cast, caste

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

The answer is simple: cast, caste are homophones of the English language.

cast
  1. :: verb-transitive

    To draw (lots).

  2. :: verb-transitive

    To throw (something, especially something light): The angler cast the line.

  3. :: verb-transitive

    To throw with force; hurl: waves that cast driftwood far up on the shore. See Synonyms at throw.

  4. :: verb-transitive

    To shed; molt.

caste
  1. :: noun

    Any of the hereditary, endogamous social classes or subclasses of traditional Hindu society, stratified according to Hindu ritual purity, especially the Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaisya, and Sudra castes.

  2. :: noun

    A social class separated from others by distinctions of hereditary rank, profession, or wealth.

  3. :: noun

    A social system or the principle of grading society based on castes.

  4. :: noun

    The social position or status conferred by a system based on castes: lose caste by doing work beneath one's station.

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").