bode, bowed

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

The answer is simple: bode, bowed are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: verb-transitive

    To be an omen of: heavy seas that boded trouble for small craft.

  2. :: verb-transitive

    Archaic To predict; foretell.

  3. :: verb-intransitive

    To be an omen; portend: The peace accord bodes well for the city under siege.

  4. :: verb

    A past tense of bide.

  1. :: verb

    Simple past tense and past participle of bow.

  2. :: adjective

    Having a bow, e.g. a bowed instrument is played with a bow

Definitions from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition, from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 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").