caries, carries

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

The answer is simple: caries, carries are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    Decay of a bone or tooth, especially dental caries.

  1. :: verb

    Third-person singular simple present indicative form of carry.

  2. :: noun

    Plural form of carry.

Definitions from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition, from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 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").