but, butt

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

The answer is simple: but, butt are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: conjunction

    On the contrary: the plan caused not prosperity but ruin.

  2. :: conjunction

    Contrary to expectation; yet: She organized her work but accomplished very little. He is tired but happy.

  3. :: conjunction

    Usage Problem Used to indicate an exception: No one but she saw the prowler.

  4. :: conjunction

    With the exception that; except that. Often used with that: would have joined the band but he couldn't spare the time; would have resisted but that they lacked courage.

  1. :: verb-transitive

    To hit or push against with the head or horns; ram.

  2. :: verb-intransitive

    To hit or push something with the head or horns.

  3. :: verb-intransitive

    To project forward or out.

  4. :: noun

    A push or blow with the head or horns.

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").