Polysemic words are words that are spelled exactly the same, but have different meanings.i.e. words with double meaning or double meaning. For example: leaf (can be leaf from trees or leaf from a notebook).

That is, its grammatical, syntagmatic and morphological structure is the same, but its meaning varies. In this article we will know 50 words with double meaning (or more senses), so that you are alert whenever someone uses them and you can sense their true meaning.

50 words with double meaning (and their meanings)

Let’s see 50 words with double meaning, and know their possible meanings. We must mention that some of them have even more meanings, but in this article we include the most used, common and frequent meanings in the Spanish language.

1. Leaf

A leaf can be a green leaf that grows on trees (the leaves of trees) or a notebook leaf (i.e., paper). It can also be a periodical (e.g. a parish blade), and the blade found in some tools and weapons.

2. Coffee

Coffee is the aromatic bean that allows us to drink cups of coffee, or it can be the brown color.

3. Letter

We have the letter that we send to our friends or family (a letter written on paper) or the letter that refers to the daily menu of a restaurant.

4. Merengue

Merengue is a dessert, which consists of a preparation based on sugar and egg white, and is also a type of dance.

5. Pen

The pen is a tool or article that is used to write with ink; it can also be the feather of birds (the horny formation that covers the body of birds), and it is even used to allude to a male who uses gestures or “effeminate” words.

6. Orange

Orange is a color and it is a fruit; in fact, the fruit is orange.

7. General

Something general is something that affects or concerns “everyone,” and it is also a military grade.

8. Tibia

The word tibia is used to allude to a medium temperature (of water, for example), that is, warm; which is neither cold nor hot. In turn, the tibia is also a bone located in the lower extremities (legs).

9. Saw

A saw is, in turn, a mountain range of mountains and a tool to cut wood or other materials.

10. Mouse

A mouse is a small animal (rodent) and a device that we connect to the computer to move the pointer.

11. Low

A bass is a musical instrument (stringed, similar to a guitar), is a person of low height and is an inferior position to others.

12. Yolk

The yolk is a part of the egg (the orange/yellowish one) and is the tip of the fingers.

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13. Skirt

A skirt can be the bottom or bottom of a mountain, a type of cut in meats and a piece of clothing.

14. Peak

A beak is a short kiss on the lips; it is also a part of birds and other animals (their jaw) and a tool for digging into the ground.

15. Channel

A channel is the deepest part of a port entrance; it is also a television channel (frequency band in which one program or another is broadcast) and an artificial channel through which water circulates.

16. Plant

A plant is a living being, any type of plant or shrub; it is also the lower zone of the feet (the only zone of the body that is in contact with the ground) and each of the divisions of a building (from bottom to top or vice versa).

17. Taco

A taco is a Mexican food product, and is a footwear worn by soccer players.

18. Pending

An earring is a decoration that is placed on the ears, and is usually made of gold, silver, wood, metal … and is also a thing that must be done, which is “earring” to do.

19. Bank

A bench can be a seat to sit on (two or more people), and also a group of fish, as well as a place to keep and withdraw money. It also refers to the company that is in charge of carrying out financial operations.

20. Cat

A cat is a feline animal, and also a tool used to lift weight (and used mostly in cars).

21. White

White is a colour, and it is also said of the person who always receives something concrete from everyone, for example: “you are the white of all glances”, or “you are the white of all criticism”.

22. Capital

The capital refers to the main (and most important) population of a country, province, district, etc. It’s also an important amount of money.

23. Cure

The cure is the healing of a wound, or the remedy of some disease; it is also a figure/charge of the church (a priest who makes mass).

24. Apple

The apple is a fruit (fruit of the apple tree), is the pommel of the sword and is a square-shaped built space delimited by streets.

25. Witness

A witness is a person who has witnessed (seen, heard…) a crime, a hit and run, a criminal act, etc. It is also an object that is passed in relay races.

26. Temporary

Temporal is somewhat time-bound, transient, and also a big storm.

27. Monkey

A monkey is an animal; it is also a qualifier to allude to someone “nice” or “adorable”, and it is the unrestrained desire to do something (especially in addictions; for example having a smoking monkey).

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28. Libra

A pound is a type of currency (monetary unit) used in some countries, and is also a zodiac sign.

29. Don

A gift is a special talent, and is a word that is used before the name to name important or recognized persons (e.g. Don Patricio).

30. Bar

The bar (elongated furniture where to place the glasses and plates) and the bread bar (elongated bread). We also found a lot of “bar” (a lot of snout).

31. Front

The front of something (e.g., step forward) and an area of the body above the eyes.

32. Entrance

The front part of a building, park, etc., through which it is accessed. It is also the area of the head where hair begins to grow (“you have tickets”) and a ticket that serves to access a show, monument, etc..

33. Doll

A part of the body (that which precedes the hand) and a toy (that simulates a real girl).

34. Handle

Elongated part of an object or a piece and tropical fruit.

35. Needle

Clock hand, sharp object for sewing, and tool for drawing blood or administering medications.

36. Wine

A type of alcoholic beverage and verbal conjugation of the verb “venir” (she came).

37. Foot

A part of the body and the end part (bracket) of a lamp.

38. Ridge

A part of the rooster and a part of the wave of the sea.

39. Candle

Part of a boat and wax object that is lit by a flame to illuminate or heat.

40. Band

A band is a group of thieves, and also a music group. It’s also a part of an object.

41. Rebecca

A garment and a woman’s name.

42. Layer

A garment and that which covers or bathes something (e.g. a coat of paint).

43. Ratchet

A bird and a musical instrument.

44. Hard

A type of currency (pesetas) and a characteristic of an object (the opposite of soft).

45. River

Water flow and conjugation of the verb reír (“I river”).

46. March

The military march (movement of troops), way of walking and conjugation of the verb to leave (“he leaves”).

47. Emperor

A type of fish and an important figure in a population (sovereign, supreme chief…).

48. Fabric

A type of fabric or texture and some areas of the human body (made up of millions of cells).

49. Bridge

A type of construction where people cross between two sides of earth and a piece of metal to hold the artificial teeth.

50. Garment

A piece of clothing and a person of “dubious reputation”.

Bibliographic references

  • Fernández, M. (1990). Around polysemy and homonymy. Yearbook of Philological Studies, 193-205.

  • Royal Spanish Academy. (2001). Dictionary of the Spanish Language (22nd ed.). Madrid, Spain: Author.