irk, erk

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

The answer is simple: irk, erk are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    a member of the groundcrew in the RAF.

  1. :: verb-transitive

    To be irritating, wearisome, or vexing to. See Synonyms at annoy.

Definitions from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License, 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").