airing, erring

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

The answer is simple: airing, erring are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    Exposure to air for freshening or drying.

  2. :: noun

    Exposure to open air for exercise or the promotion of health.

  3. :: noun

    Exposure to public attention.

  4. :: noun

    A radio or television broadcast.

  1. :: adjective

    capable of making an error.

  2. :: verb

    Present participle of <xref>er</xref>.

  3. :: verb

    Present participle of <xref>err</xref>.

  4. :: adjective

    capable of making an error

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