taro, tarot

The words taro, tarot sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Why do taro, tarot sound the same even though they are completely different words?

The answer is simple: taro, tarot are homophones of the English language.

taro
  1. :: noun

    The large starchy tuber of this plant. Also called cocoyam.

  2. :: noun

    A similar plant of the genus Xanthosoma.

  3. :: noun

    The tuber of this plant.

  4. :: noun

    A widely cultivated tropical Asian plant (Colocasia esculenta) having broad peltate leaves and a large starchy edible tuber.

tarot
  1. :: noun

    Tarok.

  2. :: noun

    Any of these 22 pictoral cards used as trump in tarok.

  3. :: noun

    Any of a set of usually 78 playing cards including 22 cards depicting vices, virtues, and elemental forces, used in fortunetelling.

Definitions from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition and Wordnik.

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About Homophones

Homophones (literally "same sound") are usually defined as words that share the same pronunciation, regardless of how they are spelled.

If they are spelled the same then they are also homographs (and homonyms); if they are spelled differently then they are also heterographs (literally "different writing").