indict, indite

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

The answer is simple: indict, indite are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: verb-transitive

    To accuse of wrongdoing; charge: a book that indicts modern values.

  2. :: verb-transitive

    Law To make a formal accusation or indictment against (a party) by the findings of a jury, especially a grand jury.

  1. :: verb-transitive

    To write; compose.

  2. :: verb-transitive

    To set down in writing.

  3. :: verb-transitive

    Obsolete To dictate.

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").