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HOMONYM

HOMONYM. One of two or more words that are identical in sound or spelling but different in meaning. There are three kinds: those that sound and look alike (bank1 a slope, bank2 a place for money, and bank3 a bench or row of switches); HOMOPHONES, that sound alike but do not look alike (coarse, course); and HOMOGRAPHS, that look alike but do not sound alike (the verb lead /liːd/, the metal lead /lɛd/). The occurrence of homographs is largely a matter of chance, although a tendency to assimilate the unfamiliar to the familiar is also a factor, as with compound (an enclosure, originally Malay kampong), and pigeon (as in ‘not my pigeon’, a variant of pidgin). Dictionaries distinguish homographs by means of superscript numbers preceding or following them, largely on the basis of etymology. The degree of separation in dictionaries usually depends on the extent to which variation in etymology is taken into account: for example, bank (slope) and bank (a place for money) are ultimately related, but have had sufficiently divergent routes on their way to English to warrant separate treatment. See CONFUSIBLE, HETERONYM, JANUS WORD, POLYSEMY.

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homonym

hom·o·nym / ˈhäməˌnim; ˈhōmə-/ • n. each of two words having the same pronunciation but different meanings, origins, or spelling (e.g., to, too, and two); a homophone. ∎  each of two or more words having the same spelling but different meanings and origins (e.g., pole1 and pole2 ); a homograph. ∎  Biol. a Latin name that is identical to that of a different organism, the newer of the two names being invalid. DERIVATIVES: hom·o·nym·ic / ˌhäməˈnimik; ˌhōmə-/ adj. ho·mon·y·mous / hōˈmänəməs/ adj. ho·mon·y·my / hōˈmänəmē/ n.

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homonym

homonym In nomenclature, one of two or more separately published names for the same taxon or identical names for different taxa.

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homonym

homonym In nomenclature, 1 of 2 or more separately published names for the same taxon or identical names for different taxa.

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homonym

homonym each of two or more words having the same written form but of different meaning and origin.

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homonym

homonym In nomenclature, one of two or more identical names for different taxa (see TAXON).

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homonym

homonymbedim, brim, crim, dim, glim, grim, Grimm, gym, him, hymn, Jim, Kim, limb, limn, nim, prim, quim, rim, scrim, shim, Sim, skim, slim, swim, Tim, trim, vim, whim •poem • goyim • cherubim • Hasidim •seraphim, teraphim •Elohim • Sikkim • Joachim • prelim •forelimb • Muslim • Blenheim •paynim • minim • pseudonym •homonym • anonym • synonym •eponym • acronym • antonym •metonym • Antrim • megrim •Leitrim • pilgrim • Purim • interim •passim • maxim • kibbutzim •Midrashim • literatim •seriatim, verbatim •victim •system • ecosystem • subsystem •item • Ashkenazim

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