pois, poise

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

The answer is simple: pois, poise are homophones of the English language.

pois

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poise
  1. :: verb-transitive

    To carry or hold in equilibrium; balance.

  2. :: verb-intransitive

    To be balanced or held in suspension; hover.

  3. :: noun

    A state of balance or equilibrium; stability.

  4. :: noun

    Freedom from affectation or embarrassment; composure.

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").