maize, maze

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

The answer is simple: maize, maze are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    See corn1.

  2. :: noun

    A light yellow to moderate orange yellow.

  1. :: noun

    An intricate, usually confusing network of interconnecting pathways, as in a garden; a labyrinth.

  2. :: noun

    A physical situation in which it is easy to get lost: a maze of bureaucratic divisions.

  3. :: noun

    A graphic puzzle, the solution of which is an uninterrupted path through an intricate pattern of line segments from a starting point to a goal.

  4. :: noun

    Something made up of many confused or conflicting elements; a tangle: a maze of government regulations.

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").