Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceHomework Help · 1 decade ago

describe a synonym and a antonym?

14 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
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    Synonyms (in ancient Greek syn 'συν' = plus and onoma 'όνομα' = name) are different words with similar or identical meanings and are interchangeable. Antonyms are words with opposite or nearly opposite meanings. (Synonym and antonym are antonyms.)

    An example of synonyms are the words cat and feline. Each describes any member of the family Felidae. Similarly, if we talk about a long time or an extended time, long and extended become synonyms.

    In the figurative sense, two words are often said to be synonymous if they have the same connotation:

    "a widespread impression that … Hollywood was synonymous with immorality" (Doris Kearns Goodwin)

    Synonyms can be nouns, adverbs or adjectives, as long as both members of the pair are the same part of speech.

    More examples of English synonyms:

    baby and infant (noun)

    student and pupil (noun)

    pretty and attractive (adjective)

    sick and ill (adjective)

    interesting and fascinating (adjective)

    quickly and speedily (adverb)

    Note that the synonyms are defined with respect to certain senses of words; for instance, pupil as the "aperture in the iris of the eye" is not synonymous with student. Similarly, expired as "having lost validity" (as in grocery goods) doesn't necessarily mean death.

    Some lexicographers claim that no synonyms have exactly the same meaning (in all contexts or social levels of language) because etymology, orthography, phonic qualities, ambiguous meanings, usage, etc. make them unique. However, many people feel that the synonyms they use are identical in meaning for all practical purposes. 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, such as a long arm and an extended arm. Synonyms are also a source of euphemisms.

    The purpose of a thesaurus is to offer the user a listing of similar or related words; these are often, but not always, synonyms. In a way, hyponyms are similar to synonyms.

    In contrast, antonyms (an opposite pair) would be:

    dead and alive (compare to synonyms: dead and deceased)

    near and far (compare to synonyms: near and close)

    war and peace (compare to synonyms: war and armed conflict)

    tremendous and awful (compare to synonyms: tremendous and remarkable)

    In biology, synonym is used with a closely defined meaning, different for animals and plants, see synonym (zoology) and synonym (botany).

    Auto-antonyms are the same words that can mean the opposite of themselves under different contexts or having separate definitions

    enjoin (to prohibit, issue injunction; to order, command)

    fast (moving quickly; fixed firmly in place)

    cleave (to split; to adhere)

    sanction (punishment, prohibition ; permission)

    stay (remain in a specific place, postpone; guide direction, movement)

    Although the word antonym was only coined by philologists in the 19th century, such relationships are a fundamental part of a language, in contrast to synonyms, which are a result of history and drawing of fine distinctions, or homonyms, which are mostly etymological accidents or coincidences.

    Languages often have ways of creating antonyms as an easy extension of lexicon. An example is the English prefixes in- and un-. Unreal is the antonym of real and indocile is of docile.

    Some planned languages abundantly use such devices to reduce vocabulary multiplication. Esperanto has mal- (compare bona = "good" and malbona = "bad"), Damin has kuri- (tjitjuu "small", kuritjitjuu "large") and Newspeak has un- (as in ungood, "bad").

  • owen
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Describe Antonym

  • 5 years ago

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    describe a synonym and a antonym?

    Source(s): describe synonym antonym:
  • 1 decade ago

    Synonym = a word having the same or nearly the same meaning

    Antonym = a word meaning the opposite




    Synonym for Happy - Glad, cheerful, joyful, delighted

    Antonym for Happy - Sad, unhappy, sorry, depressed

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  • Bart S
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    A synonym has more or less the same meaning as the original word and an antonym carries the opposite meaning.

  • 1 decade ago



    1.a word having the same or nearly the same meaning as another in the language, as joyful, elated, glad.



    a word opposite in meaning to another. Fast is an antonym of slow. Compare synonym (def. 1).

  • Melli
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    describe synonym antonym

  • 1 decade ago

    a synonym means the same and an antonym means the opposite

  • 1 decade ago

    synonym is a word that has the same meaning as another word.

    antonym is a word that has the opposite meaning of a word.

    Source(s): I'm a double English/History major :)
  • 1 decade ago

    a synonym is a word that is alike

    A antonym is a word that is the opposite

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