buyer, byre

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

The answer is simple: buyer, byre are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    One that buys, especially a purchasing agent for a retail store.

  1. :: noun

    Chiefly British A barn for cows.

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").