Polysemy‏ [Noun.]


‘When we encounter two or more words with the same form and related meanings, we have what is technically known as polysemy. Polysemy can be defined as one form (written or spoken) having multiple meanings that are all related by extension. Examples are the word head, used to refer to the object on top of your body, froth on top of a glass of beer, person at the top of a company or department, and many other things.’

– Yule, G. 1985. The Study of Language Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press (2010) p. 120

Homophone‏ [Noun.]


‘When two or more different (written) forms have the same pronunciation, they are described as homophones. Common examples are bare/bear, meat/meet, flour/flower, pail/pale, right/write, sew/so and to/two/too.’

– Yule, G. 1985. The Study of Language Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press (2010) p. 120

Synonym‏ [Noun.]


‘Two or more words with very closely related meanings are called synonyms. […] We should keep in mind that the idea of “sameness” of meaning used in discussing synonymy is not necessarily “total sameness.” There are many occasions when one word is appropriate in a sentence, but its synonym would be odd.”

– Yule, G. 1985. The Study of Language Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press (2010) p. 117