braes, braise, brays, braze

The words braes, braise, brays, braze sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Why do braes, braise, brays, braze sound the same even though they are completely different words?

The answer is simple: braes, braise, brays, braze are homophones of the English language.

braes

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braise
  1. :: verb-transitive

    To cook (meat or vegetables) by browning in fat, then simmering in a small quantity of liquid in a covered container.

brays
  1. :: noun

    Plural form of bray.

braze
  1. :: verb-transitive

    To make of or decorate with brass.

  2. :: verb-transitive

    To make hard like brass.

  3. :: verb-transitive

    To solder (two pieces of metal) together using a hard solder with a high melting point.

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").