lo-cal, locale

The words lo-cal, locale sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Why do lo-cal, locale sound the same even though they are completely different words?

The answer is simple: lo-cal, locale are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: adjective

    (of food or drink) That contains fewer calories than normal

  1. :: noun

    A place, especially with reference to a particular event: the locale of a crime.

  2. :: noun

    The scene or setting, as of a novel.

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").