Synonyms: What They Are and How To Use Them

Do you know what a synonym is? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on synonyms, including its definition, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What are synonyms?

According to Your Dictionary, synonyms are words that have the same or a similar meaning. These are the opposite of antonyms of words, which are two words that have the opposite meaning. When choosing a synonym, make sure to take into consideration both the denotative meaning and then connotative meaning. Make sure you do not confuse a synonym with a homonym – homonyms, homographs and homophones are words that look and sound alike, but have different meanings. Synonyms are different words with the same meaning. A word cannot be both a homonym/homophone and a synonym – these would just be the same word. You can find synonyms in a thesaurus. This part of speech is useful for expanding your vocabulary and avoiding repeating yourself. Learning new words and their pronunciation with resources like a Thesaurus is very useful.

As for the etymology of the word synonym, or synonymy, it uses the root syn, which means same or alike. This word comes from the Middle English sinonyme and the Latin synōnymum. According to Thought Co, synonyms are often some from the different strata making up a language. Synonyms saw a rise in the English language during the Norman conquest when the ruling class spoke Norman French and the lower classes continued to speak Old English. As a result, the Norman-originated word people exists alongside the Saxon-derived folk. Other types of synonyms include near-synonyms, plesionyms or poecilonyms. Other parts of speech and figurative tools  include interjections, conjunctions, adverbs, a preposition, metonym, scientific names, taxonomic name, pronouns and more. 

Many different languages also contain words that mean synonyms. You may notice that some of these translations of synonyms look and sound similar to one another. These are called cognates, which are words and phrases in different languages that likely have the same root or language of origin, causing them to sound the same. The below list of translations of synonyms is provided by Word Sense

  •  Cyrillic: истозначница‎ (fem.), сино̀нӣм‎ (masc.)
  •  Polish: synonim‎ (m-in)
  •  Volapük: leigasinifavöd‎
  •  Georgian: სინონიმი‎
  •  French: synonyme‎ (masc.)
  •  Bulgarian: сино́ним‎ (masc.)
  •  Welsh: cyfystyr‎ (masc.), gair cyfystyr‎ (masc.)
  •  Walloon: sinonime‎ (masc.), Piron-parey‎ (masc.)
  •  Hungarian: szinonima‎
  •  Armenian: հոմանիշ‎
  •  Esperanto: sinonimo‎
  •  German: Gleichwort‎ (neut.), Synonym‎ (neut.), Synonymum‎ (neut.)
  •  Portuguese: sinónimo‎ (Portugal), sinônimo‎ (Brazil)
  •  Finnish: synonyymi‎
  •  Maori: kupu taurite‎
  •  Korean: 동의어‎, 유의어‎
  •  Romanian: sinonim‎ (neut.)
  •  Hindi: पर्याय‎, पर्यायवाची‎ (paryāyvācī), समानार्थी शब्द‎ (samānārthī śabd)
  •  Ido: sinonimo‎
  •  Latvian: sinonīms‎ (masc.)
  •  Estonian: sünonüüm‎
  •  Japanese: 同義語‎ (どうぎご, dōgigo) (same), 類義語‎ (るいぎご, ruigigo) (similar)
  •  Macedonian: синоним‎ (masc.)
  •  Icelandic: samheiti‎ (neut.)
  •  Lithuanian: sinonìmas‎ (masc.)
  •  Persian: هم‌معنی‎ (ham-ma’ni), مترادف‎ (motarâdef)
  •  Uyghur: مەنىداش سۆز‎
  •  Bengali: প্রতিশব্দ‎ (prôtishôbdô)
  •  Italian: sinonimo‎ (masc.)
  •  Khmer: ន័យដូច‎ (ney dooch)
  •  Spanish: sinónimo‎ (masc.)
  •  Arabic: مُرَادِف‎ (masc.), مُرَادِفَات‎
  •  Galician: sinónimo‎ (masc.)
  •  Vietnamese: từ đồng nghĩa‎
  •  Azeri: sinonim‎
  •  Tagalog: singkahulugan‎
  •  Thai: ไวพจน์‎ (wai-pót), คำพ้องความ‎ (kam-pɔ́ɔng-kwaam)
  •  Slovene: sopomenka‎ (fem.), sinonim‎ (masc.)
  •  Swedish: synonym‎ (common), liktyding‎ (common)
  •  Belarusian: сіно́нім‎ (masc.)
  •  Greek: συνώνυμο‎ (neut.)
  •  Dutch: synoniem‎ (neut.), evenwoord‎ (neut.)
  •  Danish: synonym‎ (neut.)
  •  Catalan: sinònim‎ (masc.)
  •  Kazakh: синоним‎
  •  Turkish: sinonim‎
  •  Roman: istòznačnica‎ (fem.), sinònīm‎ (masc.)
  •  Czech: synonymum‎ (neut.), slovo souznačné‎ (neut.)
  •  Slovak: synonymum‎ (neut.)
  •  Asturian: sinónimu‎ (masc.)
  •  Swahili: kisawe‎
  •  Malay: synonim‎, kata seerti‎, sinonim‎, muradif‎
  •  Russian: сино́ним‎ (masc.)
  •  Ukrainian: сино́нім‎ (masc.)
  •  Mandarin: 同義詞‎, 同义词‎ (tóngyìcí), 代名詞‎, 代名词‎ (dàimíngcí), 近義詞‎, 近义词‎ (jìnyìcí) (near-synonym)

What are examples of synonyms?

Synonyms can be used in many different contexts in the English language. Trying to use a word or literary technique in a sentence is one of the best ways to memorize what it is, but you can also try making flashcards or quizzes that test your knowledge. Try using this term of the day in a sentence today! Below are a couple of examples of synonym lists from Your Dictionary that can help get you started incorporating this tool into your everyday use. 

  •  fun – entertaining, enjoyable, pleasurable
  •  but – although, besides, though
  •  weak – frail, infirm, puny, fragile
  •  quote – repeat, recite, price
  •  hero – protagonist, main character
  •  however – nevertheless, nonetheless, yet
  •  quality – excellent, attribute, characteristic, trait
  •  bossy – controlling, domineering, overbearing
  •  outgoing – friendly, sociable, warm, extroverted
  •  zealous – ardent, fervent,
  •  zone – area, region, region, sector
  •  fair – just, objective, impartial, unbiased
  •  focus – center, cornerstone, focal point
  •  youth – minor, youngster, you person
  •  yes – agreed, certainly, affirmative, indeed
  •  yummy – delicious, flavorful, tasty
  •  funny – humorous, comical, hilarious, hysterical
  •  strong – stable, secure, solid, tough
  •  hate – abhor, loathe, detest, despise
  •  boat – yacht, ship, sailboat
  •  unhappy – sad, depressed, melancholy, miserable
  •  goal – intent, purpose, target
  •  true – genuine, factual, accurate, correct, real
  •  love – attachment, deep affection, paramour
  •  lucky – auspicious, fortunate, fortuitous
  •  good – acceptable, satisfactory
  •  exam – test, quiz
  •  ticket – fine, fee, punishment
  •  coward – weakling, scaredy cat, pansy
  •  intelligent – smart, bright, brilliant, sharp
  •  happy – content, joyful, mirthful, upbeat
  •  honest – honorable, fair, sincere, trustworthy
  •  introverted – shy, bashful, quiet, withdrawn
  •  angry – furious, irate, livid
  •  turbulent – disordered, violent, unsettled
  •  job – position, occupation, role
  •  hardworking – diligent, determined, industrious, enterprising
  •  create – generate, make, produce
  •  question – query, inquire, inquiry
  •  hypocrisy – duplicity, falseness, deceit
  •  nice – pleasant, personable, agreeable
  •  ability – capability, competence, skill
  •  judge – conclude, determine, decide, gauge
  •  recalcitrant – obstinate, stubborn, ungovernable
  •  money – cash, currency, capital, funds
  •  kind – thoughtful, considerate, amiable, gracious
  •  effective – functional, operational, successful
  •  important – required, vital, essential, primary, significant, critical
  •  baffle – bewilder, confuse, perplex, puzzle
  •  cold – chilly, chilled, wintry
  •  key – critical, crucial, fundamental,
  •  great – exceptional, extraordinary
  •  develop – enlarge, evolve, expand, grow
  •  example – illustration, like, such as
  •  quarantine – seclusion, separation, confinement, isolation
  •  mean – unfriendly, unpleasant, bad-tempered, difficult
  •  need – require, must-have, necessity
  •  challenge – dispute, question
  •  knowledge – awareness, comprehension, understanding
  •  zero – nil, nothing, zilch
  •  cute – adorable, delightful, endearing
  •  rich – affluent, wealthy, well-off, well-to-do
  •  difficult – grueling, hard, strenuous
  •  negative – fatalistic, pessimistic, refusal
  •  valid – authorized, legitimate, authentic
  •  positive – optimistic, cheerful, starry-eyed, sanguine
  •  more – additional, further, supplemental
  •  justify – substantiate, show cause, demonstrate
  •  achieve – attain, accomplish, realize, reach
  •  qualified – eligible, meets requirements, competent
  •  excited – exhilarated, electrified, thrilled
  •  lazy – idle, lackadaisical, lethargic, indolent
  •  beautiful – attractive, pretty, lovely, stunning
  •  journey – trip, travel, trek
  •  opportunity – chance, possibility, shot
  •  appreciate – cherish, treasure, value
  •  pacify – appease, placate, mollify
  •  old – antiquated, ancient, obsolete, extinct
  •  xenophobia – intolerance, ethnocentrism, isolationism
  •  different – dissimilar, distinct, unusual

Overall, a synonym is a word with the same definition as another word.


  1. Examples of Synonyms From AZ (Plus Worksheet) | Your Dictionary 
  2. synonym: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  3. What Is a Synonym? Definition and Examples | Thought Co