both pronunciation and meaning — the bow of a ship and bow that is tied in a ribbon.

The first and second examples are sometimes called homophones. The second and third types are sometimes called homographs. That’s why it makes naming the second type a bit confusing. Then, some language scholars prefer to limit homonym to the third example.

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