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One of two or more words that have identical spellings but different meanings and pronunciations, such as row (a series of objects arranged in a line), pronounced (rō), and row (a fight), pronounced (rou).

[Back-formation from heteronymous.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Linguistics) one of two or more words pronounced differently but spelt alike: the two English words spelt 'bow' are heteronyms. Compare homograph
[C17: from Late Greek heteronumos, from Greek hetero- + onoma name]
heteronymous adj
ˌheterˈonymously adv
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈhɛt ər ə nɪm)

a word spelled the same as another but having a different sound and meaning, as lead (to conduct) and lead (a metal).
[1880–85; < Late Greek heterṓnymos. See hetero-, -onym]
het`er•on′y•mous (-əˈrɒn ə məs) adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.heteronym - two words are heteronyms if they are spelled the same way but differ in pronunciation; "the word `bow' is an example of a heteronym"
word - a unit of language that native speakers can identify; "words are the blocks from which sentences are made"; "he hardly said ten words all morning"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
In addition, one of Pessoa's prose projects for the heteronymic poet Ricardo Reis is entitled "Milton maior do que Shakespeare," the purpose of which would be twofold: to argue that writing an epic poem is more difficult than a drama and to claim Milton's superiority as verse "constructor" (cf.
Chapter 1 opens new horizons for the critical corpus of Fernando Pessoas heteronymic net.
But Crane also figures intimacy as a kind of penetration, referring to "the bed of the wound." That phrase connects erotic intimacy and brutal penetration, but Crane's heteronymic play with "wound" also suggests penetration as a form of binding together: "his taut, spare fingers wound the gauze / Around the thick bed of the wound." As a trope that incorporates difference and similarity, heteronymity itself is apt here, and this particular play, with wounding/winding, emphasizes the binding and the individuating functions of skin.
Commenting upon a passage in the novel La Notte (1996) by Giorgio Manganelli, Agamben writes, "In the process of vertiginous, heteronymic subjectification, it is as if something always survived, as if an ulterior or residual 'I' were generated in each uttered 'I,' such that its elevation to a squared pseudonymity were never truly completed, always falling back onto a new 'I,' indiscernible from the first but not coinciding with it." (41) Though Agamben ascribes the concept of the remnant to this formula, a temporal notion in itself, the words generate and new disclose the relationship of signification to a temporal order.
In life, as in literature, Burton had an almost Pessoa-like fondness for heteronymic personalities.
It is significant also that the heteronymic theory was fully developed following this 1915 statement, which makes even more credible the idea that the heteronyms have an intimate relationship with occultist tenets.
Seymour-Smith further argued that Pessoa's heteronymic experience 'was not only a "personal" venture: it was "deconstructionist" before deconstructionism was invented' (in Guide to Modern World Literature, ed.
In Chapter 2, canonical Romanticism's anti-fancy "I" gives way to the lyric "we" of Della Cruscan love conducted in periodicals and anthologies and the lyric many in Mary Robinson's heteronymic work.
Probably the derivation of Frank O'Hara's poems from a coterie discourse and from friendly dialogue suggests a more attractive way of avoiding the presumptuousness or mendacity afflicting the posture of individual integrity than either Fernando Pessoa's heteronymic authorship or J.H.
(15) Heteronymic opposites, word pairs that are not etymologically related but that are spelled the same, sound different, and have opposite meanings.