moose, mousse

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

The answer is simple: moose, mousse are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    A hoofed mammal (Alces alces) found in forests of northern North America and in Eurasia and having a broad, pendulous muzzle and large, palmate antlers in the male.

  1. :: noun

    Any of various chilled desserts made with flavored whipped cream, gelatin, and eggs: chocolate mousse.

  2. :: noun

    A molded dish containing meat, fish, or shellfish combined with whipped cream and gelatin.

  3. :: noun

    An aerosol foam used to control and style the hair.

  4. :: verb-transitive

    To apply a styling foam to (the hair).

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").