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Homograph Examples

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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.

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95 thoughts on “Homograph Examples”

  1. 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.

  2. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. 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!!!

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    HOPE THIS HELPS!!

    Homographs, according to Websterโ€™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

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

  8. 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?

  9. 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!

  10. 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 -_-

  11. 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)

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

  13. 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…

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

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

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

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

    MAY THE LORD GOD BLESS US ALL.

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