ringer, wringer

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

The answer is simple: ringer, wringer are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    Games A horseshoe or quoit thrown so that it encircles the peg.

  2. :: noun

    One that rings, especially one that sounds a bell or chime.

  3. :: noun

    Slang A contestant entered dishonestly into a competition.

  4. :: noun

    Slang One who bears a striking resemblance to another: a ringer for his father.

  1. :: noun

    One that wrings, especially a device in which laundry is pressed between rollers to extract water.

  2. :: idiom

    put (someone) through the wringer Slang To subject to a severe trial or ordeal.

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

Share ringer, wringer

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").