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synonymous    : [sən'ɑnəməs]
Synonymous \Syn*on"y*mous\, a. [Gr. ?; sy`n with, together ?,
?, name. See {Syn-}, and {Name}.]
Having the character of a synonym; expressing the same thing;
conveying the same, or approximately the same, idea. --
{Syn*on"y*mous*ly}, adv.
[1913 Webster]

These words consist of two propositions, which are not
distinct in sense, but one and the same thing variously
expressed; for wisdom and understanding are synonymous
words here. --Tillotson.
[1913 Webster]

Syn: Identical; interchangeable. -- {Synonymous},
{Identical}. If no words are synonymous except those
which are identical in use and meaning, so that the one
can in all cases be substituted for the other, we have
scarcely ten such words in our language. But the term
more properly denotes that the words in question
approach so near to each other, that, in many or most
cases, they can be used interchangeably. 1. Words may
thus coincide in certain connections, and so be
interchanged, when they can not be interchanged in other
connections; thus we may speak either strength of mind
or of force of mind, but we say the force (not strength)
of gravitation. 2. Two words may differ slightly, but
this difference may be unimportant to the speaker's
object, so that he may freely interchange them; thus it
makes but little difference, in most cases, whether we
speak of a man's having secured his object or having
attained his object. For these and other causes we have
numerous words which may, in many cases or connections,
be used interchangeably, and these are properly called
synonyms. Synonymous words "are words which, with great
and essential resemblances of meaning, have, at the same
time, small, subordinate, and partial differences, --
these differences being such as either originally and on
the ground of their etymology inhered in them; or
differences which they have by usage acquired in the
eyes of all; or such as, though nearly latent now, they
are capable of receiving at the hands of wise and
discreet masters of the tongue. Synonyms are words of
like significance in the main, but with a certain
unlikeness as well." --Trench.
[1913 Webster]




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English Dictionary  2005-2009

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