racks, wracks, rax

The words racks, wracks, rax sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Why do racks, wracks, rax sound the same even though they are completely different words?

The answer is simple: racks, wracks, rax are homophones of the English language.

racks
  1. :: noun

    Plural form of rack.

rax
  1. :: verb

    To stretch; stretch out.

  2. :: verb

    To reach out; reach or attain to.

  3. :: verb

    To extend the hand to; hand or pass something.

  4. :: verb

    To perform the act of reaching or stretching; stretch one's self; reach for or try to obtain something

wracks
  1. :: noun

    Plural form of wrack.

Definitions from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License and Wordnik.

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About Homophones

Homophones (literally "same sound") are usually defined as words that share the same pronunciation, regardless of how they are spelled.

If they are spelled the same then they are also homographs (and homonyms); if they are spelled differently then they are also heterographs (literally "different writing").