noun syn·o·nym \ˈsi-nə-ˌnim\

: a word that has the same meaning as another word in the same language

: a word, name, or phrase that very strongly suggests a particular idea, quality, etc.

Full Definition of SYNONYM

:  one of two or more words or expressions of the same language that have the same or nearly the same meaning in some or all senses
a :  a word or phrase that by association is held to embody something (as a concept or quality) <a tyrant whose name has become a synonym for oppression>
b :  metonym
:  one of two or more scientific names used to designate the same taxonomic group — compare homonym
syn·o·nym·ic \ˌsi-nə-ˈni-mik\ also syn·o·nym·i·cal \-mi-kəl\ adjective
syn·o·nym·i·ty \-ˈni-mə-tē\ noun

Examples of SYNONYM

  1. Small and little are synonyms.
  2. I very much enjoyed the chapter on obscenity, which asks the difficult question of how words deemed taboo differ from their inoffensive synonyms… . It can't obviously be the referent of the term, since that is the same, and it isn't merely that the taboo words are more accurately descriptive … —Colin McGinn, The New York Review of Books, 27 Sept. 2007

Origin of SYNONYM

Middle English sinonyme, from Latin synonymum, from Greek synōnymon, from neuter of synōnymos synonymous, from syn- + onyma name — more at name
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms

ablaut, allusion, anacoluthon, diacritic, gerund, idiom, infinitive, metaphor, semiotics, simile
SYNONYM Defined for Kids


noun syn·o·nym \ˈsi-nə-ˌnim\

Definition of SYNONYM for Kids

:  a word having the same or almost the same meaning as another word in the same language
Medical Dictionary


noun syn·onym \ˈsin-ə-ˌnim\

Medical Definition of SYNONYM

:  a taxonomic name rejected as being incorrectly applied or incorrect in form
syn·onym·i·ty \ˌsin-ə-ˈnim-ət-ē\ noun, plural syn·onym·i·ties


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