waisted, wasted

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

The answer is simple: waisted, wasted are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: adjective

    Having a waist or a part like a waist.

  2. :: adjective

    Having a waist of a specified kind: high-waisted; slim-waisted.

  1. :: adjective

    Not profitably used or maintained: a wasted inheritance.

  2. :: adjective

    Needless or superfluous: These are wasted words.

  3. :: adjective

    Deteriorated; ravaged: a wasted landscape.

  4. :: adjective

    Frail and enfeebled, as from prolonged illness; emaciated.

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").