overate, overrate

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

The answer is simple: overate, overrate are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: verb

    Past tense of overeat.

  1. :: verb-transitive

    To overestimate the merits of; rate too highly.

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").