meat, meet, mete

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

The answer is simple: meat, meet, mete are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    The edible flesh of animals, especially that of mammals as opposed to that of fish or poultry.

  2. :: noun

    The edible part, as of a piece of fruit or a nut.

  3. :: noun

    The essence, substance, or gist: the meat of the editorial.

  4. :: noun

    Slang Something that one enjoys or excels in; a forte: Tennis is his meat.

  1. :: verb-transitive

    To come upon by chance or arrangement.

  2. :: verb-transitive

    To be present at the arrival of: met the train.

  3. :: verb-transitive

    To be introduced to.

  4. :: verb-transitive

    To come into conjunction with; join: where the sea meets the sky.

  1. :: noun

    A boundary line; a limit.

  2. :: verb-transitive

    To distribute by or as if by measure; allot: mete out justice.

  3. :: verb-transitive

    Archaic To measure.

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").