Definition - A word that is pronounced the same as another word but which has a different meaning; the words may or may not be spelled the same.

1. As opposed to a homograph, which is a word that is spelled the same as another but which has a different etymology and meaning.

Example -

(1) sea (water) and see (vision)
(2) mean (intent) and mean (average).

Etymology -
The word derives from the Greek homos, one and the same + phone, voice or sound.

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation is from 1843:
"An alphabet composed of 16 distinct articulations, for each of which there was a number more or less great of homophones — i.e. symbols differing in figure, though identical in sound."
( Gliddon Anc. Egypt (1850) 6/2)

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