burley, burly

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

The answer is simple: burley, burly are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    A light-colored tobacco grown chiefly in Kentucky and used especially in making cigarettes.

  1. :: adjective

    Heavy, strong, and muscular; husky. See Synonyms at muscular.

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").