Publish date:

Synonym vs. Antonym vs. Homonym (Grammar Rules)

Learn when you're writing or reading a synonym vs. antonym vs. homonym with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of each.

Raise your hand if you've ever used a thesaurus, whether a book or online thesaurus. Many writers have expanded their vocabularies in this way, looking for words that are the same as others. But what's the term for that? Am I looking up antonyms, homonyms, or synonyms? 

(Grammar Rules for Writers.)

Let's cover the meanings antonyms, homonyms, and synonyms in this post.

Synonym vs. Antonym vs. Homonym (Grammar Rules)

Synonym vs. Antonym vs. Homonym

Synonym is when one of two or more words or phrases of the same language have a similar meaning. For instance, synonyms for the word angry include annoyed, cross, vexed, livid, irked, galled, and piqued. Conversely, synonyms for the word happy include content, merry, joyful, delighted, and jovial.

Antonym is a word of opposite meaning. For instance, angry would be an antonym of happy. Also, short is an antonym of tall, and small is an antonym of large.

(Homonym vs. Homophone vs. Homograph.)

Homonym, on the other hand, is one of two or more words that are spelled and pronounced the same but that have different meanings. So, the word "mean" can mean "average" in mathematics, "not nice" in personal relationships, and actually has several other meanings. Likewise, the word "rock" can refer to "a genre of music" or "a stone," and the word "address" can refer to "a location" or "to speak to."

Make sense?

A final note on synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms:

So how do we keep these terms straight in our minds? For me, I take the "s" from "synonym" to mean "same meaning" and the "a" from "antonym" to mean "anti-same meaning." This might be a bit of a stretch but I think of "homonym" as different meanings coming from the same "home word," both in spelling and pronunciation.

*****

Grammar and Mechanics

No matter what type of writing you do, mastering the fundamentals of grammar and mechanics is an important first step to having a successful writing career.

Click to continue.

Dog Ate My Homework

Dog Ate My Homework

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, put a new twist on an old saying.

Lecia Cornwall: On the Surprises of Historical Fiction

Lecia Cornwall: On the Surprises of Historical Fiction

Acclaimed author Lecia Cornwall discusses the many surprises she faced in writing her historical fiction novel, The Woman at the Front.

Texas Monthly: Market Spotlight

Texas Monthly: Market Spotlight

For this week's market spotlight, we look at Texas Monthly, an Austin-based regional magazine focused on stories about Texas and Texans.

Allusion vs. Elusion vs. Illusion (Grammar Rules)

Allusion vs. Elusion vs. Illusion (Grammar Rules)

Let's look at the differences between allusion, elusion, and illusion with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Guidelines

Prepare for the 14th annual November PAD Chapbook Challenge! Visit WritersDigest.com each day of November to get a prompt and write a poem. Then, use December and the beginning of January to revise and collect your poems into a chapbook manuscript.

How I Broke Into the Traditional Publishing World as an Indie Author

How I Broke Into the Traditional Publishing World as an Indie Author

Learn the process indie author Amanda Aksel went through in getting her novel Delia Suits Up traditionally published, including questions she asked herself and weighing one strategy against the other.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: 6 New WDU Courses, An Upcoming Webinar, a Competition Deadline, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce 6 new WDU Courses, an upcoming webinar, a competition deadline, and more!

Working With a Nonfiction Book Publisher Throughout the Process

Working With a Nonfiction Book Publisher Throughout the Process

A publisher accepting your manuscript is just the beginning, not the end. Author Rick Lauber discusses how to work with a nonfiction book publisher from query letter to release date and beyond.

From Script

Writing Empowered Superheroes in CWs Supergirl and Understanding Animation From the Trenches (From Script)

In this week’s round-up brought to us by Script Magazine, story editor Katiedid “Did” Langrock speaks with Reckless Creatives podcast. Plus, one-on-one interview with CWs Supergirl actress turned scribe Azie Tesfai about her groundbreaking episode and more!