slaying, sleighing

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

The answer is simple: slaying, sleighing are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    Killing, especially murder of a human.

  2. :: verb

    Present participle of slay.

  1. :: verb

    Present participle of sleigh.

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").