bi, buy, by, bye

The words bi, buy, by, bye sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Why do bi, buy, by, bye sound the same even though they are completely different words?

The answer is simple: bi, buy, by, bye are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    A bisexual person.

  2. :: adjective


  1. :: verb-transitive

    To acquire in exchange for money or its equivalent; purchase. See Regional Note at boughten.

  2. :: verb-transitive

    To be capable of purchasing: "Certainly there are lots of things in life that money won't buy” ( Ogden Nash).

  3. :: verb-transitive

    To acquire by sacrifice, exchange, or trade: wanted to buy love with gifts.

  4. :: verb-transitive

    To bribe: tried to buy a judge.

  1. :: preposition

    Close to; next to: the window by the door.

  2. :: preposition

    With the use or help of; through: We came by the back road.

  3. :: preposition

    Up to and beyond; past: We drove by the house.

  4. :: preposition

    At or to: stopped by the bakery; came by the house.

  1. :: interjection

    Used to express farewell.

  2. :: noun

    A secondary matter; a side issue.

  3. :: noun

    Sports The position of one who draws no opponent for a round in a tournament and so advances to the next round.

  4. :: idiom

    bye By the way; incidentally.

Definitions from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition 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").