hike, haik

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

The answer is simple: hike, haik are homophones of the English language.

haik
  1. :: noun

    A large piece of cotton, silk, or wool cloth worn as an outer garment in Morocco.

hike
  1. :: verb-intransitive

    To go on an extended walk for pleasure or exercise.

  2. :: verb-intransitive

    To rise, especially to rise upward out of place: My coat had hiked up in the back.

  3. :: verb-transitive

    To increase or raise in amount, especially abruptly: shopkeepers who hiked their prices for the tourist trade.

  4. :: verb-transitive

    To pull or raise with a sudden motion; hitch: hiked myself onto the stone wall; hiked up her knee socks.

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").