lutes, loots

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

The answer is simple: lutes, loots are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    Valuables pillaged in time of war; spoils.

  2. :: noun

    Stolen goods.

  3. :: noun

    Informal Goods illicitly obtained, as by bribery.

  4. :: noun

    Informal Things of value, such as gifts, received on one occasion.

  1. :: noun

    Plural form of lute.

Definitions from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition, from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 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").