spear, speer

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

The answer is simple: spear, speer are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    A weapon consisting of a long shaft with a sharply pointed end.

  2. :: noun

    A shaft with a sharp point and barbs for spearing fish.

  3. :: noun

    A soldier armed with a spear.

  4. :: verb-transitive

    To pierce with or as if with a spear.

  1. :: noun


  2. :: verb

    to ask, to inquire

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").