warn, worn

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

The answer is simple: warn, worn are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: verb-transitive

    To make aware in advance of actual or potential harm, danger, or evil.

  2. :: verb-transitive

    To admonish as to action or manners.

  3. :: verb-transitive

    To notify (a person) to go or stay away: warned them off the posted property.

  4. :: verb-transitive

    To notify or apprise in advance: They called and warned me that they might be delayed.

  1. :: verb

    Past participle of wear.

  2. :: adjective

    Affected by wear or use.

  3. :: adjective

    Impaired or damaged by wear or use: the worn pockets on a jacket.

  4. :: adjective

    Showing the wearing effects of overwork, care, worry, or suffering.

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").