friar, frier, fryer

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

The answer is simple: friar, frier, fryer are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    A member of a usually mendicant Roman Catholic order.

  1. :: noun

    Variant of fryer.

  1. :: noun

    One that fries, as a deep utensil usually equipped with a basket and used for frying foods.

  2. :: noun

    A small young chicken suitable for frying.

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").