medal, meddle

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

The answer is simple: medal, meddle are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    A flat piece of metal stamped with a design or an inscription commemorating an event or a person, often given as an award.

  2. :: noun

    A piece of metal stamped with a religious device, used as an object of veneration or commemoration.

  3. :: verb-intransitive

    To win a medal, as in a sports contest: "We were the first Americans to medal” ( Jill Watson).

  4. :: verb-transitive

    To award a medal to.

  1. :: verb-intransitive

    To intrude into other people's affairs or business; interfere. See Synonyms at interfere.

  2. :: verb-intransitive

    To handle something idly or ignorantly; tamper.

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").