spec, speck

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

The answer is simple: spec, speck are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    The specifications, as for a building to be constructed.

  2. :: noun


  3. :: verb-transitive

    To write or supply specifications for.

  4. :: adjective

    Of or relating to specifications: a manufacturer's spec sheet.

  1. :: noun

    A small spot, mark, or discoloration.

  2. :: noun

    A tiny amount; a bit: not a speck of truth in her story.

  3. :: verb-transitive

    To mark with specks.

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").