leased, least

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

The answer is simple: leased, least are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: verb

    Simple past tense and past participle of lease.

  2. :: adjective

    Transferred under the terms of a lease.

  1. :: adjective

    Lowest in importance or rank.

  2. :: adjective

    Smallest in magnitude or degree.

  3. :: adjective

    Slightest or tiniest: didn't care the least bit.

  4. :: adverb

    To or in the lowest or smallest degree.

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").