douse, dowse

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

The answer is simple: douse, dowse are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: verb-transitive

    To plunge into liquid; immerse. See Synonyms at dip.

  2. :: verb-transitive

    To wet thoroughly; drench.

  3. :: verb-transitive

    To put out (a light or fire); extinguish.

  4. :: verb-intransitive

    To become thoroughly wet.

  1. :: verb-intransitive

    To use a divining rod to search for underground water or minerals.

  2. :: verb

    Variant of douse1.

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").