Appendix:English autological terms

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A word is autological or homological if it describes itself. Since adjectives are words that are designed to describe things, including words, most autological words are adjectives.

Other parts of speech may be autological: Nouns and verbs can also be self-descriptive, though not in the same way that adjectives are; phrases may be autological, e.g., “three words long” is three words long; likewise acronyms may be, like TLA for “three letter acronym" (though TLA is an initialism) or RAS syndrome (the first part of which can be read as either an acronym or an initialism) for "redundant acronym syndrome syndrome".

A word which is not autological is heterological, except the word “heterological” itself, which logically cannot be either – see the Grelling–Nelson paradox. The word “autological” itself may be taken, without contradiction, to be either autological or heterological – see Grelling–Nelson paradox#Autological.

The main list of autological words is Category:English autological terms; below find discussions of words that are autological in certain contexts or require explanation.


Depending on context[edit]

Depending on inclusion or frequency[edit]

Depending on order or position[edit]

Depending on format or delivery[edit]

Computer programming and websites[edit]

  • editable (in a wiki-based online encyclopedia)
  • linking (in an online encyclopedia)
  • QmFzZTY0 ('Base64' in Base64)
  • true when used as a string literal in most programming languages (non-empty strings usually evaluate to true when converted to boolean)
  • string

Dependent on an error[edit]

  • misspellings of "misspelt" etc
  • mispronunciations of "mispronounced"
  • keying errors when writing "typo" or "typos"

Previously autological[edit]


Depending on context[edit]

Computer programming and websites[edit]

Dependent on an error[edit]

  • mispronunciations of "mispronunciation"
  • keying errors when writing "typo" or "typos"

Previously autological[edit]

  • neologism used to be autological, but no longer is


Other parts of speech[edit]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]