competence, competents

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

The answer is simple: competence, competents are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    The state or quality of being adequately or well qualified; ability. See Synonyms at ability.

  2. :: noun

    A specific range of skill, knowledge, or ability.

  3. :: noun

    Law The quality or condition of being legally qualified to perform an act.

  4. :: noun

    Sufficient means for a comfortable existence.


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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").