Definition: Synonym

From New World Encyclopedia


From Middle English sinonyme, from Latin synōnymum, from Ancient Greek συνώνυμον or sunṓnumon, neuter singular form of συνώνυμος or sunṓnumos (synonymous), from σύν or sún (with) + ὄνομα or ónoma (name). By surface analysis, syn- + -onym.


synonym (plural synonyms)

  1. (semantics) A word whose meaning is the same as that of another word.
    In American English, "faucet," "spigot," and "tap" are synonyms.
  2. (semantics) A word or phrase with a meaning that is the same as, or very similar to, another word or phrase.
    "Happy" is a synonym of "glad."
  3. (zoology) Any of the formal names for a taxon, including the valid name (i.e. the senior synonym).
  4. (taxonomy, botany) Any name for a taxon, usually a validly published, formally accepted one, but often also an unpublished name.
  5. (databases) An alternative (often shorter) name defined for an object in a database.

Derived terms

  • eterotypic synonym
  • junior synonym
  • near-synonym
  • objective synonym
  • parasynonym
  • quasi-synonym
  • subjective synonym
  • synonymic
  • synonymist
  • synonymize
  • synonymous

Related terms

  • synonymy


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