steer, stere

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

The answer is simple: steer, stere are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: verb-transitive

    To guide by means of a device such as a rudder, paddle, or wheel.

  2. :: verb-transitive

    To direct the course of. See Synonyms at conduct.

  3. :: verb-transitive

    To maneuver (a person) into a place or course of action. See Synonyms at guide.

  4. :: verb-intransitive

    To guide a vessel or vehicle.

  1. :: noun

    A unit of volume equal to one cubic meter.

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").