rays, raise, rase, raze, res

The words rays, raise, rase, raze, res sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Why do rays, raise, rase, raze, res sound the same even though they are completely different words?

The answer is simple: rays, raise, rase, raze, res are homophones of the English language.

raise
  1. :: verb-transitive

    To move to a higher position; elevate: raised the loads with a crane. See Synonyms at lift.

  2. :: verb-transitive

    To set in an upright or erect position: raise a flagpole.

  3. :: verb-transitive

    To erect or build: raise a new building.

  4. :: verb-transitive

    To cause to arise, appear, or exist: The slap raised a welt.

rase
  1. :: verb-transitive

    To erase.

  2. :: verb

    Variant of raze.

rays
  1. :: noun

    A thin line or narrow beam of light or other radiant energy.

  2. :: noun

    A graphic or other representation of such a line.

  3. :: noun

    Radiance; light.

  4. :: noun

    A small amount; a trace: not a ray of hope left.

raze
  1. :: verb-transitive

    To level to the ground; demolish. See Synonyms at ruin.

  2. :: verb-transitive

    To scrape or shave off.

  3. :: verb-transitive

    Archaic To erase.

res
  1. :: noun

    A thing; the particular thing; a matter; a point.

Definitions from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition, from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English and Wordnik.

Share rays, raise, rase, raze, res

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").