February 27, 2013 by Angela Boothroyd
A homograph is one of two or more words that have the same spelling; but have different origins, meanings and often different pronunciation.
From homo (same) and graph (written)
♦ bat – /bæt/ – a piece of wood used for hitting a ball in games such as cricket, baseball and table tennis
bat – /bæt/ – a nocturnal flying mammal
♦ fair – /feə
ʳ / US /fer/ – reasonable, according to the rules, free from prejudice
fair – /feə
ʳ / US /fer/ – with light-coloured hair or complexion
♦ lead – /liːd/ – to guide, conduct or control
lead – led – a metal
♦ wave – /weɪv/ – to move your hand from side to side as a greeting or farewell
wave – /weɪv/ – a moving swell or ridge on the surface or the edge of a body of water
♦ wind – /wɪnd/ – the natural movement of air (as in the weather)
wind – /w
aɪnd/ – to tighten the spring of a clock or watch by turning a key or spindle
See also, homophone.
Your turn Can you think of any more examples of homographs?
Image © Stefano Mortellaro
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