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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 ?
Thenuwara's work is made up of the juxtaposition of objects and witty paronomasia's that he continuously exhibited even during a time when Sri Lanka's freedom of speech was strongly inhibited.
The poet can't help but indulge in paronomasia, "a form of word play that exploits multiple meanings of a term, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect.
Ya desde Petrarca en adelante, el laurel en concreto se convierte en simbolo amoroso por un doble motivo: primero, por paronomasia con el nombre de Laura; segundo, por remembranza del mito de Apolo y Dafne, conocido sobre todo gracias a Ovidio, donde "el desdichado dios hizo del laurel su emblema y su arbol predilecto, con lo que su historia ha venido a simbolizar el amor triste, mal correspondido o desdichado" (Salazar Rincon 360).
Not only does the translation succeed in emulating the paronomasia (jinds) centered in darb--ringing the bell (darb al-naqus) and wringing the heart (darb al-nafs)--it is also achieved through the frisky tempo and rhyme similar to that of the original.
That latter phrase, un recit en train de se faire, with its conspicuous paronomasia and its equally obvious metatextual intent, articulates efficiently what is at stake in this text, wherein Bernard Noel issues an invitation to the voyage recalibrated to suit the spirit of what passes, now, for our own moment in time.
What we have called virtual SUS territories or, in a paronomasia, simply CiberespaSUS (1).
paronomasia (word play) in Algerie roman further designates the narrators' manipulation of the reader.