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Pronunciation: sin-ê-nim Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A word with a meaning identical or nearly identical to that of another words: couch and sofa are synonyms, as are faucet and spigot.

Notes: The family of synonym includes the noun, synonymy, and two adjectives: synonymic and the much more popular synonymous [s-non--ms]. Remember that it isn't a sin to use a synonym and that should help you spell it correctly.

In Play: This 'nym is the most popular of all and is widely used metaphorically: "New Monia is a synonym for healthy living far from the crowded city." It is so popular, in fact, most people already know how to pronounce the adjective. I am sure you have heard advertisements similar to this: "The restaurant at Eaton Place is synonymous with fine dining at expectable prices."

Word History: This word is yet another that came to Middle English down the by-now-familiar Greek-Latin-French chute. It originates in Greek sunonymos "synonymous", comprising syn (sym-, syl-) "(together) with, same" + our old friend onyma "name". Syn is assumed to come from an original root like *ksun "with", for Latin has a preposition con (com, col-, cor-, etc.) with the same meaning. Russian and other Slavic languages have a related preposition, s(o) "(together) with", which is also used as a prefix in words like sputnik "fellow traveler" and soviet "council". Need more 'nyms? We have pages of them here.

Dr. Goodword,

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