grisly, grizzly

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

The answer is simple: grisly, grizzly are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: adjective

    Inspiring repugnance; gruesome. See Synonyms at ghastly.

  1. :: adjective

    Grayish or flecked with gray.

  2. :: noun

    A grizzly bear.

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").