overbilled, overbuild

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

The answer is simple: overbilled, overbuild are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: verb

    Simple past tense and past participle of overbill.

  1. :: verb-transitive

    To build over or on top of.

  2. :: verb-transitive

    To construct more buildings in (an area) than necessary.

  3. :: verb-transitive

    To build with excessive size or elaboration.

  4. :: verb-intransitive

    To construct more homes, office buildings, or commercial complexes than necessary in an area.

Definitions from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License, 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").