hertz, hurts

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

The answer is simple: hertz, hurts are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    A unit of frequency equal to one cycle per second. See Table at measurement.

  1. :: verb

    Third-person singular simple present indicative form of hurt.

  2. :: noun

    Plural form of hurt.

Definitions from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition, from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 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").