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See also: Homonym



From homo- +‎ -onym.



homonym (plural homonyms)

  1. (semantics, strict sense) A word that both sounds and is spelled the same as another word but has a different meaning.
  2. (loosely) A word that sounds or is spelled the same as another word but has a different meaning, technically called a homophone (same sound) or a homograph (same spelling).
  3. (taxonomy) A name for a taxon that is identical in spelling to another name that belongs to a different taxon.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Homonyms (in the looser sense) are divided into the two overlapping subcategories homographs and homophones. Examples:
    • die and dye (homophones but not homographs)
    • the parasitic flatworm called a fluke and fluke, part of the tail of a whale (both homophones and homographs and therefore true homonyms in the strict sense)
    • the metal lead and the present tense of the verb lead (homographs but not homophones)

Related terms[edit]


See also[edit]

An Euler diagram showing the relationship between these -nyms.
Different Meanings
nym Sound Spelling Category
homonym same same
heteronym different same (cat)
homograph not specified same
homophone same different (cat)
heterophone different different
synonym different different



homonym n, c

  1. homonym


Declension of homonym 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative homonym homonymen homonymer homonymerna
Genitive homonyms homonymens homonymers homonymernas