pryer, prior

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

The answer is simple: pryer, prior are homophones of the English language.

prior
  1. :: noun

    the head of a religious order; in an abbey the prior is next below the abbot

  2. :: adjective

    earlier in time

  3. :: noun

    A high-ranking member of a <xref>monastery</xref>, usually lower in rank than an abbot.

  4. :: adverb

    <xref>Previously</xref>.

pryer
  1. :: noun

    A person who <xref>pries</xref>.

  2. :: noun

    See <internalXref urlencoded="prier">prier</internalXref>.

  3. :: noun

Definitions from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved., from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License., from The Century Dictionary., from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition. 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").