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poecilo- +‎ -onym


  • IPA(key): /ˈpiːsɪlənɪm/
  • (file)


poecilonym (plural poecilonyms)

  1. Almost a synonym: a word that means almost the same thing as another.
    • 1977, Robert H. Stacy, Defamiliarization in Language and Literature[1], Syracuse University Press, →ISBN, page 52:
      This is also a type of poecilonym or hybrid word; cf. such a word as “aeneolithic” (=chalcolithic) in English.
    • 1997, David Grambs, The Endangered English Dictionary: Bodacious Words, page xi:
      Maybe we could all use a few spanking old poecilonyms. Poecilonym? It's an old synonym for synonym that you'll find in these pages. But many words in this dictionary have no real counterparts in today's English.
    • 1999 July 27, Ucalegon, “Missing aircraft”, in alt.anagrams (Usenet):
      >> Is there another word for synonym?
      >Actually, there is: poecilonym
      Take care, though; ‘poecilonym’ can only be used for the taxonomic meaning of ‘synonym’--an incorrect or obsolete systematic name for a genus or species.
    • 2006, Nero Blanc, Death on the Diagonal, page 147:
      It's high time I looked for another job and got as far away from homonyms, synonyms, antonyms — to say nothing of caconyms, eponyms, and poecilonyms!

Related terms[edit]