Gain access to thousands of additional definitions and advanced search features—ad free! JOIN NOW
Looking for synonyms or antonyms? Try the Merriam-Webster Thesaurus.
Keep scrolling for more
The English language (and, we may presume, many other languages) has both antonyms and synonyms. There are many more words with synonyms than there are words with antonyms, since many things exist which do not have an opposite (the word sandwich, for instance, may be said to have synonyms in the words hoagie, grinder, submarine, and many other words, but there is no opposite of sandwich). Antonym is also a much more recent addition to English than synonym is; it first appeared in the 1860s, whereas synonym has been used for more than 500 years.
Additionally, both nouns have adjectival forms: synonymous and antonymous. Synonymous, which is often used loosely ("She has become synonymous with good taste"), is the more common of the two.
Recent Examples on the Web
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'synonym.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1
Middle English sinonyme, from Latin synonymum, from Greek synōnymon, from neuter of synōnymos synonymous, from syn- + onyma name — more at name
Resources for synonym
21 Dec 2018
Time Traveler for synonym
See more words from the same century
More Definitions for synonym
See the full definition for synonym in the English Language Learners Dictionary
Other Words from synonym
More from Merriam-Webster on synonym
Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with synonym
Spanish Central: Translation of synonym
Nglish: Translation of synonym for Spanish Speakers
Britannica English: Translation of synonym for Arabic Speakers
Comments on synonym
What made you want to look up synonym? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
marked by fawning attentiveness
Get Word of the Day daily email!
What did you just call me?! A Quiz
Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!
Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.
Roger Stone posts controversial photo
Former RNC chair derides Trump
emergency, national emergency
Trump declares crisis over wall
Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!
Conjugating an irregular verb
It relates to godfathers.
Nothing to see here.
Words from the week of 2/15/2019
Comedian ISMO on what separates a boot from a trunk
Comedian ISMO on the complexities of the word 'tip'
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
The awkward case of 'his or her'
Never be caught off guard
A quiz for lovers and haters
SCRABBLE® fans, sharpen your skills!