Definition - A word that is spelled the same as another but which has a different etymology and meaning.

1. Homophones are words that have the same pronunciation no matter how they are spelled. If they are spelled the same, they are also homographs and homonyms. If they are spelled differently, they are also heterographs.

Example -
The word cleave meaning "to join together" derives from the Old English clifian, adhere; whereas the word cleave as in "split-apart" derives from the Old English cleofan, to split.

Etymology -
The word derives from the Greek homos, one and the same + graphos, writing (from graphein, to write).

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation in this sense is from 1873:
"Homographs, identical to the eye…."
(F. Hall Modern English, 170)

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