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Encyclopedia > Synonym

Synonyms (in ancient Greek, συν ("syn") = plus and όνομα ("onoma") = name) are different words with similar or identical meanings. Words that are synonyms are said to be synonymous, and the state of being a synonym is called synonymy.


An example of synonyms are the words car and automobile. 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 nouns, verbs, adjectives or adverbs, as long as both members of the pair are the same part of speech. More examples of English synonyms are: Noun or noun substantive is a lexical category which is defined in terms of how its members combine with other grammatical kinds of expressions. ... A verb is a part of speech that usually denotes action (bring, read), occurrence (to decompose (itself), to glitter), or a state of being (exist, live, soak, stand). Depending on the language, a verb may vary in form according to many factors, possibly including its tense, aspect, mood and voice. ... talea harris and sophie king are sluts In grammar, an adjective is a word whose main syntactic role is to modify a noun or pronoun (called the adjectives subject, giving more information about what the noun or pronoun refers to. ... An adverb is a part of speech. ... In grammar, a part of speech or word class is defined as the role that a word (or sometimes a phrase) plays in a sentence. ...

  • baby and infant (noun)
  • student and pupil (noun)
  • buy and purchase (verb)
  • pretty and attractive (adjective)
  • sick and ill (adjective)
  • quickly and speedily (adverb)

Note that the 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, expired as "having lost validity" (as in grocery goods) doesn't necessarily mean death.


In English many synonyms are caused by the mixture of Norman French and English words, often with some words associated with the Saxon countyside ("folk", "freedom") and synonyms with the Norman nobility ("people", "liberty").


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. However, many people feel that the synonyms they use are identical in meaning for all practical purposes, and are interchangeable. 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, such as a long arm and an extended arm. Synonyms are also a source of euphemisms. A lexicographer is a person devoted to the study of lexicography, especially an author of a dictionary. ... Not to be confused with Entomology, the study of insects. ... The orthography of a language specifies the correct way of writing in that language. ... Introduction Phonics is the study of the way in which spellings represent the sounds that make up words. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


The purpose of a thesaurus is to offer the user a listing of similar or related words; these are often, but not always, synonyms. The word thesaurus is derived from 16th century New Latin, in turn from Latin thesaurus, from ancient Greek thesauros, store-house, treasury. Besides its meaning as a treasury or storehouse, it more commonly means a listing of words with similar, related, or opposite meanings (this new meaning of thesaurus dates...


Related terms

Antonyms are words with opposite or nearly opposite meanings. For example: Look up Antonym in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

  • dead and alive (compare to synonyms: dead and deceased)
  • near and far (compare to synonyms: near and close)
  • war and peace (compare to synonyms: war and armed conflict)
  • tremendous and awful (compare to synonyms: tremendous and remarkable)

The words synonym and antonym are themselves antonyms.


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. A hypernym (in Greek υπερνύμιον, literally meaning extra name) is a word whose extension includes the extension of the word of which it is a hypernym. ... A hyponym (in Greek: υπονύμιον, literally meaning few names) is a word whose extension is included within that of another word. ...


See also

Words in English with the suffix -onym (from the Greek onoma which means name) refer to words with a particular property. ... In metadata a Synonym ring or synset, is a group of data elements that are considered semantically equivalent for the purposes of information retrieval. ...

External links

Look up Synonym in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Synonym Rings and Authority Files - Boxes and Arrows: The design behind the design (2315 words)
Synonym rings and authority files are simple tools that can bridge the gap between natural language and complex controlled vocabularies (taxonomies and thesauri) quite nicely.
The synonym ring goes into effect only when there is a matching synonym for the term entered into the search box by the user.
Synonym rings and authority files are simple, common-sense ways to help users connect the various semantic concepts that are inherently intertwined with the term they choose.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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