wain, wane

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

The answer is simple: wain, wane are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    A large open farm wagon.

  1. :: verb-intransitive

    To decrease gradually in size, amount, intensity, or degree; decline.

  2. :: verb-intransitive

    To exhibit a decreasing illuminated area from full moon to new moon.

  3. :: verb-intransitive

    To approach an end.

  4. :: noun

    The act or process of gradually declining or diminishing.

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").