flay, fley

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

The answer is simple: flay, fley are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: verb-transitive

    To strip off the skin or outer covering of.

  2. :: verb-transitive

    To strip of money or goods; fleece.

  3. :: verb-transitive

    To whip or lash.

  4. :: verb-transitive

    To assail with stinging criticism; excoriate.

  1. :: verb-transitive

    Scots To frighten.

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").