rye, wry

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

The answer is simple: rye, wry are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    A cereal grass (Secale cereale) widely cultivated for its grain.

  2. :: noun

    The grain of this plant, used in making flour and whiskey and for livestock feed.

  3. :: noun

    Whiskey made from the grains of this plant.

  4. :: noun

    A Gypsy man.

  1. :: adjective

    Abnormally twisted or bent to one side; crooked: a wry nose.

  2. :: adjective

    Dryly humorous, often with a touch of irony.

  3. :: adjective

    Temporarily twisted in an expression of distaste or displeasure: made a wry face.

  4. :: adjective

    Being at variance with what is right, proper, or suitable; perverse.

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").