cense, cents, scents, sense

The words cense, cents, scents, sense sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Why do cense, cents, scents, sense sound the same even though they are completely different words?

The answer is simple: cense, cents, scents, sense are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: verb-transitive

    To perfume with incense.

  2. :: verb-transitive

    To burn incense to.

  1. :: noun

    Plural form of cent.

  1. :: noun

    Plural form of scent.

  1. :: noun

    Any of the faculties by which stimuli from outside or inside the body are received and felt, as the faculties of hearing, sight, smell, touch, taste, and equilibrium.

  2. :: noun

    A perception or feeling produced by a stimulus; sensation: a sense of fatigue and hunger.

  3. :: noun

    The faculties of sensation as means of providing physical gratification and pleasure.

  4. :: noun

    An intuitive or acquired perception or ability to estimate: a sense of diplomatic timing.

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

Share cense, cents, scents, sense

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").