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1. A word having the same or nearly the same meaning as another word or other words in a language.
2. A word or expression that serves as a figurative or symbolic substitute for another: "Romeo has become a synonym for any youthful lover" (Harry Levin).
3. Biology One of two or more scientific names that have been applied to the same species or other taxonomic group.
[Middle English sinonyme, from Old French synonyme, from Latin synōnymum, from Greek sunōnumon, from neuter of sunōnumos, synonymous; see synonymous.]
syn′o·nym′ic, syn′o·nym′i·cal adj.
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.