Loot vs. Lute

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Loot and lute are two words that are pronounced in the same manner but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the definitions of the words loot and lute, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Loot is valuable items taken as spoils of war or as plunder. The word loot is used in a more informal sense to mean valuable items or money that is stolen, or in a slang sense to mean money. Loot is a mass noun, which is a noun that can not be counted and therefore does not have a plural form. Loot is also used as a verb to mean the action of stealing valuable items or money. The word loot entered the language in the mid-1800s from the Hindi word lūṭ, meaning to rob.

A lute is a stringed instrument with a long neck and a rounded back, as well as a sound hole. The lute seems to have originated in Mesopotamia before 3000 B.C. It was particularly popular in Europe during the Middle Ages. The word lute is derived from the Old French word lut.


Three armed robbers on Friday looted a branch of the Axis Bank in Naurangabad village, 10 km from Tarn Taran. (The Hindustan Times)

BJP leader Mukul Roy threw a challenge at TMC daring them to loot polling booths in the panchayat election next year. (The Daily News & Analysis)

Although he had only learnt to play the lute for less than a year, Hikaru’s interest in sape began more than two years ago when he discovered the music by chance while browsing through YouTube. (The Borneo Post)

In addition to the guitar, Griggs also played the laud, a 12-string folk lute. (The Charlotte Observer)

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