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noun syn·o·nym \ˈsi-nə-ˌnim\

Simple Definition of synonym

  • : 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

  1. 1 :  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

  2. 2a :  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

  3. 3 :  one of two or more scientific names used to designate the same taxonomic group — compare homonym

syn·o·nym·ic play \ˌsi-nə-ˈni-mik\ also syn·o·nym·i·cal play \-mi-kəl\ adjective
syn·o·nym·i·ty play \-ˈni-mə-tē\ noun

Examples of synonym

  1. 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

  2. The debris hurtled by so fast that the New York Times editorial page seemed to run out of synonyms for disgust, revulsion and abuse. —Michael Duffy et al., Time, 5 Mar. 2001

  3. “Hollywood” is not, of course, a place. Nor is it a synonym for the entertainment business. There are upstanding citizens who make their living in that field. —P. J. O'Rourke, Republican Party Reptile , 1987

  4. Small and little are synonyms.

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

Medical Dictionary


noun syn·onym \ˈsin-ə-ˌnim\

Medical Definition of synonym

  1. :  a taxonomic name rejected as being incorrectly applied or incorrect in form

  2. syn·onym·i·ty \ˌsin-ə-ˈnim-ət-ē\play noun, plural syn·onym·i·ties

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February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

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