ceiling, sealing

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

The answer is simple: ceiling, sealing are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    The upper interior surface of a room.

  2. :: noun

    Material used to cover this surface.

  3. :: noun

    Something resembling a ceiling: a ceiling of leaves over the arbor.

  4. :: noun

    An upper limit, especially as set by regulation: wage and price ceilings.

  1. :: adjective

    Used for closing securely.

  2. :: verb

    Present participle of seal.

  3. :: noun

    Action of the verb to seal in any sense.

  4. :: verb

    Present participle of seal.

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").