mewl, mule

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

The answer is simple: mewl, mule are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: verb-intransitive

    To cry weakly; whimper.

  1. :: noun

    The sterile hybrid offspring of a male donkey and a female horse, characterized by long ears and a short mane.

  2. :: noun

    A sterile hybrid, as between a canary and other birds or between certain plants.

  3. :: noun

    Informal A stubborn person.

  4. :: noun

    A spinning machine that makes thread or yarn from fibers. Also called spinning mule.

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").