phlox, flocks

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

The answer is simple: phlox, flocks are homophones of the English language.

flocks
  1. :: noun

    Plural form of flock.

  2. :: verb

    Third-person singular simple present indicative form of flock.

phlox
  1. :: noun

    Any of various North American plants of the genus Phlox, having opposite leaves and flowers with a variously colored salverform corolla.

Definitions from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License, 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").