clack, claque

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

The answer is simple: clack, claque are homophones of the English language.

clack
  1. :: noun

    Thoughtless, prolonged talk; chatter.

  2. :: noun

    Something that makes a clacking sound.

  3. :: noun

    A clacking sound: the clack of an old-fashioned typewriter.

  4. :: verb-transitive

    To cause to make an abrupt, sharp sound.

claque
  1. :: noun

    A group of fawning admirers.

  2. :: noun

    A group of persons hired to applaud at a performance.

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").