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Aug 18, 2018

The difference between homonyms, homophones, homographs, hyponymes, hypernyms, antonyms and synonyms

The difference between homonyms, homophones, homographs, hyponymes, hypernyms, antonyms and synonyms
The aim of this article is to discuss, with examples, the difference between homonyms, homophones, homographs, hyponyms, hypernyms, antonyms and synonyms. Before we proceed, note that these words are discussed under "sense relation" in Linguistics. Sense relation is the relationship that a word holds with another word.

1. Homonyms
Homonyms are words that have the same spelling and sound, but a number of different meanings.
Examples
i. Bank (as a financial institution) and the Bank (of a river).
ii. Bark (for a dog) and the Bark (of a tree).
iii. Bear (to carry) and Bear (an animal).
iv. Lead (to conduct) and Lead (metal).
v. Saw (the past form of "see") and Saw (as a power tool for cutting wood) etc.

2. Homophones
"Homo" means "same" whereas "phone" means "sound". Therefore, homophones are words that have the same sound but differ in meaning and spelling.
Examples
i. Totoo and two.
ii. Blew (past form of blow) and blue (colour).
iii. Son and sun.
iv. See and sea.
v. Weather and whether.
vi. Bare (naked or uncovered) and bear (animal) etc.

3. Homographs
Homographs are words that have the same spelling but differ meaning and sometimes pronunciation.
Examples
i. Present (to introduce formally) and present (a gift).
ii. Refuse (garbage) and refuse (to decline a request).

4. Hyponym vs Hypernym
A hyponym is a word whose meaning is included in the meaning of another more general word. In other words, it is the relationship between two words in which the meaning of one word includes the meaning of the other word.
Examples
i. Spoon is a hyponym of cutlery. Cutlery is a more general word which comprises spoon, fork and knife.
ii. Red, blue and yellow are the hyponyms of colour.
iii. Bus is a hyponym of vehicle.
iv. Dog is a hyponym of animal.


The general word is called hypernym. A hypernym is a word whose meaning includes the meaning of a more specific word.
Examples
i. Animal is the hypernym of dog.
ii. Cutlery is the hypernym of spoon, knife and fork.

5. Synonym
Synonym is a word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase in the same language; for example, same is a synonym of similar.

6. Antonym
An antonym is a word that expresses a meaning that is opposite to the meaning of another word; for example, come is an antonym of go.

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