Examples of Homonyms: What They Are and How To Use Them

Do you know what homonyms are? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on homonyms, including its definition, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What are homonyms?

According to Your Dictionary, homonyms are words that are spelled and sound the same, but have different meanings. You may also hear about homophones or homographs. Homophones are words that have the same pronunciation but are spelled differently and have different meanings. Homographs are words that are spelled the same, but are not necessarily pronounced the same and have different meanings. Examples of homophones are heel/heal, pear/pear/ flower/flour, idol/idol, night/knight, stare/stair, soul/soles, doe/dough, not/knot, alter/altar, pail/pale, made/maid, heir/air, flu (illness)/flew, you/ewe, peak/peek, flee/flea, cord/cored, male/mail, furs/fir, council/counsel, chili/chilly, rain/reign, genes/jeans, isle/aisle, compliment/complement, carrot/carat, allusion/illusion, sensor/censor, scent/sent, et cetera. You can remember the difference between all of these different words based on their prefixes and suffixes. The prefix homo means the same. The suffix phone means sound, the suffix graph means writing, and the suffix nym means name. If you can remember these different suffixes, you will be able to remember the difference between homonyms, homophones, and homographs. It is very important to remember the different meanings of words when they are homonyms. In order to know which context a word is being used in, you will need to use context clues to decipher which meaning is intended.

Many different languages also contain words that mean homonyms. You may notice that some of these translations of homonyms look and sound similar to one another. These are called cognates, which are words and phrases in different languages that likely have the same root or language of origin, causing them to sound the same. The below list of translations of homonyms is provided by Word Sense

  •  Ido: homonimo‎
  •  Esperanto: homonimo‎
  •  Dutch: homoniem‎ (neut.)
  •  German: Homonym‎ (neut.), Homonymum‎ (neut.)
  •  Portuguese: homónimo‎ (masc.) (Portugal), homônimo‎ (Brazil)
  •  Japanese: 同音異義語‎ (dōon igigo), 同音語‎ (dōongo)
  •  Turkish: homonim‎, sesteş‎
  •  Greek: ομώνυμο‎ (neut.)
  •  Czech: homonymum‎ (neut.)
  •  Russian: омо́ним‎ (masc.)
  •  Swedish: homonym‎ (common)
  •  Finnish: homonymia‎
  •  Latin: homonymum‎ (neut.)
  •  Spanish: homónimo‎ (masc.)
  •  Catalan: homònim‎ (masc.) (n)
  •  Polish: homonim‎ (m-in)
  •  Armenian: համանուն‎
  •  Serbo-Croatian: homonim‎ (masc.)
  •  Hebrew: הוֹמוֹנִים‎ (masc.)
  •  Romanian: omonim‎ (masc.)
  •  Korean: 동음 이의어‎
  •  Mandarin: 同音異義詞‎, 同音异义词‎ (tóngyīn yìyì), 同音詞‎, 同音词‎ (tóngyīncí)
  •  Manx: co-ennym‎ (masc.)
  •  Kumyk: аваздаш‎ (avazdaş)
  •  Crimean Tatar: omonim‎
  •  Khmer: កល្បពាក្យ‎ (kɑlpa’ piek)
  •  French: homonyme‎ (masc.) (n)

What are examples of homonyms?

homonyms can be used in many different contexts in the English language. Trying to use a word or literary technique in a sentence is one of the best ways to memorize what it is, but you can also try making flashcards or quizzes that test your knowledge. Try using this term of the day in a sentence today! Below are a couple of examples of homonyms that can help get you started incorporating this tool into your everyday use.  Take a look at these and homonyms examples from Your Dictionary and see how many you can say! Some of them are quite a challenge. Others are from famous authors and writers. 

  •  ream – a pile of paper – to juice a citrus fruit
  •  ring – a band on a finger – something circular in shape
  •  address – to speak to – location
  •  bat – an implement used to hit a ball – a nocturnal flying mammal
  •  tender – gentle – offer of money
  •  jag – a sharp, jutted object – a crying spree
  •  air – oxygen – a lilting tune or voice
  •  bark – a tree’s out layer – the sound a dog makes
  •  circular – taking the form of a circle – a store advertisement
  •  quarry – a site for mining stone – to extract or obtain slowly
  •  right – correct – direction opposite of left
  •  arm – body part – division of a company
  •  current – up to date – flow of water
  •  tire – to grow fatigued – a part of a wheel
  •  kind – a type of something – caring
  •  bright – very smart or intelligent – filled with light
  •  express – a fast version of something – to show your thoughts by using words
  •  lie – to recline – to tell a falsehood
  •  fair – equitable – beautiful
  •  band – a musical group – a ring
  •  rose – to have gotten up – a flower
  •  match – to pair like items – a stick for making a flame
  •  pound – unit of weight – to beat
  •  die – to cease living – a cube marked with numbers one through six
  •  rock – a genre of music – a stone
  •  tear – to rip – something shed during a wail
  •  stalk – a part of a plant – to follow or harass someone
  •  mean – average – not nice
  •  well – in good health – a source for water in the ground
  •  pole – a piece of metal that holds a flag – inside front position on the starting line of a race
  •  spring – a season – coiled metal

What are other literary techniques and devices?

There are many different literary and grammatical techniques and devices that you might see when you are reading prose or poetry. It is important to recognize these devices because they are always used for some purpose. Knowing these devices can help readers understand the author’s deeper meaning and why they are using such a device. Take a look at the below list of literary devices from Reedsy and see how many you know! Then try researching ones that are unfamiliar to you. 

  •  Imagery
  •  Foreshadowing
  •  Tragicomedy
  •  Allegory
  •  Aphorism
  •  Allusion
  •  Juxtaposition
  •  Simile
  •  Anastrophe
  •  Exposition
  •  Metaphor
  •  Flashback
  •  Hypophora
  •  Colloquialism
  •  Polysyndeton
  •  Onomatopoeia
  •  Tone
  •  Satire
  •  Irony
  •  Paradox
  •  Cumulative sentence
  •  Point of view
  •  Frame story
  •  Motif
  •  Zoomorphism
  •  Tmesis
  •  Isocolon
  •  Synecdoche
  •  Repetition
  •  Anthropomorphism
  •  Oxymoron
  •  Anachronism
  •  Chiasmus
  •  Dramatic irony
  •  Malapropism
  •  Symbolism
  •  Archetype
  •  Metonymy
  •  Hyperbole
  •  Soliloquy
  •  Tautology
  •  Euphemism
  •  Litotes
  •  Personification
  •  In Medias Res
  •  Anaphora

Overall, the word homonyms refers to words that are spelled and sound the same, but have different meanings


  1. 45+ Literary Devices and Terms Every Writer Should Know | Reedsy
  2. homonym: meaning, origin, translation 
  3. Examples of Homonyms | Your Dictionary