loo, lieu

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

The answer is simple: loo, lieu are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    Archaic Place; stead.

  2. :: idiom

    in lieu of In place of; instead of.

  1. :: noun

    A card game in which each player contributes stakes to a pool.

  2. :: noun

    Chiefly British A toilet.

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").