undo, undue

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

The answer is simple: undo, undue are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: verb-transitive

    To reverse or erase; annul: impossible to undo the suffering caused by the war.

  2. :: verb-transitive

    To untie, disassemble, or loosen: undo a shoelace.

  3. :: verb-transitive

    To open (a parcel, for example); unwrap.

  4. :: verb-transitive

    To cause the ruin or downfall of; destroy.

  1. :: adjective

    Exceeding what is appropriate or normal; excessive: "I was grateful, without showing undue excitement” ( Katherine Mansfield).

  2. :: adjective

    Not just, proper, or legal: undue use of force.

  3. :: adjective

    Not yet payable or due: an undue loan.

Definitions from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition and Wordnik.

Share undo, undue

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").