Homograph Examples

By Sharon

Homographs are words with different pronunciation, meanings and origins but the same spelling. They are not to be confused with homonyms, homophones and heteronyms. In order to work out which pronunciation and which meaning is appropriate, you need to be aware of the context. Here are a few homographs and their meanings:

  • agape – with mouth open OR love
  • bass – type of fish OR low, deep voice
  • bat -  piece of sports equipment OR an animal
  • bow – type of knot OR to incline
  • down – a lower place OR soft fluff on a bird
  • entrance – the way in OR to delight
  • evening – smoothing out OR after sunset
  • fine – of good quality OR a levy
  • learned – past tense of learn OR knowledgeable
  • minute – tiny OR unit of time
  • moped – was gloomy OR motorcyle
  • number – more numb OR numerical value
  • row – line OR argument OR propel a boat
  • sewer – drain OR person who sews
  • wave – move the hand in greeting OR sea water coming into shore
  • wound – past tense of wind OR to injure

Linguist John Higgins has prepared a comprehensive list of homographs in various categories, including those where the meanings are related but the part of speech and pronunciation change.

Click here to get access to 800+ interactive grammar exercises!


86 Responses to “Homograph Examples”

  • random john

    If homographs have different pronunciations, as you say, can you please explain the two ways that bat, down, fine, and wave are pronounced?

    I’ve also never heard of the word “sewer” as “one who sews” but I’ll take your word on that one.

  • Peter

    If homographs have different pronunciations, as you say, can you please explain the two ways that bat, down, fine, and wave are pronounced?

    You’ve never heard a Scotsman say them, have you 🙂

  • mrinal

    i have an assignment 4 homophones plz tell me some examples yarrrrr!!!!!!!!

  • mrinal

    yarrr plz tell me im available in orkut also

  • katilyn mask

    wind and wind

  • katilyn mask

    I want a website all to my self and all you got to do is just type in something you need help with and it will give you a whole selection to pick from.

  • aiman


  • Hasha

    What is a homograph for to oppose and a thing or an item

  • Zakiah

    How do will i know how to pronuonce it ?

  • marissa

    whats the homograph for school???
    is there such thing

  • kristel love robert

    thank you but it is not enough
    please give us many homographs like
    fly-an insect
    -to flew

  • annjelly vasquez

    i do not knw wat are the others example of homophones and homograph. can u pls help me because that are my report.. thank you very much….

  • morgan

    ummmm….could we have more examples plz!!!!!….i gotta assignment due!!!!!

  • blackdeath

    tear-tear (tear as in crying, tear as in rip the paper)
    project-project (i have a project due, i must project that onto the screen)
    address-address (i must address the isue, that’s my address)
    present-present (i must present that, i got my present for X-mas)
    desert-desert (this desert has no water, i must desert you)
    HAHA this is for everyone who has a project i have one too!!!

  • angelou palo

    i have an assignment for homophones and homograph PLS tell me more example

  • br

    You reference Mr. Higgins, however his definitions for homograph and homophone are not accurate. Perhaps you should pick a better expert.

    Homographs, according to Webster’s, are words that are spelled alike but are different in meaning, derivation, or pronunciation, as the roots indicate, i.e. homo-same and graph-write

    Homophones are words that are pronounced alike, but are different in meaning, derivation, or spelling. Homo-same Phono-sound

  • Penny

    Would you please send me the author’s name of this article. I am in need of this information for a work cited page. Thank you.

  • Penny

    Would you please send via email the name of the author who wrote Homograph examples. I am in need of this information for a works cited page.

  • machelle

    i need some more homograghs now

  • rajlaxmi

    plz some more homophones

  • firten

    is it really long examples?
    is it like hamonyms?

  • mariah

    i think homographs are really hard to think of for homework

  • shasta

    Que. was how is fine . . . a homograph because there is no other pronunciation for a “fine” given to a person by an officer or such, and the expression you look “fine.” Well, I believe the answer is in the following definition provided by a previous submission. ————“different in meaning, derivation, OR (key word) pronunciation.” Again, OR being the key word in that definition. Therefore pronunciation does not necessarily have to be different because the meaning is different. Fine-ticket OR Fine-appearance


    Homographs, according to Webster’s, are words that are spelled alike but are different in meaning, derivation, or pronunciation, as the roots indicate, i.e. homo-same and graph-write

  • hope

    more exp. like absent affect spring tear won clear
    hope you get a few more words from this bitchey website

  • timp

    I’m looking for lists of English homophone/homographs which have the greatest number of alternative definitions.

    (examples: Page. (n.) book leaf, courtly assistant, (v.) call for, turn through [pages of a book].

    Wind. (n.) breeze, speech (full of wind) (adj.) type of musical inst. (v.) twist. repower, prepare . . .e

    Either I am defining my terms incorrectly or such lists do not exist, unless I wind my way, a page at a time through a dictionary.

    Are there any readers who can assist me?

  • Sue Eriksson

    I can’t think of any other way to pronounce “bat, down, fine, or wave”, as we speak standard American English, not Scottish. I think these words are homonyms-same spelling and pronunciation, but different meaning.

    Evening may be a homograph, but I never thought of the slight difference in pronunciation before!

  • david

    homographs are same pronountiation but different spelling and meaning like son – sun The sun rise again son My son was first honor and prey – pray The tiger hunt wth her prey at night pray We can pray at night all of that was all in my brain sorry two only but you can search of homograph inmozilla right just little paitent -_-

  • joanna li

    tnx so much

  • Neil

    I believe your definition of a homograph is wrong hence causing the confusion with the words ‘wave’ and ‘bat’ etc. A homograph is a word that is spelt the same but has a different meaning. The pronunciation can be the same or different; either way it is a homograph. A heteronym on the other hand is a type of homograph where the pronunciation is different (but the spelling is still the same).

    e.g. bass: type of fish OR deep voice – homograph and heteronym (spelt the same pronounced differently)
    down: lower place OR soft stuff on bird – homograph and homonym (spelt the same AND pronounced the same)

  • y.p.sekhar

    please add some more examples for homonyms ,homophones and homographs..because students faced so many difficulties to build up thier knowledge on grammer

  • bob

    hmmmmm what about buffet …………

  • trixieescalante

    tnx for the example of heteronyms

  • Analyn

    Ahh Can You give lot examples of homographs so that it can be easy for me to understand it?? thank you

  • airene

    can you please give me some examples of homographs in sentence form??

  • marie

    can you give more example with sentences?????please thank you!

  • shawn

    ok is it just me or does any one else find the english language.just straight retarded and not make since on these homographs?? just who desided to say…hay ok i know lets just take this word and give it a few meanings…and exspect every one to understand…awwwww help this is crazy…

  • Hogan

    I need help.
    We used ________ to _______ the broken paper box.

    Many people bought tickets at the ________office to watch the
    fighters _________.

  • Neville Saunders

    I have been collecting homograph sets in Australian English for the past year or so. Over 900 so far. Of course this number includes examples like “permit” as a noun and verb with stress difference as well as “permits” as a noun and verb, again with stress difference. They occur at a rate of about 2.5% in the 1,000 most frequent words in Oz Eng. Is spelling reform needed?
    The list is being revised and hopefully will be available on the Curtin University website after easter.

  • shambry

    you guys are asking all these questions, all you have to do is type your question in google and you should get an answer……..google is my answer to everything.

  • Charles

    Wikipedia has an extensive list of homographs for anyone looking at examples for projects.

  • Allyshar Samy Nathan

    homographs are greatb but difficult as we sometimes would not know how to pronounce that special word differently from the other word that has the same spelling but different pronounciation. But if we pronoun ce it correctly then we can get the hang of it.

  • neil

    i have an assignment about homographs, please give me some examples?

  • angie

    Thank you for the information on homographs. i’m suppose to create a game. you helped.

    to Peter on June 20th. homographs may have the same pronunciation. it does not necessarily mean that all have different pronunciation.

  • andrea!

    what kind of example are that

  • Kenny Shampore

    Thank you for the information, this website is useful to find homograph example. My kids can learn quickly. I’m a cat. Meaowwww…..!!!

  • First man on the moon

    I have an assignment for homograph and homophone for my project, this is not enough for it, GIVE ME MORE.! :p

  • Thyn!!!

    ^ i wonder . . . . .what is the difference of homographs and heteronyms??? other says , its the same. . . . and others are not. . .??^

  • Terri

    Isn’t read (I already read that book./I like to read) a homograph?
    Also, live (That is a live bug./We live in Lousiana.
    I have not seen either of these words on any list of homographs.

  • erika

    yes but if you try in the books are they correct in meanings…?

  • mahogany o. galanay

    I really want to learn about how to pronouns an english or what does it mean? I really really want it ton learn, may the lord bless us more knowlegde to come on us. like what the bible says unyo you

    Psalm 23:1-6
    The lord is my shepherd i shall not be in want he maketh me to lie down in the green pastures he leadeth me besides the steal water he restoreth my soul he leads me ine path of righteosness for hs mane sake ye though i walk through the valley of the shadows of death i will fear no evil for thou art with me thy road and thy astff they comfort me thou anoint my head with oil my cup over flow surely goodness and mercy shall folow me all the days of my life and i shal dwell in the house of the lord forever and ever AMEN.


  • irydis

    well i think you should have just a couple more answers

  • anne rubio

    what is the differences of homograph homophones homonymes

  • darnisha

    hey i need some examples of homonyms for school i’m only 10 so can any of you people help me out?

  • ephy

    hi, can you give me at least 25 example of homograph in sentence, please? I really need it

  • Mar’os

    Homograph is Hard to think!.

  • rick

    at is a whhomograph 4 school?

  • carlo

    do we have do read it w/ sense

  • Riza

    Homographs are words that sound the same and spelling but have different meaning

  • yel

    how can i use it in a sentence?

  • arunkumar


  • Cute Slayer

    How can we know examples of homographs if we are only just talking. Just put the examples and don’t talk too much. 🙂

  • jahz

    examples of homographs are….

    ” dance ”
    dance as a noun …. dance is also a passion…
    dance as a verb …. i dance gracefully

    ” object ”
    object as a noun …. that sharp object.
    object as a verb …. the boy object to his answer

    ” record ”
    record as a noun …. the teacher left his class record.
    record as a verb …. i am about to record this.

  • jahz

    Put quite simply, a homograph is a group (usually a pair) of words that are spelled the same way, but have different meanings. They may or may not be pronounced the same way, although the difference in pronunciation is often just a shift in the accented syllable. For example, there is a whole class of homographs that end in -ate, usually with one being a verb and the other being a noun or an adjective related to it. For example, “advocate” can be pronounced /’ædvəkeɪt/ and mean “to speak or write in support of,” or it can be pronounced /’ædvəkət/ and refer to a person who supports or pleads the cause of another.

  • jahz

    Examples of HomographsNow that you know what they are, here are 40 examples of homographs. This is just a small sample of all the homographs that exist. There are hundreds more just in English, not to mention the homographs that exist in other languages and the ones that exist between languages.

    accent – stress or emphasis/a manner of speaking or pronunciation influenced by the region in which one lives or grew up
    agape – wide open/a Greek word meaning “love”
    attribute – a characteristic or quality/to think of as belonging to or originating in some person, place or thing
    axes – the plural of ax or axe/the plural of axis
    bass – a deep voice or tone/a kind of fish
    bat – a piece of sporting equipment used in baseball/a winged animal associated with vampires
    bow – to bend at the waist/the front of a boat/a pair of tied loops
    buffet – to hit, punch or slap/a self-serve food bar
    bustier – an undergarment/more busty
    compact – small/to make small/a small case for holding makeup
    compound – to mix or combine/an enclosed area with a building or group of buildings inside
    content – happy or satisfied/all that is contained inside something
    contract – an agreement/to get, acquire or incur
    coordinates – brings into proper place or order/a set of numbers used to calculate position
    desert – a hot, arid region/to leave
    digest – a condensed version of some information/to change food in the stomach into a form that can be absorbed by the body
    discount – a reduction in price/to underestimate the significance of or give no credence to
    does – female deer (plural)/present, third person singular form of the verb “do”
    down – in a lower position/soft, furry feathers
    entrance – the place of entry/to bewitch, delight or enrapture
    evening – late afternoon/making more even
    fine – very good/sharp or keen/delicate or subtle/a sum of money paid to settle a matter
    frequent – occurring regularly/to visit a place with regularity
    incense – a substance that produces a pleasant odor when burned/to infuriate or make very angry
    lead – to go first with followers behind/a type of metal
    minute – 60 seconds or 1/60th of an hour/extremely small
    moped – acted sad or gloomy/a bicycle with a motor
    object – a thing you can see or touch/a goal/a noun that receives the action of a verb/to be opposed to
    proceeds – advances or continues on/the money or profit gained from some sale or venture
    produce – to create or make/fresh fruits and vegetables
    project – a plan or proposal/to throw or hurl forward/to cause a shadow or image to fall upon a surface
    putting – the present participle of put/the present participle of putt
    number – a numeral/to count/more numb
    refuse – waste or garbage/to reject or decline to accept
    row – a fight/to propel a boat forward using oars/a line
    second – 1/60th of a minute/after the first
    subject – under some authority or control/to bring under authority or control/to make liable or vulnerable/a topic/the noun in a sentence about which something is said in the predicate
    tear – to rip/a drop of water from the eye
    wind – to turn/moving air
    wound – turned/an injury

  • Nig pro dude

    I hate my teachers as they giv me 20 homographs and homonyms to find

  • lawal mercy

    Thanks,for helping me with my assignment.i got the message.A Nigerian

  • Hvnsent

    row, perfect, does, minute, bow, excuse, close, content, wound, present, read, record, tear, use, wrap, dove, produce, contract,desert.

  • XXX

    I really hate my teacher Jyothi lakshmi, she gave 50 homographs to find meaning & some sentences as examples….

  • derfaj

    hey thanks for the examples

  • Uchsam

    Good examples i must say

  • jascha

    i have assignment find 25 homographs pairs with meanings

  • Regeena

    i have an assign. of homographs can you give an example and their meaning and sentence. 🙂

  • Regeena

    I need a lot of pairs of homographs pls….

  • gaurav

    i want pair of homographs with ans

  • rechelserrano

    100 lists of homograph

  • anne

    sorry for bothering but i just really need your help can u give a few examples of homograph . .. thank you 🙂

  • anne curtis

    homographs word that have the same spelling but differ in origin meaning and sometimes pronunciations

  • jj

    affect: to change/a person’s emotions
    alternate: to switch back and forth/the second choice
    are: plural of to be/ 100 square meters
    attribute: a characteristic/to give regard to
    bass: a type of a fish/the low tones of music or an stringed instrument which plays low tones
    bow: a device to shoot an arrow/to bend one’s head down or the front of a ship
    bowed: bent/to bend over
    buffet: a blow or be affected by blows/a large sideboard or a self-served meal of various dishes
    close: to be near/to shut
    combine: a farming machine which threshes/to put together
    conduct: one’s behavior/to lead (oops there is another one) such as a symphony
    console: to comfort/the interface for an instrument
    content: to be satisfied/that which is contained within
    contest: to compete in a match of skills/make an argument against something
    contract: an agreement/to shrink or make a deal on a project
    convert: to change one’s belief system/one whose belief system has been changed
    converse: to talk/the opposite
    convict: a prisoner/to find one guilty of a charge
    crooked: sharply curved/a muscle spasm in one’s neck
    deliberate: to carefully consider/to purposely do
    desert: to abandon/an arid or barren area
    digest: to convert food to simpler compounds/to condense a written work
    do: the first tone of the diatonic scale/to accomplish
    does: multiple female deer/to perform
    dove: a bird/to have jumped off
    drawer: one who draws/a boxlike compartment that pushes in and pulls out
    drawers: multiple people who draw/underpants
    entrance: an entryway/to put into a trance
    excuse: to pardon or forgive/an explanation offered to justify or obtain forgiveness
    gyro: short for gyroscope/a type of sandwich with roasted lamb
    house: a dwelling/to provide living quarters
    incense: a burnt aromatic/to make angry
    intern: a physician training after medical school/to confine
    intimate: personal/to hint
    invalid: an ill person/ not valid
    laminate: to make in layers/a composite made of layers
    lather: to make foam/a workman who puts up laths
    lead: to guide/a soft dense metal
    live: verb meaning to have life/adjective meaning to have life or being on
    lives: verb meaning to have life/plural noun meaning many with life
    micrometer: one-millionth of a meter/a device used to measure small distances
    minute: small/sixty seconds
    moderate: of medium or average quality/to preside or direct
    mow: to cut down/a type of a gull/a stack of hay
    multiply: to times two numbers/to do in many ways
    number: a mathematical integer like 1, 2, 3,…/to deprive of further feeling
    nun: a female religious/the 14th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
    object: something perceptible/to dissent
    pasty: medium consistency/a meat pie
    pate: a meat paste/the crown of a head, usually bald/a porcelain paste
    perfect: to make correct/that which is correct
    periodic: occasional or repetitive/an iodine compound
    permit: to allow something to be done/a document giving permission
    present: a gift or that which is happening now/to give a talk or demonstration
    primer: a elementary book/the undercoating done prior to applying paint
    produce: vegetables/to bring forth
    project: to thrust outward/a plan or housing development
    pussy: to be filled with pus/a kitten
    putting: to hit a golf ball on a green/to place in a specific location
    raven: to devour/a large black bird
    rebel: to resist/one who resists
    record: to write down/a list or phonograph disk
    recreation: a leisurely pastime/to remake
    refuse: to deny/garbage
    relay: a race involving multiple individuals/to lay again
    reside: to live in a place/to change a side
    resign: to quit/to sign again
    resume: to restart/a CV or document of experience
    row: a series of objects in a straight line/a fight
    sake: purpose/a Japanese rice drink
    secrete: to generate/to conceal
    secreted: to have generated/to hide out of sight
    separate: to divide up into groups/disunited or a garment
    sewer: one who sews/a conduit for transporting sewage
    slough: a swamp/to shed
    sow: to scatter seeds/an adult female hog
    subject: the theme or topic/to force one’s will onto another
    tear: liquid drops secreted by the eye/to pull apart
    wind: to encircle/moving air
    wound: to have been wrapped in a circular manner/an injury

  • Kobayashi

    Homographs- are a word or a group of words that share the same written form but have differ meanings.

  • Val

    Would “plant” be a homograph/?

  • maica

    can you give examples of homographs,,,,,it is so very hard dahh….

  • Annie

    @random john:
    I have never heard a person who sews called a “sewer” either I would say they are a seamstress instead.

  • Carol

    I agree with Annie. My mother was a seamstress and my god father was a tailor.

    You can use you hand to bat away someone’s unwanted touch, or spoken comments.

  • Nandy

    1. Aye/Eye/I
    2. Ate/Eight/ Hate
    3. Allowed/Aloud
    4. Altar/Alter
    5. Be/Bee
    6. Bail/Bale
    7. bare/bear
    8. baron/barren
    9. base/bass
    10. baste/based
    11. beach/beech
    12. bean/been
    13. beat/beet
    14. berries/buries
    15. berth/birth
    16. buy/by
    17. billed/build
    18. blew/blue
    19. boar/bore
    20. bough/bow
    21. boy/buoy
    22. brake/break
    23. bread/bred
    24. canon/cannon
    25. ceiling/sealing
    26. cell/sell
    27. cent/scent/sent
    28. cereal/serial
    29. cheap/cheep
    30. chews/choose
    31. chord/cord
    32. chute/shoot
    33. cite/sight/site
    34. clause/claws
    35. coarse/course
    36. coward/cowered
    37. currant/current
    38. cymbal/symbol
    39. days/daze
    40. dear/deer
    41. desert/dessert
    42. dew/due/do
    43. die/dye
    44. doe/dough
    45. dual/duel
    46. earn/urn
    47. ewe/yew
    48. facts/fax
    49. faint/feint
    50. fair/fare
    51. faze/phase
    52. flea/flee
    53. flew/flu
    54. flour/flower
    55. for/fore/four
    56. foul/fowl
    57. frees/freeze/frieze
    58. fur/fir
    59. genes/jeans
    60. grate/great
    61. groan/grown
    62. guilt/gilt
    63. hair/hare
    64. heal/heel
    65. hear/here
    66. heard/herd
    67. higher/hire
    68. him/hymn
    69. hoes/hose
    70. holy/wholly
    71. horse/hoarse
    72. hour/our
    73. idle/idol
    74. in/inn
    75. knot/not
    76. laps/lapse
    77. lays/laze
    78. lead/led
    79. leak/leek
    80. lessen/lesson
    81. lightening/lightning
    82. loan/lone
    83. made/maid
    84. mail/male
    85. maize/maze
    86. manner/manor
    87. meat/meet
    88. medal/meddle
    89. mind/mined
    90. miner/minor
    91. missed/mist
    92. moose/mousse
    93. morning/mourning
    94. none/nun
    95. ode/owed
    96. pain/pane
    97. pair/pare
    98. pause/paws
    99. peace/piece
    100. peak/peek
    101. plain/plane
    102. pore/pour
    103. pray/prey
    104. profit/prophet
    105. rain/reign
    106. read/reed
    107. red/read
    108. real/reel
    109. right/write
    110. role/roll
    111. root/route
    112. sail/sale
    113. scene/seen
    114. sea/see
    115. soar/sore
    116. sole/soul
    117. some/sum
    118. stair/stare
    119. steal/steel
    120. storey/story
    121. tea/tee
    122. tail/tale
    123. taught/taut
    124. team/teem
    125. tern/turn
    126. tied/tide
    127. to/too/two
    128. toed/toad/towed
    129. vale/veil
    130. vane/vain/vein
    131. wail/whale
    132. waste/waist
    133. wait/weight
    134. ware/wear/where
    135. way/whey/weigh
    136. weather/whether
    137. weak/week
    138. which/witch
    139. whine/wine
    140. whirred/word
    141. warn/worn

    These are the examples for Homophones

  • venqax

    “These are the examples for Homophones”

    131. wail/whale
    134. ware/wear/where
    135. way/whey/weigh
    136. weather/whether
    137. weak/week
    138. which/witch
    139. whine/wine
    140. whirred/word

    AAAHHH! The pain in my head! No No NO! NOOO!! Save us from the unaspirated heathens!!

  • Kristine

    Example of homographs sentence:

    Your sole prayer is to play ball with me

    Homographs: SOLE

    Example of word:

    To apply for this job, you must know to apply paint.


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