gibe, jibe

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

The answer is simple: gibe, jibe are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: verb-intransitive

    To make taunting, heckling, or jeering remarks.

  2. :: verb-transitive

    To deride with taunting remarks.

  3. :: noun

    A derisive remark.

  1. :: verb-intransitive

    To shift a fore-and-aft sail from one side of a vessel to the other while sailing before the wind so as to sail on the opposite tack.

  2. :: verb-transitive

    To cause (a sail) to jibe.

  3. :: noun

    The act of jibing.

  4. :: verb-intransitive

    Informal To be in accord; agree: Your figures jibe with mine.

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").