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left (from leave) and left (opposite to right)

What are heteronyms?

Heteronyms are words that are spelled identically but have different meanings when pronounced differently. For example:

Lead, pronounced LEED, means to guide. However, lead, pronounced LED, means a metallic element.
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I wrote a very short story using a homograph a few years ago. It was published in a Literaty Journal. Hope you like it:

One Night Stand

by: lee youngblood

You can tell if a man is truly a bachelor the instant you walk into his bedroom. It’s not the mislaid clothes or disheveled dresser, but the fact that he only has one night stand. One, unspoken designator of his side of the bed. Home to the phone, alarm clock and remote control. A clear sign to anyone staying over which side of the bed they will NOT be sleeping. Every girl knows you must have express permission to settle in on the night stand side of the bed.

As I lay awkwardly intertwined with this relative stranger, searching for self-definition in his queen size vacuum, I become amused by his physical struggle to search his catalog of names for one that matches my face. Terrified of a mislabeling he slings out a barely audible “babe,” and I repay the effort with a “yes… god… yes.”

We both lay very still in the aftermath of what we know was nothing more than a Band-Aid on a festering wound of loneliness-- his phone rings. Nervously, almost frantically, his body tenses. Should he answer the phone or chance me hearing validation of my insignificance in his life. The machine loses and he answers.

It takes only three words and two voice inflection for me to take my cue and quietly exit the bed from the side opposite the one night stand.
such words are in fact heteronyms.......
Homonyms are the general term for words that are spelled or pronounced the same, but have different meanings. The specific words in this thread, such as wind (the air) and wind (verb: to wrap something) are under the sub-categorey or variant of homonyms called heteronyms.

Polish and polish is the best I've heard. As in, "The Polish man cleaned his shoes with shoe polish."
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heteronym is the word used to describe words that are spelled the same but have different meanings. Usually the heteronyms are pronounced differently
They are known as homonyms.

However, there are many who are cnfused between homophones and homonyms.

Homophones are those words spelt differently but sounds the same and has different meaning. E. g. sum& some

Homonyms are words spelt the same and may sound the same but have different meanings. E.g. He wound the bandage around the wound.


the first wound means to wrap around
while the second wound means a hurting part of a body possibly caused by an accident- a gaping wound.

Then there is the combo sentece meant to confuse.

He desert his dessert in the desert.


the first desert means to quickly take leave of
the second desert means a barren dry land
the word, dessert is a homophone meaning something taken after a main mean such as ice-cream, muffins etc
The dictionary says that homonyms are words that are spelled and pronounced alike, but have different meanings. What are words that "sound" the same, but are spelled differently and have different meanings? For example, "bear" and "bare" or "witch" and "which"? Please let me know! Emotion: smile Thanks!! ~Jennifer
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