Rye vs Wry

Rye and wry are examples of homophones that are often mixed up because they sound similar although they have different meanings and uses. Today, we will help you distinguish between the two words and use them correctly in your sentences.

The word rye is used as a noun which refers to “a wheat-like cereal plant that tolerates poor soils and low temperatures.” It may sometimes pertain to “whiskey in which a significant amount of the grain used in distillation is fermented rye.”

Pool water is too cold; time for rye grass

Rye, a Grain With Ancient Roots, Is Rising Again
New York Times

New Whiskey: Jack Daniel’s Rye Is A Welcome Addition From Iconic Brand

On the other hand, the term wry is generally used as an adjective which means “using or expressing dry, especially mocking, humor.”

Wry Teenager Tangles With the Supernatural in This Awesome Proof-of-Concept Short

One Mississippi recovers ground in a wry and warm episode
AV Club

Wry hitman fantasy shows wheelchair users’ reality in Kills on Wheels
Socialist Worker

It may also be used as an adjective to mean “of a person’s face or features twisted into an expression of disgust, disappointment, or annoyance.”

Radio Dreams’: a wry take on adapting to a new culture

“The wry reserves of laughter; the worry; the pride; the need for that second cocktail.”

“The portrait is a remarkable example of modern art,” Churchill told guests with a wry smile.
Chicago Tribune

Now that we have discussed the differences in the uses and meanings of rye and wry, you will be able to more accurately use these terms in your sentences. Remember that rye is used for the grain while wry is used to describe an annoyed or mocking face.