rood, rude, rued

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

The answer is simple: rood, rude, rued are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    A crucifix symbolizing the cross on which Jesus was crucified.

  2. :: noun

    A large, usually wooden crucifix surmounting the rood screen or rood beam of a medieval church.

  3. :: noun

    Chiefly British A measure of length that varies from 5 1/2 to 8 yards (5.0 to 7.3 meters).

  4. :: noun

    A measure of land equal to 1/4 acre, or 40 square rods (0.10 hectare).

  1. :: adjective

    Relatively undeveloped; primitive: a rude and savage land; a rude agricultural implement.

  2. :: adjective

    Being in a crude, rough, unfinished condition: a rude thatched hut.

  3. :: adjective

    Exhibiting a marked lack of skill or precision in work: rude crafts.

  4. :: adjective

    In a natural, raw state: bales of rude cotton.

  1. :: verb

    Simple past tense and past participle of rue.

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