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Does a term exist for the class of words in English that have no exact synonyms (duodecimal, petrichor, labrador, to cite a few random examples)? This would be that class of words for which a thesaurus could provide only a circumlocution.

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  • The existence of such a class is highly questionable in the first place. To a first approximation, I don't think English actually has true complete synonyms. Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 17:41
  • The word for words that have no exact synonyms is ... 'word'. There are no exact synonyms, except maybe in domains with stipulated definitions like math and scientific/technical fields.
    – Mitch
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 18:11
  • I think non-synonym or non-synonymous works
    – haha
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 18:20
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    Simply "unique"?
    – user116295
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 19:09
  • So, Swadesh lists, or Swadesh 100, is known to Wictionary, Wikipedia, and Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics but not apparently to Merriam-Webster or Oxford on line. Thanks ermanem for the link. Another basic vocabulary list was developed for Ladybird Books.
    – Hugh
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 20:11

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