1400–50; < Latin synōnymum < Greek synṓnymon, noun use of neuter of synṓnymos synonymous; replacing Middle English sinonyme < Middle French < Latin, as above (Source:

Late Middle English via Latin from Greek sunōnumon, neuter (used as a noun) of the adjective sunōnumos, from sun- ‘with’ + onoma ‘name’. (Source:

Definitions of Synonym



  1. a word having the same or nearly the same meaning as another in the language, as happy, joyful, elated. A dictionary of synonyms and antonyms (or opposites), such as, is called a thesaurus.
  2. a word or expression accepted as another name for something, as Arcadia for pastoral simplicity or Wall Street for U.S. financial markets; metonym.
  3. Biology. one of two or more scientific names applied to a single taxon.
  4. a word that means the same or nearly the same as another word, such as bucket and pail
  5. a word or phrase used as another name for something, such as Hellene for a Greek
  6. biology a taxonomic name that has been superseded or rejected



  1. A word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase in the same language, for example shut is a synonym of close.



  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. : a word or phrase that by association is held to embody something (such as a concept or quality) a tyrant whose name has become a synonym for oppression
  3. : metonym
  4. : one of two or more scientific names used to designate the same taxonomic group — compare homonym

Example sentences for Synonym

  1. Most importantly, foreign policy should not be reduced to a synonym for military action and covert operations.
  2. My students seem to really want to use “however” as a conjunction—more or less a synonym for “but.”
  3. A synonym given for submissive is “compliant,” and among those given for submit is “yield” and “defer.”
  4. Call it Lesbian Lite, a synonym for someone who doesn't get to have sex with men.
  5. A star is born, another goes down courtesy of a synonym for bovine rabies, and the judges try but fail to steal the show.
  6. The name of the Roman matron became a synonym of all that is noble, wifely, and motherly in the home.
  7. This seemed to be the height of the season at Spa, whose name has come into our language as a synonym for gaiety and relaxation.
  8. You wrong Justice, when you degrade it to the condition of successful force, making Might the substitute and synonym for Right.
  9. Bewaffnung des Volkes; "people" used as a synonym for the proletarian section of it.
  10. It is not quite a synonym of harbour, since the latter does not imply traffic.

Related words & Synonyms

equivalent, metonym

Nearby words

synodic month , synoecious , synoekete , synoicous , synonychia , synonym dictionary , synonymist , synonymize , synonymous , synonyms

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