ascent, assent

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

The answer is simple: ascent, assent are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    The act or process of rising or going upward.

  2. :: noun

    An advancement, especially in social status.

  3. :: noun

    An upward slope or incline.

  4. :: noun

    A going back in time or upward in genealogical succession.

  1. :: verb-intransitive

    To agree, as to a proposal; concur.

  2. :: noun

    Agreement; concurrence: reached assent on a course of action.

  3. :: noun

    Acquiescence; consent: gave my assent to the plan.

Definitions from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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").