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1. Word play; punning.
2. A pun.

[Latin, from Greek paronomasiā, from paronomazein, to call by a different name : para-, beside; see para-1 + onomazein, to name; see onomastic.]

par′o·no·mas′tic (-măs′tĭk), par′o·no·ma′sial (-mā′zhəl) adj.
par′o·no·mas′ti·cal·ly adv.


(Rhetoric) rhetoric a play on words, esp a pun. Also (obsolete): paronomasy
[C16: via Latin from Greek: a play on words, from paronomazein to make a change in naming, from para-1 (beside) + onomazein to name, from onoma a name]
paronomastic, paronomastical adj
ˌparonoˈmastically adv


(ˌpær ə noʊˈmeɪ ʒə, -ʒi ə, -zi ə)

n., pl. -sias.
a play on words; pun.
[1570–80; < Latin < Greek paronomasía a play on words, assonance, derivative of paronomázein to make a slight name-change =par- par- + onomázein to name, derivative of ónoma name]
par•o•no•ma•si•ac (ˌpær ə noʊˈmeɪ ziˌæk) n.
par`o•no•mas′tic (-ˈmæs tɪk) adj.
par`o•no•mas′ti•cal•ly, adv.


1. Rhetoric. the use of a word in different senses or the use of words similar in sound for effect, as humor or ambiguity; punning.
2. a pun. — paronomastic, adj.
See also: Punning
the use of a word in different senses or the use of words similar in sound for effect, as humor or ambiguity; punning. Also called adnomination, agnomination, annomination.
See also: Rhetoric and Rhetorical Devices
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.paronomasia - a humorous play on wordsparonomasia - a humorous play on words; "I do it for the pun of it"; "his constant punning irritated her"
fun, sport, play - verbal wit or mockery (often at another's expense but not to be taken seriously); "he became a figure of fun"; "he said it in sport"
References in periodicals archive ?
Other major sound patterns of classical Arabic verse rooted in the linguistic sounds of the Arabic language, and their influence on the meaning of poetic texts, are investigated in chapter four, including onomatopoeia, parallelism, paronomasia, word-play, and other forms of sound effects.
The idea is not only evident in the poetic polysemia and multilinguistic paronomasia characteristic of the creative work of Shakespeare, Milton, and their contemporaries, but also explicitly acknowledged in such formal defenses as Sidney's Defense of Poesy and Daniel's Musophilus; in the latter, we hear of
e ad abundantiam se si considera la paronomasia Alighieri--aliger.
The pun, also called paronomasia, is a form of word play that suggests two or more meanings, by exploiting multiple meanings of words, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect.
Ina desolate Africa, anguished widower Silvestre Vitalicio retreats from the city to an abandoned game reserve; squatting there with his brother, bodyguard, two sons, and a jenny named Jezebel, he makes a stand in his pauper's kingdom of Jezoosalem, a name whose profane paronomasia recalls William Blake's ur-pun about "Nobodaddy, father of jealousy.
I would like to propose that the key to such an understanding is the link between Genesis 3:21 and Genesis 3:17 suggested by the paronomasia between aleph-vav-resh and aleph-resh-vav-resh-he.
Levenson, "The Paronomasia of Solomon's Seventh Petition," Hebrew Annual Review 6 (1982): 131-35.
If indeed wordplay were to be offered as a consideration here, a chapter on the works of Rabelais would certainly take precedence over Joyce, though countless earlier works in English alone, including Beowulf, are also full of paronomasia, neologistic or otherwise.
Through the slight shift in consonants, a technique for creating a tension of juxtaposed meanings known in Arabic as jinas or paronomasia, their veils (magancaha) become like flowing wings (mijanaha in Sacidi dialect).
See Trilla i Pruja 26-29 for examples of rhetorical figures used in Senyoria: irony, plays on words, parallelism, antithesis, paronomasia, enumeration, gradation, personification, hyperbole, metaphor, comparison, anaphora, and paradox.
In questo brano una paronomasia piuttosto buffonesca ed evidente, crimen crinium, prepara quella che, come anticipato da V.
Of course, paronomasia is not uncommon in the West, especially in the form of puns.