faints, feints

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

The answer is simple: faints, feints are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    Plural form of faint.

  2. :: noun

    The impure spirit that comes over first (the strong faints) and last (the weak faints) in the distillation of whisky, much impregnated with fusel oil.

  1. :: verb-intransitive

    To make a feint.

  2. :: noun

    A feigned attack designed to draw defensive action away from an intended target.

  3. :: noun

    A deceptive action calculated to divert attention from one's real purpose. See Synonyms at wile.

  4. :: verb-transitive

    To deceive with a feint.

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").