bailee, bailey, bailie

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

The answer is simple: bailee, bailey, bailie are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    A person to whom property is bailed.

  1. :: noun

    The outer wall of a castle.

  2. :: noun

    The space enclosed by this outer wall.

  1. :: noun

    A Scottish municipal officer corresponding to an English alderman.

  2. :: noun

    Obsolete A bailiff.

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").