pause, paws

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

The answer is simple: pause, paws are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: verb-intransitive

    To cease or suspend an action temporarily.

  2. :: verb-intransitive

    To linger; tarry: paused for a while under the huge oak tree.

  3. :: verb-intransitive

    To hesitate: He paused before replying.

  4. :: verb-transitive

    To cease or suspend the action of temporarily; stop for an interim: "Once a movie [ordered on demand] begins, it can be paused but not rewound or fast-forwarded” ( George Judson).

  1. :: noun

    Plural form of paw.

Definitions from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition, from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License and Wordnik.

Share pause, paws

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").