leach, leech

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

The answer is simple: leach, leech are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: verb-transitive

    To remove soluble or other constituents from by the action of a percolating liquid.

  2. :: verb-transitive

    To empty; drain: "a world leached of pleasure, voided of meaning” ( Marilynne Robinson).

  3. :: verb-intransitive

    To be dissolved or passed out by a percolating liquid.

  4. :: noun

    The act or process of leaching.

  1. :: noun

    Any of various chiefly aquatic bloodsucking or carnivorous annelid worms of the class Hirudinea, of which one species (Hirudo medicinalis) was formerly used by physicians to bleed patients and is now sometimes used as a temporary aid to circulation during surgical reattachment of a body part.

  2. :: noun

    One that preys on or clings to another; a parasite.

  3. :: noun

    Archaic A physician.

  4. :: verb-transitive

    To bleed with leeches.

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").