timbre, tambour

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

The answer is simple: timbre, tambour are homophones of the English language.

tambour
  1. :: noun

    A drum or drummer.

  2. :: noun

    A small wooden embroidery frame consisting of two concentric hoops between which fabric is stretched.

  3. :: noun

    Embroidery made on such a frame.

  4. :: noun

    A rolling front or top for a desk or table, consisting of narrow strips of wood glued to canvas.

timbre
  1. :: noun

    The combination of qualities of a sound that distinguishes it from other sounds of the same pitch and volume.

Definitions from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition and Wordnik.

Share timbre, tambour

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").