baron, barren

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

The answer is simple: baron, barren are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    A British nobleman of the lowest rank.

  2. :: noun

    A nobleman of continental Europe, ranked differently in various countries.

  3. :: noun

    A Japanese nobleman of the lowest rank.

  4. :: noun

    Used as the title for such a nobleman.

  1. :: adjective

    Not producing offspring.

  2. :: adjective

    Incapable of producing offspring.

  3. :: adjective

    Lacking vegetation, especially useful vegetation.

  4. :: adjective

    Unproductive of results or gains; unprofitable: barren efforts. See Synonyms at futile.

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").