Synonyms

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Synonyms'

Synonyms Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Synonym \Syn"o*nym\ (s[i^]n"[-o]*n[i^]m), n.; pl. Synonyms (-n[i^]mz). [F. synonyme, L. synonyma, pl. of synonymum, Gr. synw`nymon. See Synonymous.] One of two or more words (commonly words of the same language) which are equivalents of each other; one of two or more words which have very nearly the same signification, and therefore may often be used interchangeably. See under Synonymous. [Written also synonyme.] All languages tend to clear themselves of synonyms as intellectual culture advances, the superfluous words being taken up and appropriated by new shades and combinations of thought evolved in the progress of society. --De Quincey. His name has thus become, throughout all civilized countries, a synonym for probity and philanthropy. --Macaulay. In popular literary acceptation, and as employed in special dictionaries of such words, synonyms are words sufficiently alike in general signification to be liable to be confounded, but yet so different in special definition as to require to be distinguished. --G. P. Marsh.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Synonyms'


Synonyms are different words with almost identical or nearly similar meanings. Words that are synonyms are said to be synonymous, and the state of being a synonym is called synonymy. The word comes from Ancient Greek syn (σύν) ("with") and onoma (ὄνομα) ("name"). The words car and automobile are synonyms. 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.

Synonyms can be any part of speech (e.g. nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs or prepositions), as long as both members of the pair are the same part of speech. More examples of English synonyms are:

Note that 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, he expired means the same as he died, yet my passport has expired cannot be replaced by my passport has died.

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