pampas, pompous

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

The answer is simple: pampas, pompous are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    The extensive plains of South America south of the Amazon.

  1. :: adjective

    Characterized by excessive self-esteem or exaggerated dignity; pretentious: pompous officials who enjoy giving orders.

  2. :: adjective

    Full of high-sounding phrases; bombastic: a pompous proclamation.

  3. :: adjective

    Chracterized by pomp or stately display; ceremonious: a pompous occasion.

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").