Close this search box.

Do Lier and Liar Mean the Same Thing?

In English, homophones can be some of the most difficult word pairings. They are particularly difficult in the case of liar vs. lier, as they both sound the same and are spelled similarly. So, is this confusion warranted? Do these words mean different things? To answer the questions briefly: 

  • Lier describes an individual or object which rests horizontally. 
  • Liar refers to someone to does not tell the truth. A graphic describing the difference between liar and lier

How Did Lier and Liar Originate? 

Interestingly enough, both words are derived from the same verb, lie. This root word poses a challenge, as it can mean two things. In one instance, lie may refer to the act of not telling the truth or the act of resting in a horizontal position. 

This duality makes lie a homonym, as it has one spelling but multiple meanings. 

What Does The Word Lier Mean? 

Although lier is a real word, you may more often encounter it as a spelling mistake in place of the word liar. In reality, as a stand-alone word, lier is so rarely used that it isn’t likely for you to need to use it in any professional or academic sense. 

Nevertheless, if you need to use lier, it usually describes when something is at rest in a horizontal position, sometimes on a flat surface. For instance, if someone is resting horizontally or lying in wait, they could be considered a lier

Example Sentences Using Lier 

  • The lion became a lier when it was ready to ambush. 
  • Once I hit the bed, I’m a lier
  • A lier waits in a flat position. 

What Does Liar Mean?

Liar is a fairly special word that is considered an agent noun. Agent nouns describe someone or something that acts as the verb it is derived from. In the case of liar, the origin noun is lie, referring to the action of not telling the truth. 

Thus, a liar is someone who does not tell the truth.

Example Sentences Using Liar 

  • Nancy is such a liar. You can never trust what she says. 
  • Don’t be a liar. Tell me the truth now! 
  • I read a New York Times article about a kid who is a pathological liar.

Now that you’ve conquered liar vs. lier, here are some more confusing homophones:

Bail vs Bale

Seam vs Seem

Drier vs. Dryer

Posted by Avatar photo
By Ryan Fisher

Ryan holds degrees from Pacific Lutheran University and specializes in proofreading, editing, and content writing with an emphasis on business communication.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *