dies, dyes

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

The answer is simple: dies, dyes are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: verb-intransitive

    To cease living; become dead; expire.

  2. :: verb-intransitive

    To cease existing, especially by degrees; fade: The sunlight died in the west.

  3. :: verb-intransitive

    To experience an agony or suffering suggestive of that of death: nearly died of embarrassment.

  4. :: verb-intransitive

    Informal To desire something greatly: I am dying for a box of chocolates. She was dying to see the exhibit.

  1. :: noun

    Plural form of due.

  2. :: noun

    Membership fees.

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").