wailer, waler, whaler

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

The answer is simple: wailer, waler, whaler are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    One who wails or laments.

  2. :: noun

    A hired (professional) mourner.

  1. :: noun

    A light saddle horse of mixed breed imported from Australia.

  1. :: noun

    One that hunts or processes whales.

  2. :: noun

    A whaling ship.

  3. :: noun

    A whaleboat.

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").