moan, mown

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

The answer is simple: moan, mown are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    A low, sustained, mournful cry, usually indicative of sorrow or pain.

  2. :: noun

    A similar sound: the eerie moan of the night wind.

  3. :: noun


  4. :: verb-intransitive

    To utter a moan or moans.

  1. :: verb

    Past participle of mow

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").