A post on a lighter topic. My dad showed me this example when I was less than 10 years of age:

MINUTE can be pronounced in two ways to mean different things – a noun which means 60 seconds or an adjective which means very small. He asked me if there are other such pairs.

As it happens, I came across one such this week

WOUND: past and past participle of the verb wind (like winding a watch, if anyone remembers such an activity)

WOUND: n. an injury to living tissue caused by a cut, blow, or other impact, typically one in which the skin is cut or broken. Also, a verb to connote inflicting such injury.

Right there is another pair

WIND: noun, as in The Wind in the Willows

WIND: the verb whose past participle is the aforementioned WOUND.

If you know more such pairs, please mention them in the comments below.

Note: different accepted pronunciations of the same word to mean the same thing do not count. Nor do the words which have multiple meanings with the same pronunciation (for example, ‘set’ has 58 meanings as a noun and 10 as a verb, but it does not count here)

2 thoughts on “Same spelling, but different meanings when said differently?

  1. I found this intriguing and so, went down a short “search rabbit hole” (not too deep :-)). Apparently words like these are called homographs – way too may examples exist. bow, entrance, attribute, axes, bustier, compact, content, compound, contract, fine, object, lead, project, tear to name a few.


    1. Wow, great! In that list, the only one I don’t follow at all is ‘fine’ wonder that the two ways are to pronounce it. Also, in British English, there is only one way to pronounce content – for all contexts. The rest are legit examples universally!


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