lone, loan

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

The answer is simple: lone, loan are homophones of the English language.

loan
  1. :: noun

    Something lent for temporary use.

  2. :: noun

    A sum of money lent at interest.

  3. :: noun

    An act of lending; a grant for temporary use: asked for the loan of a garden hose.

  4. :: noun

    A temporary transfer to a duty or place away from a regular job: an efficiency expert on loan from the main office.

lone
  1. :: adjective

    Without accompaniment; solitary: a lone skier on the mountain.

  2. :: adjective

    Without companionship; isolated or lonely.

  3. :: adjective

    Being the only one; sole: the lone doctor in the county.

  4. :: adjective

    Situated by itself: a lone tree on the prairie; a lone blue tile in a white floor.

Definitions from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition and Wordnik.

Share lone, loan

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").