equater, equator

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

The answer is simple: equater, equator are homophones of the English language.

equater

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equator
  1. :: noun

    The imaginary great circle around the earth's surface, equidistant from the poles and perpendicular to the earth's axis of rotation. It divides the earth into the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere.

  2. :: noun

    A similar great circle drawn on the surface of a celestial body at right angles to the axis of rotation.

  3. :: noun

    The celestial equator.

  4. :: noun

    A circle that divides a sphere or other surface into congruent parts.

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").