ringing, wringing

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

The answer is simple: ringing, wringing are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    The act of sounding or of causing to sound, as sonorous metallic bodies; the art or act of making music with bells.

  2. :: noun

    A ringing sound; the hearing of a sound as of ringing.

  3. :: noun

    Decoration by means of rings or circlets; rings collectively.

  4. :: noun

    In <em>horticulture</em>, the operation of cutting out a circle of bark. See <internalXref urlencoded="ring">ring</internalXref>, <em>transitive verb</em>, 6.

  1. ::

    a. & n. from <xref urlencoded="wring">wring</xref>, v.

  2. ::

    a wringer. See <er>Wringer</er>, 2.

  3. :: verb

    Present participle of <xref>wring</xref>.

Definitions from The Century Dictionary., from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English., from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License. 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").