Synonym: definition and examples (2023)

A synonym is a word that has the same meaning as another wordfastsame meaning). For example,lovelyandattractiveare synonyms for each other because they both refer to someone or something that looks good.

Synonyms are a common part of every language, but they're particularly useful when writing, whether you're writing a novel or a business email. Below we explain how synonyms work and when to use them, along with the different types of synonyms. But first, let's take a closer look at this question: "What is a synonym?"

Add some sparkle to your writing

Grammarly helps you communicate with confidence

What is a synonym?

Synonyms are different words that have the same or similar meaning. They occur in all parts of speech, including nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and prepositions.

As a synonym example, let's look atsynonymous with good. As one of the most used wordsguthas many synonyms that mean the same or almost the same:fein,Excellent,satisfactory,Marvelous,outstanding, etc.

(Video) SYNONYM vs ANTONYM 🤔 | What's the difference? | Learn with examples

Note that the meanings are not always identical; for example,Excellentis a great deal of good whilesatisfactoryis rather a minimal amount of good. However, the central idea is the same: all of these synonyms refer to something that is positive and not bad.

Synonym vs. antonym

When discussing synonyms, the termAntonymHappens frequently. While synonyms are words with the same or similar meaning,Antonyms are words with opposite meanings. For example, an antonym ofgutisPoorly, while a synonym forgutisfein.

Understanding synonyms and antonyms is helpful when using a dictionary or thesaurus. Especially in a thesaurus, a word's entry often lists both synonyms and antonyms to help you write.

What is the purpose of synonyms?

What are synonyms for? What's the point of having two words with the same meaning when one will do? There are two main uses of synonyms, which we will explain in detail below:

  • Synonyms can improvechoice of words, or choose the best word for what you are trying to communicate.
  • Synonyms are necessary to avoid overusing the same word.

1choice of words

First, synonyms are crucial in choosing the perfect word. While some languages ​​only have one word for a meaning, English uses a variety of words to convey a single meaning, each with its own unique and subtle distinction. This variety of words is partly due to English's use of loanwords or words from other languages.

Let's go back to our synonym example forgut. If you want to call somethinggut, you can also call itfeinorExcellent. However, duringgut,fein, andExcellentare all similar, there are some subtle differences:finetends to be at a lower levelgut, duringExcellenttends to be highergut.

Choosing the exact word is crucial to good writing. The differences betweengut,fein, andExcellentmay affect communication. So when you say a meal was 'good' it has a slightly different meaning than saying the meal was 'excellent' although they are synonyms.

In short, the more synonyms you know, the better you can choose the best word for what you want to communicate. That nuance is a significant part of all writing—especiallypersuasive writing, where you select words related to a specific type of reader.

2Avoid overusing words

The second main use of synonyms is to avoid using the same word over and over again. Repeating a specific word can be a problem if your writing focuses on a single topic — as writing often does — and most of your sentences contain words related to that topic. Alternating synonyms for the sake of variety are known aselegant variant.

(Video) Synonyms for Kids

For example, suppose you write aresearch paperabout dogs. If every sentence uses the worddog, your writing would be repetitive and your reader might lose interest.

In this case, you want to alternate your sentences with synonyms ofdog: You could use generic synonyms likerushorEckzahn, or if you're talking about a specific type of dog, you could use words likepoochorMeat. You could even use slang likedog,tits,pooch,or fur ballsif you write casually.

By alternating synonyms for each new sentence or paragraph, your writing will become more interesting and dynamic. This keeps the reader's attention and makes your work more enjoyable to read.

What types of synonyms are there?

As mentioned above, some synonyms have exactly the same meaning, while others have almost exact meanings. With this in mind, there are three different types of synonyms depending on how similar the meanings of the words are.

Absolute Synonyme

Absolute synonyms are words that mean exactly the same thing; there is no difference in meaning. You can use absolute synonyms interchangeably; a synonym can replace another without changing the message.


identical - indistinguishable

drink — drink

Insect - Beetle

(Video) Synonyms And Antonyms | Definition of Synonyms And Antonyms With Example|All in One

Partial Synonym

Partial synonyms are words that mean almost the same thing and the differences are only minor. What separates them can be a degree or a quantity, e.g. B. the difference betweengutandExcellent, or a word can be a specific type of a more general word - such as apoochis still onedog.

When you replace a word with its partial synonym, the meaning changes a bit, but the main message stays the same.



big - gigantic

Almost synonyms

Near-synonyms are words that have different meanings, but their meanings are still related. These words cannot be used interchangeably; Replacing a word with a close synonym changes the message. However, since they are related, a near-synonymous might be a better and more accurate choice of words than the original.

clever - funny

River Creek

hairy - furry

(Video) Synonyms | English For Kids | Mind Blooming

Synonyms ofSynonymy(polysemy, homonymy and contronymy)

Synonyms take their name fromSynonymy, when different words have the same or similar meaning. But synonymy is often confused with other types of word relationships: polysemy, homonymy, and contronymy. To clear things up, let's take a closer look at what these terms mean.

Polysemieis when a word has different meanings. For example the wordKlangcan sometimes mean "noise", but sometimes also "healthy". The only way to get the right meaning is from the context; When someone says they "heard a noise," you know what they meanNoisebecause you can't hear ithealthy.

Disambiguationis when words have different meanings but either have the same spelling or the same pronunciation (or both). There are two types of homonyms:Homophoneand homographs.

Homophones are words that have different meanings and spellings but are pronounced the same, such asyou,there, andThey are. Homographs are words with different meanings but the same spelling, such aslead(the metal) andlead(the verb meaning "to lead"). Homographs may or may not be pronounced the same - it doesn't matter.

Contronymieis even rarer than the others. Acounter wordis a type of homonym in which the words are spelled and pronounced the same, but their meanings are opposite. For example the verbbucklecan mean "connect something":The man buckled his belt. But it can also mean “break a connection”:The chair buckled under the man.

Frequently asked questions about synonyms

What are synonyms?

Synonyms are words with the same or similar meaning. For example, a synonym forteachingisraise; Both words mean the same thing although they are different.

When should synonyms be used?

Synonyms have two main uses. First, synonyms help with word choice to find a closer match to the meaning you are trying to communicate. Second, they help you add more variety to your writing and avoid using the same word too often.

What types of synonyms are there?

Synonyms have three main types, depending on how close the meanings of the words are. Absolute synonyms have exactly the same meaning, partial synonyms have similar meanings with only minor differences, and close synonyms have different meanings that are closely related.


What are the 10 synonyms? ›

List of Synonyms
15 more rows

What is definition synonyms in English? ›

synonym. noun. syn·​onym. ˈsin-ə-ˌnim. : a word having the same or almost the same meaning as another word in the same language.

What is synonyms and antonyms definition? ›

Synonyms are words that have the same, or almost the same, meaning as another word. Antonyms are words that have the opposite meaning of another word. Choosing the right synonym refines your writing. Learning common antonyms sharpens your sense of language and expands your vocabulary.

What are 20 examples of synonyms? ›

Synonym Examples A-G
  • ability - capability, competence, skill.
  • achieve - attain, accomplish, realize, reach.
  • angry - furious, irate, livid.
  • appreciate - cherish, treasure, value.
  • baffle - bewilder, confuse, perplex, puzzle.
  • beautiful - attractive, pretty, lovely, stunning.
  • bossy - controlling, domineering, overbearing.

What is an example of synonyms in a sentence? ›

A Synonym is a word that has almost the same meaning as another word. For example, a synonym for beautiful is stunning: She is a beautiful girl. She is a stunning girl.
10 Synonyms
  • The sofa is too BIG for the living room. ...
  • Mice are really TINY animals. ...
  • I HATE spiders, they are horrible. ...
  • This lesson isn't very HARD!
Oct 14, 2011

What is the difference between synonym and word meaning? ›

A basic definition of a synonym is a word that has a similar or identical meaning to another word it is compared to. For example, a synonym for 'big' is 'large'. An antonym on the other hand, is when the second word is opposite to the first one, such as with 'big' compared to 'small'.

What is antonym examples? ›

Antonyms are words that have opposite meanings. For example, an antonym of day is night, and an antonym of on is off. The term antonym comes from antonymy, which is the technical grammar term for words that have contradictory meanings—but you can think of antonyms as opposites.

What are the 10 examples of antonyms? ›

Antonyms are words that have opposite meanings. 10 examples of antonyms that young children may be learn early are hot/cold, up/down, wet/dry, big/small, on/off, front/back, near/far, lock/unlock, heavy/light, happy/sad. Learning about opposites helps your child to deepen their understanding of the world around them.

What are antonym words examples? ›

Antonyms are words with opposite meanings. For example, good and bad. Synonyms are words with similar meanings. For example, tiny & small.

What are the 20 examples of antonyms? ›

List of 130 antonyms
  • Artificial – Natural.
  • Arrive – Depart.
  • Argue – Agree.
  • All – None.
  • Amateur – Professional.
  • Alive – Dead.
  • Advanced – Elementary.
  • Adult – Child.
Jan 11, 2023

What are the 3 types of synonyms? ›

What are the types of synonyms? Synonyms have three main types based on how close the words' meanings are. Absolute synonyms have the exact same meaning, partial synonyms have similar meanings with only subtle differences, and near synonyms have different meanings that are closely related to each other.

How do you know if a word is a synonym? ›

A synonym is simply a word that means the same as the other word in question. These words may not always mean the same as the original word, but they can be closely related to it. It comes from the Greek words “syn” and “onym,” which mean “together” and “name,” respectively.

What are the most used synonyms? ›

synonyms for most used
  • recycled.
  • worn.
  • hand-me-down.
  • nearly new.
  • not new.
  • passed down.
  • pre-owned.

What is the synonym of happy? ›

cheerful, contented, delighted, ecstatic, elated, glad, joyful, joyous, jubilant, lively, merry, overjoyed, peaceful, pleasant, pleased, satisfied, thrilled, upbeat, apt, fortunate.

Can you give an example synonym? ›

Some common synonyms of example are case, illustration, instance, sample, and specimen.

What are 1000 synonyms? ›

synonyms for thousand
  • millenarian.
  • millenary.
  • chiliadal.
  • chiliastic.
  • millennial.
  • millesimal.

What is a synonym for tell me? ›

advise, announce, confess, declare, disclose, explain, express, inform, instruct, mention, notify, order, report, reveal, say, speak, state, summon, portray, recount.

How do I find a word for a definition? ›

use word parts (roots, prefixes, and suffixes) to determine the meaning of an unfamiliar word. use context clues to confirm the meaning of an unfamiliar word. use a graphic organizer to achieve a deeper understanding of specific vocabulary words.

How do you put a word into a definition? ›

The main principle is that both the word and its definition need to be set in either a different type (usually italics) or set inside punctuation marks (usually quotations marks or parentheses) so that they can be distinguished from the rest of the text.

What makes something a definition? ›

A formal definition consists of three parts: The term (word or phrase) to be defined. The class of object or concept to which the term belongs. The differentiating characteristics that distinguish it from all others of its class.

What is a synonym for in simple terms? ›

In simple words or terms. simply put. basically. put simply. in layman's terms.

What are types of synonyms? ›

Types of Synonyms
  • Two-way. Two-way synonyms have the same meaning and return the same search results. ...
  • One-way. A one-way synonym is a subset of a keyword, but with a more specific meaning. ...
  • Best practices. Keep in mind the following best practices to get the most from Live Search synonyms.
Jan 10, 2023

What is a synonym for not same? ›

dissimilar. adjectivenot alike; not capable of comparison. antithetical. antonymous. contradictory.

What is the difference between similar and synonyms? ›

Synonym Chooser

While all three words mean "closely resembling each other," similar implies the possibility of being mistaken for each other. When can analogous be used instead of similar?

What are 30 synonyms? ›

30 Synonyms
  • afraid – scared.
  • angry – mad.
  • child – kid.
  • cold – chilly.
  • difficult – hard.
  • garbage – trash.
  • gift – present.
  • happy – glad.

What are the 50 examples of antonyms? ›

50 More Difficult Antonyms
  • Opposite of Kind: Unkind or Cruel.
  • Opposite of Lazy: Active.
  • Opposite of Victim: Attacker, Assailant.
  • Opposite of Nocturnal: Diurnal.
  • Opposite of Humble: Proud, Overbearing.
  • Opposite of Heavy: Light, Thin, Wispy.
  • Opposite of Selfish: Unselfish, Altruistic, Selfless, Kind.
Nov 15, 2022

What is the synonyms of 15? ›

Alternate Synonyms for "15":
  • fifteen; xv; cardinal.
  • fifteen; XV; large integer.

What are the 100 examples of antonyms? ›

List of 130 antonyms
  • Artificial – Natural.
  • Arrive – Depart.
  • Argue – Agree.
  • All – None.
  • Amateur – Professional.
  • Alive – Dead.
  • Advanced – Elementary.
  • Adult – Child.
Jan 11, 2023

What are 5 synonyms for small? ›

synonyms for small
  • cramped.
  • limited.
  • meager.
  • microscopic.
  • miniature.
  • minuscule.
  • modest.
  • narrow.

What is the longest synonym? ›

adj.interminable, excessive in length.

What is the opposite of clever? ›

The antonyms for clever are a fool, stupid, dumb, stupid, goofy, silly, etc.

What are the 20 antonyms? ›

List of Antonyms
15 more rows

What is a synonym for big scandal? ›

Some common synonyms of scandal are crime, offense, sin, and vice.

What is a synonym for birthday? ›

celebration. nouncommemoration of occasion, achievement. anniversary. bash.

What is a synonym for very easy? ›

Some common synonyms of easy are effortless, facile, light, simple, and smooth. While all these words mean "not demanding effort or involving difficulty," easy is applicable either to persons or things imposing tasks or to activity required by such tasks.


1. What Is A Synonym? (Synonym Examples and Synonym Meaning)
(English With Nate)
2. Synonyms | Award Winning Synonym Teaching Video | What are Synonyms?
(GrammarSongs by Melissa)
3. Learn 150 Common Synonyms Words in English to Improve your Vocabulary
(English Mastery)
4. What is synonymy | Definition| examples|Synoyms & synonymy difference|Where and How to use synonyms?
(Muhammad Ullah Official)
5. Synonyms in English grammar what are synonyms urdu hindi synonymous meanings Lesson no 54 by WAHEED
(waheed hassan)
6. 50 Synonyms words in english | what is synonyms of | English synonyms
(Silent Writer)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Pres. Carey Rath

Last Updated: 14/09/2023

Views: 5989

Rating: 4 / 5 (61 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Pres. Carey Rath

Birthday: 1997-03-06

Address: 14955 Ledner Trail, East Rodrickfort, NE 85127-8369

Phone: +18682428114917

Job: National Technology Representative

Hobby: Sand art, Drama, Web surfing, Cycling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Leather crafting, Creative writing

Introduction: My name is Pres. Carey Rath, I am a faithful, funny, vast, joyous, lively, brave, glamorous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.