bread, bred

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

The answer is simple: bread, bred are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    A staple food made from flour or meal mixed with other dry and liquid ingredients, usually combined with a leavening agent, and kneaded, shaped into loaves, and baked.

  2. :: noun

    Food in general, regarded as necessary for sustaining life: "If bread is the first necessity of life, recreation is a close second” ( Edward Bellamy).

  3. :: noun

    Something that nourishes; sustenance: "My bread shall be the anguish of my mind” ( Edmund Spenser).

  4. :: noun

    Means of support; livelihood: earn one's bread.

  1. :: verb

    Past tense and past participle of breed.

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").