retard, retarred

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

The answer is simple: retard, retarred are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: verb-transitive

    To cause to move or proceed slowly; delay or impede.

  2. :: verb-intransitive

    To be delayed.

  3. :: noun

    A slowing down or hindering of progress; a delay.

  4. :: noun

    Music A slackening of tempo.


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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").