equivalence, equivalents

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

The answer is simple: equivalence, equivalents are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    The state or condition of being equivalent; equality.

  2. :: noun

    Mathematics An equivalence relation.

  3. :: noun

    Logic The relationship that holds for two propositions that are either both true or both false, so that the affirmation of one and the denial of the other results in contradiction.

  1. :: noun

    Plural form of equivalent.

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").