routes, roots

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

The answer is simple: routes, roots are homophones of the English language.

roots
  1. :: noun

    Plural form of root.

  2. :: noun

    Ancestors

  3. :: noun

    Beginnings

routes
  1. :: noun

    Plural form of route.

  2. :: verb

    Third-person singular simple present indicative form of route.

Definitions 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").