guessed, guest

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

The answer is simple: guessed, guest are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: verb

    Simple past tense and past participle of guess.

  1. :: adjective

    Provided for guests: guest rooms.

  2. :: noun

    One who is a recipient of hospitality at the home or table of another.

  3. :: noun

    One to whom entertainment or hospitality has been extended by another in the role of host or hostess, as at a party.

  4. :: noun

    One who pays for meals or accommodations at a restaurant, hotel, or other establishment; a patron.

Definitions from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License, 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").