team, teem

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

The answer is simple: team, teem are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    Obsolete Offspring; lineage.

  2. :: noun

    Sports & Games A group on the same side, as in a game.

  3. :: noun

    A group organized to work together: a team of engineers.

  4. :: noun

    Two or more draft animals used to pull a vehicle or farm implement.

  1. :: verb-intransitive

    To be full of things; abound or swarm: A drop of water teems with microorganisms.

  2. :: verb-intransitive

    Obsolete To be or become pregnant; bear young.

  3. :: verb-transitive

    Archaic To give birth to.

  4. :: verb-transitive

    To pour out or empty: teemed the molten ore into a huge mold.

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").