shivaree, shivery

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

The answer is simple: shivaree, shivery are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    Midwestern & Western U.S. A noisy mock serenade for newlyweds. Also called regionally charivari, belling, horning, serenade.

  1. :: adjective

    Trembling, as from cold or fear.

  2. :: adjective

    Causing shivers; chilling.

  3. :: adjective

    Easily broken; brittle.

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").