What Are Homographs?

Homographs are a group of words with exact spellings but differ in pronunciation, meanings, and origins. Keep reading this article to discover the homograph meaning and a list of homographs examples. 

What Are Homographs?

photo showing the definition of homograph

A homograph originates from the Greek words; homós (identical) and gráphō (write). This means that homographs have matching written forms but contrasting meanings. 

For instance, a word like “desert” has two meanings and pronunciations. You can use it to infer an arid region or abandon something. “Bass” is another example of a homograph. It can mean a musical instrument or a type of fish.

Since they have identical spelling, you will rely on context clues to determine what the writer or speaker is referring to. 

Fun Fact: Homographs are common in the English language. However, other languages such as Chinese, Italian, or French also have them. 

Examples of Homographs with Sentences

Here is a list of example sentences showing homographs. 

CloseI am standing close to the door.
ClosePlease close the window.
ParkPark your vehicle near the office entrance.
ParkTomorrow, I will take my children to the park.
ContentI am content with my financial situation.
ContentThe content of the box is unknown.
TrashShe placed her trash in the garbage bin.
TrashShe trashed the entire house. 
AdvocateThe advocate will represent me in court.
AdvocatePaul and Winnie advocate for children’s rights.
RoseThe rose flower is beautiful.
RoseShe rose early in the morning.
OrangePeel the oranges for your father.
OrangeThe orange color blends well with black. 
FlyNoise from the fly is disturbing.
FlyBirds fly close to our home.
BarkThe bark of the fig tree is decaying.
BarkThe dog barks loudly at night.
LeftMy left hand has an injury.
LeftHe left the house in the morning.
WellHe is feeling well today.
WellThe well has salty water
FanCan you place a fan in the living room? 
Fan The fan rushed towards her idol. 

Homophone vs. Homonym vs. Homograph: What’s the Difference?

picture showing the difference between homophone, homonym, and homograph

Some English words are tricky since they can have similar spellings but different sounds, while others sound the same but have different spellings. To differentiate them, homophones, homonyms, homographs, and heteronyms come into place. 

Homophones share identical pronunciations but have different spellings and meanings. For instance,  when you say the words “sea” and “see,” there’s no difference in how you pronounce them. However, if you take a look at their etymology and definitions, they are entirely different.

On the other hand, homonyms only have two things in common – pronunciation and spelling. For instance,  “bear” is an animal, but it can also mean to tolerate.

How about homographs meaning? Homographs have the same spelling but different meanings and pronunciations. For example, the word “bow” can mean to bend down from the waist, but it can also be a hair ribbon, a type of knot, or a weapon. 

Another example is the word “lead.” It can mean to control or to influence a group of people or situations, but it can also be a type of metal. 


Homographs have identical spellings, but their meanings differ. They are distinct from homophones and homonyms. If there is still confusion, remember homographs’ etymology – homós (identical) and gráphō (write), which means homographs only share the same spelling.

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