Sole vs. Soul

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Sole may be used as a noun to mean 1.) the underside of a human foot, the underside of a shoe or sandal, the floor of a ship’s cabin 2.) an edible, flat seafish 3.) in British English, a shipping forecast are in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean. Sole may be used as an adjective to mean the one and only, without others, not shared, solitary. Sole is often used as a verb to mean applying a new underside to a shoe, related words are soles, soled and soling.

A soul may be 1.) the spiritual, immortal part of a person or animal 2.) emotional or spiritual force, embodiment 3.) the spirit of a dead human being that has separated from the physical body 4.) African-American culture, expressed in the arts and heritage.


“I didn’t have time to pull the soles out,” said Kipchoge, who had been targeting compatriot Dennis Kimetto’s world record of 2:02:57 from Berlin last year. (The Japan Times)

Citizen initiatives are for the people, not governors who want sole control (The Bangor Daily News)

A similar stew, equally fiery, combined pork intestines with morsels of sole, bamboo shoots, tofu and salty chunks of what tasted like Spam. (The Seattle Times)

No, I’m not sure I do either, but the resulting looks took in lots of personalities, from louche to ladylike, and all were worn with glitter-soled sandals that buckled up the legs.  (The Financial Times)

Waukegan principal remembered as ‘just a kind, beautiful soul’ (The Chicago Tribune)

A very wise man – the wisest person to ever live, in fact – once wrote: “Kind words are like honey sweet food for the soul and healthy for the body.” (The Norwich Gazette)

Her vision for Sweet Potatoes was nothing like the soul-food cafés and diners that she remembered from childhood. (The Winston-Salem Journal)

Enjoyed reading about these homophones? Check out some others we covered:

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