pouf, pouffe, poof

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

The answer is simple: pouf, pouffe, poof are homophones of the English language.

poof
  1. :: interjection

    Used to indicate a sudden vanishing: The magician waved a wand, and poof! The birds disappeared!

  2. :: noun

    Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for an effeminate or homosexual male.

pouf
  1. :: noun

    A woman's hairstyle popular in the 18th century, characterized by high rolled puffs.

  2. :: noun

    A part of a garment, such as a dress, that is gathered into a puff.

  3. :: noun

    A rounded ottoman.

pouffe
  1. :: noun

    Alternative form of pouf.

Definitions from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition, from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 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").