nae, Ne, nee, neigh, nay

The words nae, Ne, nee, neigh, nay sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Why do nae, Ne, nee, neigh, nay sound the same even though they are completely different words?

The answer is simple: nae, Ne, nee, neigh, nay are homophones of the English language.

nae
  1. :: adverb

    Scots No.

  2. :: adverb

    Scots Not.

nay
  1. :: adverb

    No: All but four Democrats voted nay.

  2. :: adverb

    And moreover: He was ill-favored, nay, hideous.

  3. :: noun

    A denial or refusal.

  4. :: noun

    A negative vote or voter.

Ne
  1. ::

    The symbol for the element neon.

  2. :: abbreviation

    Bible Nehemiah

nee
  1. :: adjective

    Used when giving the maiden name of a woman.

  2. :: adjective

    Used when giving a former name. Originally known as.

  3. :: interjection

    no, used to express no as a quantity, i.e. not any, like German kein/Dutch geen/French rien. Compare with na.

neigh
  1. :: noun

    The long, high-pitched sound made by a horse.

  2. :: verb-intransitive

    To utter the characteristic sound of a horse; whinny.

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").