traitoress, traitorous

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

The answer is simple: traitoress, traitorous are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    A female traitor.

  1. :: adjective

    Having the character of a traitor; disloyal.

  2. :: adjective

    Constituting treason: a traitorous act. See Synonyms at faithless.

Definitions from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License, 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").