peer, pier

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

The answer is simple: peer, pier are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: verb-intransitive

    To look intently, searchingly, or with difficulty. See Synonyms at gaze.

  2. :: verb-intransitive

    To be partially visible; show: The moon peered from behind dark clouds.

  3. :: noun

    A person who has equal standing with another or others, as in rank, class, or age: children who are easily influenced by their peers.

  4. :: noun

    A nobleman.

  1. :: noun

    A platform extending from a shore over water and supported by piles or pillars, used to secure, protect, and provide access to ships or boats.

  2. :: noun

    Such a structure used predominantly for entertainment.

  3. :: noun

    A supporting structure at the junction of connecting spans of a bridge.

  4. :: noun

    Architecture Any of various vertical supporting structures, especially:

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").