lance, launce

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

The answer is simple: lance, launce are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    A thrusting weapon with a long wooden shaft and a sharp metal head.

  2. :: noun

    A similar implement for spearing fish.

  3. :: noun

    A cavalry lancer.

  4. :: noun

    Medicine See lancet.

  1. :: noun

    See sand lance.

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").