Is there any difference in the pronunciations of poor and pour in American English?

I can't hear a difference (in my own pronunciation), at all.

Consulting the advanced English dictionary I'm finding two different IPA spellings:

poor: p'ʊr

pour: p'ɔːr

But I'm imagining this is based off of British English, where there is a clear difference in pronunciation of both words.

closed as primarily opinion-based by TimLymington, Edwin Ashworth, user66974, choster, bib Jul 8 '14 at 20:21

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  • 1
    Which American English? There are several dialects, each with its own pronunciation quirks. – bye Jul 8 '14 at 7:07
  • As a British native-speaker from London I pronounce poor and pour (and paw and pore) identically. – Shoe Jul 8 '14 at 7:31

Which advanced English dictionary did you use? The online version of the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary (OALD):


pɔː(r) (BrE) ; pɔːr (Ame)
pʊə(r) (BrE) ; pʊr (AmE)


pɔː(r) (BrE) ; pɔːr (AmE)

So it seems that in both BrE and AmE, the two may be pronounced the same way.

  • And I can also add that in Australian English, 'poor' and 'pore' and 'pour' are usually identical. – Peter Jul 8 '14 at 10:18

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