Word similarity

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This article/section is a stub — probably a pile of half-sorted notes, is not well-checked so may have incorrect bits. (Feel free to ignore, or tell me)


This article/section is a stub — probably a pile of half-sorted notes, is not well-checked so may have incorrect bits. (Feel free to ignore, or tell me)

Various -nyms

Same pronunciation

(Yes, the terms are a bit messy, it's not just you)

homophone

  • different meaning
  • (says nothing about spelling. If same spelling it is a homonym. If different spelling, it is a heterograph)
  • same pronunciation
  • e.g. waste, waist

heterograph

  • different meaning
  • different spelling
  • same pronunication
  • e.g. two, too

The case of:

  • same meaning
  • different spelling
  • same pronunication
  • e.g. gases, gasses

Same spelling

homograph (note: group with some more specific cases)

  • different meaning
  • same spelling
  • (says nothing about pronunciation. If also same pronunciation, it is a homonym)

heteronyms

  • different meaning
  • same spelling
  • different pronunciation
  • e.g. desert (noun: arid region; verb: to abandon), bow (gesture; weapon)
    read (reading in present and past tense)

The case of:

  • same meaning
  • same spelling
  • different pronunciation
  • (e.g. the with and without stress, )


To complete the cases above

homonym = homograph and homophone

  • different meaning
  • same spelling
  • same pronunciation
  • e.g. mean (average; being nasty),
    stalk (plant; following)
  • also turns up around equivocation - using different interpretations of the same word at different times
e.g. right is sometimes used to actually mean privilege


synonym

  • same meaning (or very similar) (distinguished mostly by idiosyncrasies)
  • different spelling
  • different pronunication

identical words (same everything)

unrelated words (different everything)

Note that polysemy looks pretty close to homography

Paronym: Near-homonyms, or related in root (e.g. cognates)

Other relations

  • Antonym: Opposition of meaning in some sense, e.g. good and bad. (Occasionally has various gradations. Seems to work best on abstract nouns)
  • Hyponym: More specific, e.g. cutlery has hyponyms spoon, fork, etc.
  • Hypernym: More general. Knife has hypernym cutlery.
  • Holonym
  • Meronym
  • Troponym

See also