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definitions - synonym

synonym (n.)

1.two words that can be interchanged in a context are said to be synonymous relative to that context

2.(of words) meaning the same or nearly the same

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Merriam Webster

SynonymSyn"o*nym (sĭn"�*nĭm), n.; pl. Synonyms (sĭn"�*nĭmz). [F. synonyme, L. synonyma, pl. of synonymum, Gr. synw`nymon. See Synonymous.]
1. One of two or more words (commonly words of the same language) which are equivalents of each other; one of two or more words which have very nearly the same signification, and therefore may often be used interchangeably. See under Synonymous. [Written also synonyme.]

All languages tend to clear themselves of synonyms as intellectual culture advances, the superfluous words being taken up and appropriated by new shades and combinations of thought evolved in the progress of society. De Quincey.

His name has thus become, throughout all civilized countries, a synonym for probity and philanthropy. Macaulay.

In popular literary acceptation, and as employed in special dictionaries of such words, synonyms are words sufficiently alike in general signification to be liable to be confounded, but yet so different in special definition as to require to be distinguished. G. P. Marsh.

2. An incorrect or incorrectly applied scientific name, as a new name applied to a species or genus already properly named, or a specific name preoccupied by that of another species of the same genus; -- so used in the system of nomenclature (which see) in which the correct scientific names of certain natural groups (usually genera, species, and subspecies) are regarded as determined by priority.

3. One of two or more words corresponding in meaning but of different languages; a heteronym. [Rare]

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definition (more)

definition of Wikipedia

synonyms - synonym

see also - synonym

synonym (n.)

synonymic, synonymy


analogical dictionary



  Synonym list in cuneiform on a clay tablet, Neo-Assyrian period. Ref:K.4375 .

Synonyms are different words with almost identical or similar meanings. Words that are synonyms are said to be synonymous, and the state of being a synonym is called synonymy. The word comes from Ancient Greek syn (σύν) ("with") and onoma (ὄνομα) ("name"). The words car and automobile are synonyms. Similarly, if we talk about a long time or an extended time, long and extended become synonyms. In the figurative sense, two words are often said to be synonymous if they have the same connotation:

"a widespread impression that... Hollywood was synonymous with immorality" (Doris Kearns Goodwin)

Synonyms can be any part of speech (such as nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs or prepositions), as long as both members of the pair are the same part of speech. Here are more examples of English synonyms:

  • verb
    • "buy" and "purchase"
  • adjective
    • "sick" and "ill"
  • adverb
    • "quickly" and "speedily"
  • preposition
    • "on" and "upon"

Note that synonyms are defined with respect to certain senses of words; for instance, pupil as the "aperture in the iris of the eye" is not synonymous with student. Similarly, he expired means the same as he died, yet my passport has expired cannot be replaced by my passport has died.

In English, many synonyms evolved from the parallel use, in the early medieval period, of Norman French (from Latin) and Old English (Anglo-Saxon) words, often with some words being used principally by the Saxon peasantry ("folk", "freedom", "bowman") and their synonyms by the Norman nobility ("people", "liberty", "archer").

Some lexicographers claim that no synonyms have exactly the same meaning (in all contexts or social levels of language) because etymology, orthography, phonic qualities, ambiguous meanings, usage, etc. make them unique. Different words that are similar in meaning usually differ for a reason: feline is more formal than cat; long and extended are only synonyms in one usage and not in others (for example, a long arm is not the same as an extended arm). Synonyms are also a source of euphemisms.

The purpose of a thesaurus is to offer the user a listing of similar or related words; these are often, but not always, synonyms.

  Related terms

Antonyms are words with opposite or nearly opposite meanings. For example: 'hot' => 'cold', 'large' => 'small', 'fresh' => 'stale'

Hypernyms and hyponyms are words that refer to, respectively, a general category and a specific instance of that category. For example, vehicle is a hypernym of car, and car is a hyponym of vehicle.

Homonyms are words that sound the same OR are spelled the same, but have different meanings. For example, witch and which are homonyms (because they sound the same). Also, one can 'record' a song or keep a 'record' of documents. In this example 'record' is a homonym because it's spelled the same, despite the different meanings.

  See also

  External links

  • Graph Words - Online tool for visualization word relations
  • Synonym Finder - Synonym finder including hypernyms in search result.
  • how to say - Online Synonym finder
  • Synonymosum - Online Synonym Dictionary - words and their synonyms
  • Thesaurus - Online synonyms in English, Italian, French and German.
  • Woxikon Synonyms - Over 1 million synonyms - English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish and Dutch
  • Free Online English Thesaurus and Dictionary. Free Online English Thesaurus and dictionary containing synonyms, related Words, antonyms, definitions, idioms, words and terms using Merriam Websters Thesaurus, Wordnet Reference and Roget's Thesaurus Definitions.
  • English Synonym Dictionary - offers 500 searches for synonym per user per day
  • iGoogle Gadget - Synonym Gadget for iGoogle


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The English word games are:
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Lettris is a curious tetris-clone game where all the bricks have the same square shape but different content. Each square carries a letter. To make squares disappear and save space for other squares you have to assemble English words (left, right, up, down) from the falling squares.


Boggle gives you 3 minutes to find as many words (3 letters or more) as you can in a grid of 16 letters. You can also try the grid of 16 letters. Letters must be adjacent and longer words score better. See if you can get into the grid Hall of Fame !

English dictionary
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Most English definitions are provided by WordNet .
English thesaurus is mainly derived from The Integral Dictionary (TID).
English Encyclopedia is licensed by Wikipedia (GNU).


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