Origin of synonym
Noun synonyms sometimes mean exactly the same thing. A Dalmatian is a coach dog —same dog. A bureau is a chest of drawers. And if you ask for a soda on the east coast of the U.S., you’ll get the same drink that asking for a pop will get you farther west. The object referred to remains constant. But forest and wood, though often interchangeable, have different shades of meaning: a forest tends to be larger and denser than a wood. And when we move from nouns to other parts of speech, we almost always find subtle but important differences among synonyms: although the meanings overlap, they differ in emphasis and connotation. A sunset might be described equally well as beautiful or resplendent, but a beautiful baby would not usually be described as resplendent, which implies an especially dazzling appearance. The verbs make and construct mean roughly the same thing, but one is more likely to make a cake but construct a building, which is a more complex undertaking.
Lists of synonyms are useful when we are struggling to write and looking for just the right word, but each word must be considered in light of its specific definition. Notes at the bottom of a dictionary entry—especially usage notes and synonym studies—are often where we’ll find the detailed information that allows us to improve (or refine or polish ) our writing.
Examples from the Web for synonyms
And then predictably, there was a long unprintable list of synonyms and phrases for various sex acts.
It gives you a mixture of sequential number questions, synonyms, and odd-one-out pictures.
All of them are synonyms for the stuff you can smell outside the Plaza Hotel.
In those first pages, I feared I was going to run out of synonyms for “visceral” while trying to write this review.
The first such assumption is that ‘women’ and ‘feminism’ are synonyms.
The first belongs more properly to water-works; the two latter are synonyms applied to town drainage, "Sough" being Lancashire.
Into what two groups are the synonyms for also naturally divided?English Synonyms and Antonyms|James Champlin Fernald
This has been accomplished through the use of synonyms; and, by so twisting a sentence around as to avoid ambiguity.Gadsby|Ernest Vincent Wright
Other entries are first usages, in chronological order, of other names (synonyms) that have been applied to the taxon in question.
This view helps us to understand how the words for grave came to be used as synonyms for the nether world.The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria|Morris Jastrow
British Dictionary definitions for synonyms
Word Origin for synonym
Word Origin and History for synonyms
early 15c. (but rare before 18c.), from Latin synonymum, from Greek synonymon "word having the same sense as another," noun use of neuter of synonymos "having the same name as, synonymous," from syn- "together, same" (see syn-) + onyma, Aeolic dialectal form of onoma "name" (see name (n.)).
Culture definitions for synonyms
Words that mean roughly the same thing. Container and receptacle are synonyms.