whacks, wax

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

The answer is simple: whacks, wax are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    Any of various natural, oily or greasy heat-sensitive substances, consisting of hydrocarbons or esters of fatty acids that are insoluble in water but soluble in nonpolar organic solvents.

  2. :: noun


  3. :: noun


  4. :: noun

    A solid plastic or pliable liquid substance, such as ozocerite or paraffin, originating from petroleum and found in rock layers and used in paper coating, as insulation, in crayons, and often in medicinal preparations.

  1. :: noun

    Plural form of whack.

  2. :: verb

    Third-person singular simple present indicative form of whack.

Definitions from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition, 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").