impotence, impotents

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

The answer is simple: impotence, impotents are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    The quality or condition of being impotent.

  2. :: noun

    See erectile dysfunction.


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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").