Thyme vs. Time

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Thyme and time are two words that sometimes confused. They are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the definitions of the words thyme and time, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Thyme is an herb, it is considered a member of the mint family. It is an evergreen. Thyme is used as a flavoring in cooking, as an ornamental, and as an antiseptic in medicinal applications. The word thyme is ultimately derived from the Greek word thymon, which means to burn as a sacrifice.

Time is the progression of events or mere existence from the past, to the present, to the future. Time might also mean the measurement of the past, present and future on a calendar or on a watch. Time may be used as a noun or a verb, to mean measuring time. Related words are times, timed, timing. The word time is derived from the Old English word getimian, which means to befall or to happen.


One such cocktail on The Franklin’s spring menu is the Savoi Fare, which combines vermouth blanc with gin, thyme water and Merlet Crème de Cassis. (The Traverse City Record-Eagle)

Mary’s Greenhouse prides itself on selling a vast variety of special and traditional herbs, too, including different varieties of thyme, sage, fennel, oregano, cilantro, rosemary, chives, stevia, lavender, tarragon, mint, rhubarb, parsley, swiss chard, bay leaves eucalyptus and catnip. (The Inter-Mountain)

“It’s now time to pick somebody who comes from within the ranks, or has such a reputation that has no political background at all that can go into the job on Day 1,” said Graham, R-S.C. (TIME Magazine)

This time around, though, I’m thinking of living again in Scandinavia more seriously than I ever have before. (The New York Times)

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