right, rite, wright, write

The words right, rite, wright, write sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Why do right, rite, wright, write sound the same even though they are completely different words?

The answer is simple: right, rite, wright, write are homophones of the English language.

right
  1. :: adjective

    Conforming with or conformable to justice, law, or morality: do the right thing and confess.

  2. :: adverb

    According to law, morality, or justice.

  3. :: adjective

    In accordance with fact, reason, or truth; correct: the right answer.

  4. :: adjective

    Fitting, proper, or appropriate: It is not right to leave the party without saying goodbye.

rite
  1. :: noun

    The prescribed or customary form for conducting a religious or other solemn ceremony: the rite of baptism.

  2. :: noun

    A ceremonial act or series of acts: fertility rites.

  3. :: noun

    The liturgy or practice of a branch of the Christian church.

wright
  1. :: noun

    One that constructs or repairs something. Often used in combination: a playwright; a shipwright.

write
  1. :: verb-transitive

    To form (letters, words, or symbols) on a surface such as paper with an instrument such as a pen.

  2. :: verb-transitive

    To spell: How do you write your name?

  3. :: verb-transitive

    To form (letters or words) in cursive style.

  4. :: verb-transitive

    To compose and set down, especially in literary or musical form: write a poem; write a prelude.

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").