pearl, purl

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

The answer is simple: pearl, purl are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: verb

    Variant of purl2.

  2. :: noun

    A smooth, lustrous, variously colored deposit, chiefly calcium carbonate, formed around a grain of sand or other foreign matter in the shells of certain mollusks and valued as a gem.

  3. :: noun

    Mother-of-pearl; nacre.

  4. :: noun

    One that is highly regarded for its beauty or value.

  1. :: verb-intransitive

    To flow or ripple with a murmuring sound.

  2. :: noun

    The sound made by rippling water.

  3. :: verb-transitive

    To knit (yarn) with a purl stitch.

  4. :: verb-transitive

    To edge or finish (a handkerchief, for example) with lace or embroidery.

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").