fate, fete

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

The answer is simple: fate, fete are homophones of the English language.

fate
  1. :: noun

    The supposed force, principle, or power that predetermines events.

  2. :: noun

    The inevitable events predestined by this force.

  3. :: noun

    A final result or consequence; an outcome.

  4. :: noun

    Unfavorable destiny; doom.

fete
  1. :: noun

    A festival or feast.

  2. :: noun

    An elaborate, often outdoor entertainment.

  3. :: noun

    An elaborate party.

  4. :: verb-transitive

    To celebrate or honor with a festival, a feast, or an elaborate entertainment.

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").