I was discussing with some friends about synonyms when we found, that ironically nobody of us knew any synonyms to the word "synonym" itself. Are there any?

  • 5
    There are -kinds- of synonyms, also hyponym, hypernym, metonym, analog, equivalent...
    – Mitch
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 14:32
  • we used to use the word "slot" because the exercise in school was "slotting" -- finding equivalent, replacement words
    – rosends
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 14:55
  • 10
    Meanwhile, synonym is an antonym of antonym.
    – Jon Hanna
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 16:52
  • 1
    Aside: english.stackexchange.com/questions/75870/… Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 20:14
  • I'd caution anyone planning to adopt Dan't term, I didn't go to his school and would have had no idea what it meant. :)
    – Spagirl
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 15:24

6 Answers 6


A thesaurus gives analogue as the definition for synonym and equivalent and metonym as synonyms.


synonym for synonym is equivalent term

Ref :< http://naseerhaider.blogspot.com/2013/06/synonym-for-synonym.html>


The synonym of synonym is "poecilonym"

  • 2
    Why the downvote? This is a perfectly good answer—while very obscure (and utterly impossible to type), ‘poecilonym’ is indeed a synonym for ‘synonym’. Commented Aug 12, 2013 at 9:21

I think that you could only find an antonym, which is, in fact, 'Antonym'... 'Equal' 'The Same' 'Exact' 'Similar' or 'Equivalent' are some words and phrases that could be used, however I can't provide you with a perfect answer.


I would disagree: Greek poikilos means varied, diverse, not "same". Poicilonymy is the use of different words to refer to the same thing, in literary texts usually known as 'elegant variation'.

A metonym is an associated term used as a substitute for 'the real thing': 'reports from number 10' for 'reports from the Prime Minister's Office'. Paronym would be the neatest but, along with heteronym, it has been made a term of linguistics for specific types of (near) synonyms or equivalents, but how technical do you want to get?

It's surprising, given how much it was hammered into us at school 50 years ago that there were few exact synonyms, that there isn't a term for words with near-identical meanings. Lancelot Hogben in The Mother Tongue, 1964 (read it, everyone) uses/invents paranym, which I haven't been able to find in a dictionary but is, I think, the nearest to what we're looking for, or at least a useful word. He defines it (P276) as: words that share a common meaning but have widely different alternative meanings, eg but/yet:

BUT: 1. YET; 2. except.
YET: 1. TILL NOW/THEN; 2. but.

What about homeonym? If we concentrate on meaning rather than name, then we could have homeosemy alongside polysemy.

  • Is "homeonym" your own invention? I think the idea behind "poecilonym" is that the words are varied, but the meaning is the same.
    – herisson
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 14:11

A quick Google search of define synonym brought the following synonyms: alternate, substitute, alternative, equivalent, euphemism

Wikitionary and Sunil Raina suggest poecilonym.

Thesaurus.com give metonym as a synonym for synonym.

Equivalent term (or word) is suggested by Synonymy.

Merriam-Webster has homonym as a third choice.

Proxy just might not reflect the main idea...

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