rappel, repel

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

The answer is simple: rappel, repel are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    (mountaineering) a descent of a vertical cliff or wall made by using a doubled rope that is fixed to a higher point and wrapped around the body

  2. :: verb

    lower oneself with a rope coiled around the body from a mountainside

  3. :: verb

    to <xref>abseil</xref>

  4. :: verb

    to call back a <xref>hawk</xref>

  1. :: verb

    cause to move back by force or influence

  2. :: verb

    force or drive back

  3. :: verb

    be repellent to; cause aversion in

  4. :: verb

    reject outright and bluntly

Definitions from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved., 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").