grater, greater

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

The answer is simple: grater, greater are homophones of the English language.

grater
  1. :: noun

    utensil with sharp perforations for shredding foods (as vegetables or cheese)

  2. :: noun

    A <xref>tool</xref> with which one <xref>grates</xref>, especially cheese, to facilitate getting small particles or shreds off a solid lump.

  3. :: adjective

    One who, or that which, grates; especially, an instrument or utensil with a rough, indented surface, for rubbing off small particles of any substance.

  4. :: noun

    One who or that which grates.

greater
  1. :: adjective

    greater in size or importance or degree

  2. :: adjective

    Used in referring to a region or place together with the surrounding area; (of a city) <xref>metropolitan</xref>.

  3. :: adjective

    <xref>comparative</xref> form of <xref>great</xref>: more <xref>great</xref>

  4. :: adjective

    Of, relating to, or being a city considered together with its populous suburbs.

Definitions from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved., from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License., from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English., from The Century Dictionary., from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th 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").