holey, holy, wholly

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

The answer is simple: holey, holy, wholly are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: adjective

    Having holes or full of holes.

  1. :: adjective

    Belonging to, derived from, or associated with a divine power; sacred.

  2. :: adjective

    Regarded with or worthy of worship or veneration; revered: a holy book.

  3. :: adjective

    Living according to a strict or highly moral religious or spiritual system; saintly: a holy person.

  4. :: adjective

    Specified or set apart for a religious purpose: a holy place.

  1. :: adverb

    Completely; entirely: "The old American purposes are still wholly relevant” ( John F. Kennedy).

  2. :: adverb

    Exclusively; solely.

Definitions from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition and Wordnik.

Share holey, holy, wholly

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").