A synonym is a word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another lexeme (word or phrase) in the same language. Words that are synonyms are said to be synonymous, and the state of being a synonym is called synonymy. For example, the words begin, start, commence, and initiate are all synonyms of one another. Words are typically synonymous in one particular sense: for example, long and extended in the context long time or extended time are synonymous, but long cannot be used in the phrase extended family. Synonyms with the exact same meaning share a seme or denotational sememe, whereas those with inexactly similar meanings share a broader denotational or connotational sememe and thus overlap within a semantic field. The former are sometimes called cognitive synonyms and the latter, near-synonyms[2], plesionyms[3] or poecilonyms[4].

Library of Ashurbanipal synonym list tablet
Synonym list in cuneiform on a clay tablet, Neo-Assyrian period[1]


Some lexicographers claim that no synonyms have exactly the same meaning (in all contexts or social levels of language) because etymology, orthography, phonic qualities, connotations, ambiguous meanings, usage, and so on make them unique. Different words that are similar in meaning usually differ for a reason: feline is more formal than cat; long and extended are only synonyms in one usage and not in others (for example, a long arm is not the same as an extended arm). Synonyms are also a source of euphemisms.

Metonymy can sometimes be a form of synonymy: the White House is used as a synonym of the administration in referring to the U.S. executive branch under a specific president. Thus a metonym is a type of synonym, and the word metonym is a hyponym of the word synonym.

The analysis of synonymy, polysemy, hyponymy, and hypernymy is inherent to taxonomy and ontology in the information-science senses of those terms.[5] It has applications in pedagogy and machine learning, because they rely on word-sense disambiguation.


The word comes from Ancient Greek sýn (σύν; "with") and ónoma (ὄνομα; "name").


Synonyms can be any part of speech, as long as both words belong to the same part of speech. Examples:

  • noun
    • drink and beverage
  • verb
    • buy and purchase
  • adjective
    • big and large
  • adverb
    • quickly and speedily
  • preposition
    • on and upon

Synonyms are defined with respect to certain senses of words: pupil as the aperture in the iris of the eye is not synonymous with student. Such like, he expired means the same as he died, yet my passport has expired cannot be replaced by my passport has died.

In English, many synonyms emerged in the Middle Ages, after the Norman conquest of England. While England's new ruling class spoke Norman French, the lower classes continued to speak Old English (Anglo-Saxon). Thus, today we have synonyms like the Norman-derived people, liberty and archer, and the Saxon-derived folk, freedom and bowman. For more examples, see the list of Germanic and Lat

Latinate equivalents in English.

A thesaurus lists similar or related words; these are often, but not always, synonyms.

  • The word poecilonym is a rare synonym of the word synonym. It is not entered in most major dictionaries and is a curiosity or piece of trivia for being an autological word because of its meta quality as a synonym of synonym.
  • Antonyms are words with opposite or nearly opposite meanings. For example: hotcold, largesmall, thickthin, synonymantonym
  • Hypernyms and hyponyms are words that refer to, respectively, a general category and a specific instance of that category. For example, vehicle is a hypernym of car, and car is a hyponym of vehicle.
  • Homophones are words that have the same pronunciation, but different meanings. For example, witch and which are homophones in most accents (because they are pronounced the same).
  • Homographs are words that have the same spelling, but have different pronunciations. For example, one can record a song or keep a record of documents.
  • Homonyms are words that have the same pronunciation and spelling, but have different meanings. For example, rose (a type of flower) and rose (past tense of rise) are homonyms.

See also


  1. ^ K.4375
  2. ^ Stanojević, Maja (2009), "Cognitive synonymy: a general overview" (PDF), Facta Universitatis, Linguistics and Literature series, 7 (2): 193–200.
  3. ^ DiMarco, Chrysanne, and Graeme Hirst. "Usage notes as the basis for a representation of near-synonymy for lexical choice." Proceedings of 9th annual conference of the University of Waterloo Centre for the New Oxford English Dictionary and Text Research. 1993.
  4. ^ Grambs, David. The Endangered English Dictionary: Bodacious Words Your Dictionary Forgot. WW Norton & Company, 1997.
  5. ^ Hirst, Graeme. "Ontology and the lexicon." Handbook on ontologies. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2009. 269-292.

External links

Tools which graph words relations:

  • Graph Words – Online tool for visualization word relations
  • – Online reference resource that provides instant synonyms and antonyms definitions including visualizations, voice pronunciations and translations
  • English/French Semantic Atlas – Graph words relations in English, French and gives cross representations for translations – offers 500 searches per user per day.

Plain words synonyms finder:


The Buccinidae are a very large and diverse taxonomic family of large sea snails, often known as whelks or true whelks.The family includes more than 1500 species.


Buccinoidea is a taxonomic superfamily of very small to large predatory sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks.

This superfamily is in the clade Neogastropoda according to the taxonomy of the Gastropoda (Bouchet & Rocroi, 2005). It had been placed within the infraorder Neogastropoda according to the taxonomy of the Gastropoda (Ponder & Lindberg, 1997).


Calliostoma is a genus of small to medium-sized sea snails with gills and an operculum, marine gastropod molluscs within the family Calliostomatidae, the Calliostoma top snails (according to the taxonomy of Gastropoda by Bouchet & Rocroi (2005)). Previously this genus was placed within the family Trochidae. Calliostoma is the type genus of the family Calliostomatidae.

The name of this genus is derived from the Greek words kallos (beautiful) and stoma (mouth), referring to the pearly aperture of the shell. The genus Calliostoma is known in fossil records from the Upper Cretaceous onwards.The distribution of this genus is worldwide, found mainly on hard substrates, although Japanese species have been found on sandy bottoms. These snails occur from shallow waters to bathyal depths.

The species in this genus are mainly herbivorous or feed on detritus, although a few have been observed to be omnivorous (Keen, 1975) or even carnivorous, feeding on a wide range of algae and on animals belonging to various other invertebrate phyla. The North Atlantic topshell Calliostoma occidentale has been reported to feed on coelenterates.Contrary to what is the case in most other top shells, Calliostoma deposits its eggs in gelatinous ribbons that are only fertilized after being deposited. The young emerge as small snails (Lebour, 1936) without passing through a free-living planktonic stage as a veliger larva.


Calliostomatidae is a family of sea snails within the superfamily Trochoidea and the clade Vetigastropoda.


Conidae (also previously referred to as Coninae), with the current common name of "cone snails," is a taxonomic family (previously subfamily) of predatory sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the superfamily Conoidea.

The 2014 classification of the superfamily Conoidea, groups only cone snails in the family Conidae. Some previous classifications grouped the cone snails in a subfamily, the Coninae.

Conidae currently (March 2015) contains over 800 recognized species. Working in 18th-century Europe, Carl Linnaeus knew of only 30 species that are still considered valid.

The snails within this family are sophisticated predatory animals. They hunt and immobilize prey using a modified radular tooth along with a venom gland containing neurotoxins; the tooth is launched out of the snail's mouth in a harpoon-like action.

Because all cone snails are venomous and capable of "stinging" humans, live ones should be handled with great care or preferably not at all.


Conoidea is a superfamily of predatory sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks within the suborder Hypsogastropoda. This superfamily is a very large group of marine mollusks, estimated at about 340 recent valid genera and subgenera, and considered by one authority to contain 4,000 named living species.This superfamily includes the turrids, the terebras (also known as auger snails or auger shells) and the cones or cone snails. The phylogenetic relationships within this superfamily are poorly established. Several families (especially the Turridae), subfamilies and genera are thought to be polyphyletic.In contrast to Puillandre's estimate, Bandyopadhyay et al. (2008) estimated that the superfamily Conoidea contains about 10,000 species. Tucker (2004) even speaks of 11,350 species in the group of taxa commonly referred to as turrids. 3000 recent taxa are potentially valid species. Little more than half of the known taxa are fossil species. Many species are little known and need more investigation to find their exact systematic place.Most species in this superfamily are small to medium, with shell lengths between 3 mm and 50 mm. They occur in diverse marine habitats from tropical waters to the poles, in shallow or deep waters, and on hard to soft substrates.

The superfamily is known for its toxoglossan radula, which is used to inject powerful neurotoxins into its prey. This makes these species powerful carnivorous predators on annelid, other mollusc and even fish.

Within the superfamily there are four somewhat different varieties of radula. The radula types are as follows:

Type 1 Drilliidae type: five teeth in each row with comb-like lateral teeth and flat-pointed marginal teeth

Type 2 Turridae s.l. type: two or three teeth in a row with the marginal teeth being of the duplex or wishbone form.

Type 3 Pseudomelatomidae type: two or three teeth in a row with curved and solid marginal teeth.

Type 4 hypodermic type: two hollow, enrolled, marginal teeth in each row with an absent or reduced radular membrane.In 2009, a proposed new classification of this superfamily was published by John K. Tucker and Manuel J. Tenorio. In 2011, a new classification of this superfamily was published by Bouchet et al. Both classifications were based upon cladistical analyses and included modern taxonomic molecular phylogeny studies.


Eulimidae is a family of very small parasitic sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the superfamily Vanikoroidea.


The Fasciolariidae, common name the "tulip snails and spindle snails", are a family of small to large sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the superfamily Buccinoidea.

The family Fasciolariidae probably appeared about 110 million years ago during the Cretaceous


Fissurellidae, common name the keyhole limpets and slit limpets, is a taxonomic family of limpet-like sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the clade Vetigastropoda.

Their common name derives from the small hole in the apex of their cone-like shells. Although superficially resembling "true" limpets, they are in fact not closely related to them.

List of dinosaur genera

This list of dinosaurs is a comprehensive listing of all genera that have ever been included in the superorder Dinosauria, excluding class Aves (birds, both living and those known only from fossils) and purely vernacular terms.

The list includes all commonly accepted genera, but also genera that are now considered invalid, doubtful (nomen dubium), or were not formally published (nomen nudum), as well as junior synonyms of more established names, and genera that are no longer considered dinosaurs. Many listed names have been reclassified as everything from birds to crocodilians to petrified wood. The list contains 1559 names, of which approximately 1192 are considered either valid dinosaur genera or nomina dubia.


Mangeliidae is a monophyletic family of small to medium-sized, predatory sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the superfamily Conoidea.

Prior to 2011, both the subfamilies Mangeliinae and Oenopotinae had been placed in the family Conidae. In 2011, Bouchet, Kantor et al merged the two subfamilies into one taxon, which they elevated to the rank of family. This was based on anatomical characters and a dataset of molecular sequences of three gene fragments.Mangeliidae is a sister-clade to the family Raphitomidae As with their relatives in the family Conidae, species in the family Mangelidae use potent venoms to catch their prey. Through this characteristic, they are of interest in pharmacological research.


Muricoidea is a taxonomic superfamily of predatory sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the clade Neogastropoda.This superfamily includes the murex snails, the chank snails, the dove snails, the volutes, the harp snails, the margin snails, the miters, and others.


Pyramidellidae, common name the pyram family, or pyramid shells, is a voluminous taxonomic family of mostly small and minute ectoparasitic sea snails, marine heterobranch gastropod molluscs. The great majority of species of pyrams are micromolluscs.

The pyram family is distributed worldwide with more than 6,000 named species in more than 350 nominal genera and subgenera.This family of micromollusks has been little studied and the phylogenetic relationships within the family are not well worked out. There is an absence of a general consensus regarding which species belong to a specific genus or subgenus, contributing to much confusion. Schander (1999) names more than 300 supraspecific names. As there has been no serious generic revision of the genera worldwide, generic polyphyly can be expected to be rampant throughout the family. However, the family itself is deemed monophyletic.The family is currently divided into 11 subfamilies (Ponder & Lindberg 1997). An alternative interpretation is that the family Pyramidellidae is but one of six families within the superfamily Pyramidelloidea (Schander, van Aartsen & Corgan 1999). Many species are rare or infrequently recorded.


Raphitomidae is a family of small to medium-sized sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the superfamily Conoidea.Bouchet, Kantor et al. elevated in 2011 the subfamily Raphitominae (which at that point had been placed in the family Conidae) to the rank of family. This was based on a cladistical analysis of shell morphology, radular characteristics, anatomical characters, and a dataset of molecular sequences of three gene fragments.


Rissoidae is a large family of very small and minute sea snails with an operculum, marine gastropod mollusks in the superfamily Rissooidea and the order Littorinimorpha.

Synonym (taxonomy)

In scientific nomenclature, a synonym is a scientific name that applies to a taxon that (now) goes by a different scientific name, although the term is used somewhat differently in the zoological code of nomenclature. For example, Linnaeus was the first to give a scientific name (under the currently used system of scientific nomenclature) to the Norway spruce, which he called Pinus abies. This name is no longer in use: it is now a synonym of the current scientific name, Picea abies.

Unlike synonyms in other contexts, in taxonomy a synonym is not interchangeable with the name of which it is a synonym. In taxonomy, synonyms are not equals, but have a different status. For any taxon with a particular circumscription, position, and rank, only one scientific name is considered to be the correct one at any given time (this correct name is to be determined by applying the relevant code of nomenclature). A synonym cannot exist in isolation: it is always an alternative to a different scientific name. Given that the correct name of a taxon depends on the taxonomic viewpoint used (resulting in a particular circumscription, position and rank) a name that is one taxonomist's synonym may be another taxonomist's correct name (and vice versa).

Synonyms may arise whenever the same taxon is described and named more than once, independently. They may also arise when existing taxa are changed, as when two taxa are joined to become one, a species is moved to a different genus, a variety is moved to a different species, etc. Synonyms also come about when the codes of nomenclature change, so that older names are no longer acceptable; for example, Erica herbacea L. has been rejected in favour of Erica carnea L. and is thus its synonym.


The Trochidae, common name top-snails or top-shells, are a taxonomic family of very small to large sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the clade Vetigastropoda (according to the taxonomy of the Gastropoda by Bouchet & Rocroi from 2005).

This family is commonly known as the "top-snails" because in many species the shell resembles a toy spinning top.

Trochoidea (superfamily)

Trochoidea is a superfamily of small to very large vetigastropod sea snails with gills and an operculum. Species within this superfamily have nacre as the inner shell layer. The families within this superfamily include the Trochidae, the top snails. This superfamily is the largest vetigastropodan superfamily, containing more than 2,000 species.This taxon is not the same as a pulmonate land snail genus which is spelled the same way: Trochoidea (genus).


Turbonilla is a large genus of ectoparasitic sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Pyramidellidae, the pyrams and their allies.

Major terms
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