Orchard - orchid

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These are two words that may look as if they sound alike, but they do not. (They are heterophones, not homophones.) Both have the stress on the first syllable, but they are pronounced differently.

  • orchard (the name of a group of fruit trees growing in one place) is pronounced with a 'soft' '-ch-', as in 'chest' or 'chest': 'ORT-shurd' IPA: /ˈɔːr tʃɜrd/
  • orchid (one of a large family of flowering plants, the Orchideae) is pronounced with a hard '-ch-' (the Greek letter χ, 'chi'): 'OR-kid', IPA: /ˈɔr kɪd/