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homonym

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noun hom·onym \ˈhä-mə-ˌnim, ˈhō-\

Simple Definition of homonym

  • : a word that is spelled and pronounced like another word but is different in meaning

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of homonym

  1. 1 a :  homophone b :  homograph c :  one of two or more words spelled and pronounced alike but different in meaning (as the noun quail and the verb quail)

  2. 2 :  namesake

  3. 3 :  a taxonomic designation rejected as invalid because the identical term has been used to designate another group of the same rank — compare synonym

homonymic

play \ˌhä-mə-ˈni-mik, ˌhō-\ adjective

Examples of homonym in a sentence

  1. The noun bear and the verb bear are homonyms.



Did You Know?

Homonym can be troublesome because it may refer to three distinct classes of words. Homonyms may be words with identical pronunciations but different spellings and meanings, such as to, too, and two. Or they may be words with both identical pronunciations and identical spellings but different meanings, such as quail (the bird) and quail (to cringe). Finally, they may be words that are spelled alike but are different in pronunciation and meaning, such as the bow of a ship and bow that shoots arrows. The first and second types are sometimes called homophones, and the second and third types are sometimes called homographs--which makes naming the second type a bit confusing. Some language scholars prefer to limit homonym to the third type.

Origin and Etymology of homonym

Latin homonymum, from Greek homōnymon, from neuter of homōnymos


First Known Use: 1697

Other Language Terms


HOMONYM Defined for Kids

homonym

play
noun hom·onym \ˈhä-mə-ˌnim, ˈhō-mə-\

Definition of homonym for Students

  1. 1 :  homophone

  2. 2 :  homograph

  3. 3 :  one of two or more words spelled and pronounced alike but different in meaning <The noun “bear” and the verb “bear” are homonyms.>




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