stake, steak

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

The answer is simple: stake, steak are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    A piece of wood or metal pointed at one end for driving into the ground as a marker, fence pole, or tent peg.

  2. :: noun

    A vertical post to which an offender is bound for execution by burning.

  3. :: noun

    Execution by burning. Used with the: condemned to the stake.

  4. :: noun

    A vertical post secured in a socket at the edge of a platform, as on a truck bed, to help retain the load.

  1. :: noun

    A slice of meat, typically beef, usually cut thick and across the muscle grain and served broiled or fried.

  2. :: noun

    A thick slice of a large fish cut across the body.

  3. :: noun

    A patty of ground meat broiled or fried.

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").