intense, intents

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

The answer is simple: intense, intents are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: adjective

    Possessing or displaying a distinctive feature to an extreme degree: the intense sun of the tropics.

  2. :: adjective

    Extreme in degree, strength, or size: intense heat.

  3. :: adjective

    Involving or showing strain or extreme effort: intense concentration.

  4. :: adjective

    Deeply felt; profound: intense emotion.

  1. :: noun

    Plural form of intent.

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").