higher, hire

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

The answer is simple: higher, hire are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: adjective

    comparative form of high: more high

  2. :: adverb

    comparative form of high: more high

  1. :: noun

    The act of hiring.

  2. :: noun

    The condition or fact of being hired.

  3. :: noun

    Payment for services; wages.

  4. :: verb-transitive

    To engage the services of (a person) for a fee; employ: hired a new clerk.

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").