Let me explain my question. The word "run" has quite a few meanings but a large number has to do with the main meaning, whether we talk of journey or water running or running into another person, etc.

I'm interested in list of words with most meanings, but most "distinct" meanings or definitions or etymologies. Or to know if there is a name for what I'm looking for.

For instance the word "bat" means an animal but its second meanings (baseball bat) are unrelated. Or "punch" where three of its meanings are distinct: punch as drink, punch as strike with fist, and punch as a character. Etc.

  • 1
    Words with multiple distinct, unrelated meanings are called ambiguous or, more specifically, homonymous. Words with multiple, related meanings are called polysemous. (But some people use "ambiguous" more broadly.) Maybe that will help you on your hero's quest...
    – DyingIsFun
    Jul 16, 2016 at 3:50
  • 1
    As far as the names for these words: it's one or more of: homophone (same pronunciation, different meaning) homograph (same spelling, different meaning), heteronym (different pronunciation, different meaning)
    – Jim
    Jul 16, 2016 at 3:54


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