clothes, close

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

The answer is simple: clothes, close are homophones of the English language.

close
  1. :: adjective

    Being near in space or time. See Usage Note at redundancy.

  2. :: adjective

    Being near in relationship: close relatives.

  3. :: adjective

    Bound by mutual interests, loyalties, or affections; intimate: close friends.

  4. :: adjective

    Having little or no space between elements or parts; tight and compact: a close weave.

clothes
  1. :: noun-plural

    Articles of dress; wearing apparel; garments.

  2. :: noun-plural

    Bedclothes.

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").