lo, low

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

The answer is simple: lo, low are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: interjection

    Used to attract attention or to show surprise.

  1. :: adjective

    Of less than usual or average depth; shallow: The river is low.

  2. :: adjective

    Having little relative height; not high or tall.

  3. :: adjective

    Rising only slightly above surrounding surfaces.

  4. :: adjective

    Situated or placed below normal height: a low lighting fixture.

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").