Heteronyms

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A heteronym is a word that is written and spelled identically, but pronounced differently and also has a different meaning. In other words, heteronyms are those words that share same spelling, but differ in meaning and sound. Besides this, all heteronyms are homographs, but all homographs are not heteronyms. The pronunciation may vary in vowel realization when it comes to identifying a heteronym.

Most heteronyms have different meanings, whereas some have related meanings. For example, ‘Affect’ pronounced as ehfekt (a person’s emotion or feeling) and ‘Affect’ pronounced as Affect (to change) and Lead pronounced as Leed (to guide) and Lead pronounced as Led (a metallic element). The heteronym words that have similar meanings are considered related noun and verb, which are spelled the same but pronounced differently. For instance, ‘Record’ (Verb) and ‘Record’ (Noun). 


Heteronym Definition

Heteronym refers to two or more words with the same spelling and different meaning and pronunciation. In simple words, one of two or more words that are spelled alike, but pronounced differently and have different meanings is known as heteronym. For example, ‘bow’ (a knot tied with two loops) and bow (to bend or incline in respect, worship or agreement). 

A heteronym is considered a close relative of the homonym. Heteronyms are the words that have the same spelling but sound differently, whereas homonyms are the words that sound same and pronounced same. However, heteronyms are specific kinds of homographs in which words are pronounced differently on the basis of their meanings. It has been observed that some heteronyms are pronounced same, but the words are, either noun or verb and sometimes adjective also.  Let us see some example words:-

Heteronyms

List of Heteronyms 

The list of heteronym words along with their meanings and pronunciations are mentioned below:  

List of Heteronyms

Heteronym Examples

Some example sentences using heteronyms are mentioned below:
  1. Separate the laundry into separate piles for dark and light clothing. 
  2. Close the doors, as the storm is getting close
  3. I will resume my job search, once I will update the resume
  4. I would like to present the birthday present that I bought for you. 
  5. Don’t desert me in the lonely and hot desert
  6. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests. 
  7. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
  8. A beautiful and colorful bass was painted on the top of the bass drum.