brae, bray

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

The answer is simple: brae, bray are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    Scots A hillside; a slope.

  1. :: verb-intransitive

    To utter the loud, harsh cry of a donkey.

  2. :: verb-intransitive

    To sound loudly and harshly: The foghorn brayed all night.

  3. :: verb-transitive

    To emit (an utterance or a sound) loudly and harshly.

  4. :: noun

    The loud, harsh cry of a donkey.

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").