been, bin, bine

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

The answer is simple: been, bin, bine are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: verb

    Past participle of be.

  1. :: noun

    A container or enclosed space for storage.

  2. :: verb-transitive

    To place or store in a bin.

  1. :: noun

    The flexible twining or climbing stem of certain plants, such as the hop, woodbine, or bindweed.

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").