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synonym (SIN-uh-nim) noun

1. A word having the same or nearly the same meaning as another word or other words in a language.

2. A word or an expression that serves as a figurative or symbolic substitute for another.

3. A scientific name of an organism or of a taxonomic group that has been superseded by another name at the same rank.

[Middle English sinonyme, from Old French synonyme, from Latin synonymum, from Greek sunonumon, from neuter of sunonumos, synonymous.]

"The big shift in the last 20 years has been from the public to the private sector. The word `public' has become a synonym for corruption and futility. All things bright and beautiful flow forth from the clear stream of the private sector." Clark, Josh; Krasny, Michael; Walljasper, Jay, 20 ways we've changed, Mother Jones, 11 Jan 1996.

Why doesn't synonym have any synonyms?

Imagine for a moment that words were living breathing things you could speak with. Which words would you like to meet? What would you ask them? In this week's AWAD you'll see seven words to get you started. For some more tongue-in-cheek questions about words that make one ask why see the theme, "Words that go out of their way not to apply to themselves" in the AWAD archives: https://www.wordsmith.org/awad/themes.html -Anu


My wife and I were happy for 20 years - then we met. -Rodney Dangerfield

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