Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Homonyms'
Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Homonyms'
In linguistics, a homonym is, in the strict sense, one of a group of words that share the same spelling and the same pronunciation but have different meanings (in other words, are both homographs and homophones), usually as a result of the two words having different origins. The state of being a homonym is called homonymy. Examples of pairs of homonyms are stalk (part of a plant) and stalk (follow/harass a person), and left (opposite of right) and left (past tense of leave).
In a looser non-technical sense, the term "homonym" can be used to refer to words that share the same spelling irrespective of pronunciation, or share the same pronunciation irrespective of spelling – in other words, they are homographs or homophones. In this sense, pairs such as row (propel with oars) and row (argument), and read (peruse) and reed (waterside plant), would also be homonyms.[See more about Homonyms at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]