Lather vs lather

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Lather and lather  are two words that are spelled identically but are pronounced differently and have different meanings, which makes them heteronyms. We will examine the definitions of the words lather and lather, where these words came from, and a few examples of their use in sentences.

Lather (LAA thur) means 1.) the foam produces by soap bubbles; 2.) the frothy sweat produced on an animal such as a horse; 3.) an emotional state of excitement; 4.) the act of producing a foam of soap bubbles; or 5.) the act of exercising a horse until it produces frothy sweat. Related words are lathers, lathered, lathering. The word lather is derived from the Old English word, læthor, which means washing foam.

Lather (LAY thur) means someone who lathes, which means to shape a material such as wood on a rotating drive. The word word lathe is most probably derived from a Danish word, drejelad. Related words are lathe, lathes, lathed, lathing.


The City of Oxford wants to soften its water, making it easier to lather up and saving wear and tear on everyone’s dishes, clothing, plumbing fixtures and appliances. (Oxford Observer)

The Chatterati is in a lather again over the imminent arrival of GB News. (Evening Standard)

He was a lather by trade and he had a great love for race horses. (Orange County Register)

He was a lather for many years for various contractors and then was an iron worker for the contractors. (Buffalo News)