rang, wrang

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

The answer is simple: rang, wrang are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: verb

    Past tense of ring2.

  1. :: noun

    An obsolete or dialectal (Scotch) form of wrong.

  2. :: noun

    An obsolete or provincial preterit of wring.

Definitions from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition, from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia 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").