Definition of heteronym
1each of two or more words that are spelled identically but have different sounds and meanings, such as tear meaning “rip” and tear meaning “liquid from the eye.”. 2each of two or more words that are used to refer to the identical thing in different geographical areas of a speech community, such as submarine sandwich, hoagie, and grinder. 3each of two words having the same meaning but derived from unrelated sources, for example preface and foreword. Contrasted with paronym.