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synonymousmore about synonymous


  2  definitions  found 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
  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 
  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. 
  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. 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
  adj  :  (of  words)  meaning  the  same  or  nearly  the  same  [ant:  {antonymous}] 

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