aureole, oriole

The words aureole, oriole sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Why do aureole, oriole sound the same even though they are completely different words?

The answer is simple: aureole, oriole are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    A circular or oval light surrounding the head or body of a representation of a deity or holy person; a halo.

  2. :: noun

  3. :: noun

    A luminous emanation or cloud surrounding a figure or an object; an aureola.

  4. ::

    To surround or invest with an aureole.

  1. :: noun

    Any of various Eurasian, African, or Australian birds of the family Oriolidae, the males of which often have black and bright yellow or green plumage.

  2. :: noun

    Any of various similar birds of the family Icteridae found throughout the Americas, the males of which have primarily black and yellow or orange plumage.

  3. :: noun

    A bird of Europe, <em>Oriolus galbula</em>, so called from its rich yellow color massed with black; also, any bird of the family <em>Oriolidœ.</em>

  4. :: noun

    Any American hangnest of the family <em>Icteridœ</em> and subfamily <em>lcterinœ</em>, as the Baltimore oriole and orchard-oriole.

Definitions from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition., from The Century Dictionary. and Wordnik.

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About Homophones

Homophones (literally "same sound") are usually defined as words that share the same pronunciation, regardless of how they are spelled.

If they are spelled the same then they are also homographs (and homonyms); if they are spelled differently then they are also heterographs (literally "different writing").