sects, sex

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

The answer is simple: sects, sex are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    Plural form of sect.

  1. :: noun

    The property or quality by which organisms are classified as female or male on the basis of their reproductive organs and functions.

  2. :: noun

    Either of the two divisions, designated female and male, of this classification.

  3. :: noun

    Females or males considered as a group.

  4. :: noun

    The condition or character of being female or male; the physiological, functional, and psychological differences that distinguish the female and the male. See Usage Note at gender.

Definitions from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License, 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").