stealing, steeling

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

The answer is simple: stealing, steeling are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    The action of the verb to steal.

  2. :: noun

    That which is stolen; stolen property.

  3. :: verb

    Present participle of steal.

  1. :: verb

    Present participle of steel.

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").