petrel, petrol

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

The answer is simple: petrel, petrol are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    Any of numerous black, gray, or white sea birds of the order Procellariiformes, especially the storm petrel.

  1. :: noun

    Chiefly British Gasoline.

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").