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Humanities LibreTexts

11.6: Homonyms

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    36880
  • Homonyms

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    Homonyms are words that sound like one another but have different meanings.

    Commonly Misused Homonyms

    principle principal

    Definition: principle (noun). A fundamental concept that is accepted as true.

    Example: The principle of human equality is an important foundation for all nations.

    Definition: principal (noun). The original amount of debt on which interest is calculated.

    Example: The payment plan allows me to pay back only the principal amount, not any compounded interest.


    Definition: principal (noun). A person who is the main authority of a school.

    Example: The principal held a conference for both parents and teachers.

    where wear ware

    Definition: where (adverb). The place in which something happens.

    Example: Where is the restaurant?

    Definition: wear (verb). To carry or have on the body.

    Example: I will wear my hiking shoes when go on a climb tomorrow morning.

    Definition: ware (noun). Articles of merchandise or manufacture (usually, wares).

    Example: When I return from shopping, I will show you my wares.

    lead led

    Definition: lead (noun). A type of metal used in pipes and batteries.

    Example: The lead pipes in my homes are old and need to be replaced.

    Definition: led (verb). The past tense of the verb lead.

    Example: After the garden, she led the patrons through the museum.

    which witch

    Definition: which (pronoun). Replaces one out of a group.

    Example: Which apartment is yours?

    Definition: witch (noun). A person who practices sorcery or who has supernatural powers.

    Example: She thinks she is a witch, but she does not seem to have any powers.

    peace piece

    Definition: peace (noun). A state of tranquility or quiet.

    Example: For once, there was peace between the argumentative brothers.

    Definition: piece (noun). A part of a whole.

    Example: I would like a large piece of cake, thank you.

    passed past

    Definition: passed (verb). To go away or move.

    Example: He passed the slower cars on the road using the left lane.

    Definition: past (noun). Having existed or taken place in a period before the present.

    Example: The argument happened in the past, so there is no use in dwelling on it.

    lessen lesson

    Definition: lessen (verb). To reduce in number, size, or degree.

    Example: My dentist gave me medicine to lessen the pain of my aching tooth.

    Definition: (noun). A reading or exercise to be studied by a student.

    Example: lesson was about mortgage interest rates.

    patience patients

    Definition: patience (noun). The capacity of being patient (waiting for a period of time or enduring pains and trials calmly).

    Example: The novice teacher's patience with the unruly class was astounding.

    Definition: (plural noun). Individuals under medical care.

    Example: The patients were tired of eating the hospital food, and they could not wait for a home-cooked meal.

    sees seas seize

    Definition: sees (verb). To perceive with the eye.

    Example: He sees a whale through his binoculars.

    Definition: (plural noun). The plural of sea, a great body of salt water.

    Example: The tidal fluctuation of the oceans and seas are influenced by the moon.

    Definition: (verb). To possess or take by force.

    Example: The king plans to seize all the peasants land.

    threw through

    Definition: threw (verb). The past tense of throw.

    Example: She threw the football with perfect form.

    Definition: through (preposition). A word that indicates movement.

    Example: She walked through the door and out of his life.

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