way, weigh, whey

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

The answer is simple: way, weigh, whey are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    A road, path, or highway affording passage from one place to another.

  2. :: noun

    An opening affording passage: This door is the only way into the attic.

  3. :: noun

    Space to proceed: cleared the way for the parade.

  4. :: noun

    Opportunity to advance: opened the way to peace.

  1. :: verb-transitive

    To determine the weight of by or as if by using a scale or balance.

  2. :: verb-transitive

    To measure or apportion (a certain quantity) by or as if by weight. Often used with out: weighed out a pound of cheese.

  3. :: verb-transitive

    To balance in the mind in order to make a choice; ponder or evaluate: weighed the alternatives and decided to stay.

  4. :: verb-transitive

    To choose carefully or deliberately: weigh one's words.

  1. :: noun

    The watery part of milk that separates from the curds, as in the process of making cheese.

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").