forth, fourth

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

The answer is simple: forth, fourth are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: adverb

    Forward in time, place, or order; onward: from this time forth.

  2. :: adverb

    Out into view: A stranger came forth from the crowd; put my ideas forth.

  3. :: adverb

    Obsolete Away from a specified place; abroad.

  4. :: preposition

    Archaic Out of; forth from.

  1. :: noun

    The ordinal number matching the number four in a series.

  2. :: noun

    One of four equal parts.

  3. :: noun

    Music A tone four degrees above or below a given tone in a diatonic scale.

  4. :: noun

    Music The interval between two such tones.

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").