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From Medieval Latin synōnymus, from Ancient Greek συνώνυμος (sunṓnumos). By surface analysis, synonym +‎ ous.[1][2]


  • (UK) IPA(key): /sɪˈnɒnɪməs/
  • (US) IPA(key): /sɪˈnɑnɪməs/
  • (file)


synonymous (not comparable)

  1. (construed with with, narrower sense) Having an identical meaning.
    • 1837, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], “Chapter XXVII. Lady Marchmont to Sir Jasper Meredith.”, in Ethel Churchill: Or, The Two Brides. [], volume I, London: Henry Colburn, [], →OCLC, page 243:
      He was not far wrong, for nothing strikes me more forcibly than the universal tendency to grumble: conversation and complaint are synonymous terms.
    • 2019 July 17, Talia Levin, “When Non-Jews Wield Anti-Semitism as Political Shield”, in GQ[1]:
      Jews and Israel are not synonymous; nor is support for Palestine synonymous with anti-Semitism; nor is questioning the orthodoxy of the Republican party, which the majority of us do with relish, an insult to Jewry.
  2. (construed with with, broader sense) Having a similar meaning.
  3. (construed with with) Of, or being a synonym.
  4. (genetics, of a SNP) Such that both its forms yield the same sequenced protein.



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  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “synonymous (adj.)”, in Online Etymology Dictionary: “from Medieval Latin synonymus, from Greek synonymos”.
  2. ^ James A. H. Murray [et al.], editors (1884–1928), “Synonymous (sinǫ·niməs), a.”, in A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (Oxford English Dictionary), volume IX, Part 2 (Su–Th), London: Clarendon Press, →OCLC, page 385, column 1: “f. med.L. synōnymus, ad. Gr. συνώνυμος: see Synonym and -ous.”