A homophone is one of two or more words or phrases that are pronounced the same way, but differ in spelling, meaning, or both.  An example of homophones would be the words "tide" and "tied". The word is derived from the Greek, meaning "same sound". The word was first used in English in 1843.  Homophones that are also spelled the same way are called homonyms.
It is fairly easy to distinguish between most homophones in context. There are, however, many which do cause confusion, due to a combination of identical pronunciation and similar spelling, for example: "principle" and "principal"; "whether" and "weather"; "stationery" and "stationary"; "their", "there" and "they're"; "to", "too" and "two".
Common homophones include:
|Red||Read (past tense)|
- List of English Homophones