Synonyms


English Vocabulary | Synonyms

Synonyms are words of the same grammatical class (nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.) that have similar meaning. No word means exactly the same as any other word and, therefore, there are no exact synonyms in English.

Certain words may convey the same general notion, e.g. slay, kill, murder, execute and slaughter. Though they are used in different senses and in different contexts, they may be treated as synonyms. Read the examples given below.

A list of synonyms is given below. No such list, of course, can be comprehensive. Students may refer to Rogert’s Thesaurus for a further list of synonyms.

abbreviate – abridge, shorten

abstain – refrain

absurd – ridiculous

accomplish – achieve, perform

adversity – calamity, misfortune

adversary – opponent, enemy

alteration – change

amusement – diversion, recreation

anger – ire, wrath, rage

ascend – rise, soar, climb

authentic – genuine

autocrat – despot, tyrant

avaricious – greedy

aversion – dislike, antipathy

bias – prejudice

blend – mix, mingle

bondage – slavery

brave – courageous, bold

brief – concise, short

brisk – vigorous

cause – reason

check – restrain, stop, curb

command – order

compel – coerce, force

competition – rivalry

comprehend – understand, grasp

confer – grant

confess – admit

confuse – confound, perplex

conscious – aware

contemplate – meditate

contrary – opposite

couple – pair, brace

courteous – polite, civil

degeneration – deterioration

deplorable – regrettable, lamentable

despise – scorn, disdain

deny – refuse

dexterous – clever, skilful

dismal –gloomy

divide – part, separate

dizzy – giddy, dazed, unsteady

eccentric – peculiar, odd

efficient – able, competent

emphasise – stress

endure – suffer, tolerate

energy – force, vigour

enormous – huge, immense

error – mistake, blunder

eternal – timeless, perpetual

famous – celebrated, renowned

feeble – weak, infirm

felicity – happiness, bliss

ferocious – fierce, savage

flashy – showy, gaudy

foolish – silly, stupid

frailty – weakness, failing, foible

frank – candid, open

general – universal

gentle – tender, mild, kind

gigantic – huge, stupendous

giggle – laugh, titter

grave – sober, serious

grief – sorrow, pain, agony

guard- defend, protect

habit – custom, practice

hasty – rash

hazardous – risky

heave – lift, raise

hideous – repulsive, ugly

hinder – obstruct, prevent

holy – sacred

humble – meek

idle – lazy, indolent

illegal – unlawful, lawless

impudent – impertinent, insolent

incite – instigate, provoke

include – comprise

increase – enlarge, augment

irritation – vexation, annoyance

jealous – envious

jeer – mock, sneer

just – fair, impartial

juvenile – youthful

keen – sharp

keeper – custodian

kind – benevolent

king – monarch, ruler

labour – work, toil

laconic – brief, concise

latent – dormant, hidden

lax – loose, negligent, careless

learning – knowledge, scholarship

lenient – tolerant, gentle, mild

liberal – generous

liberty – freedom, independence

lie – falsehood

loyal – faithful, true

mad – insane

magnificent – splendid, stately

magnify – exaggerate, glorify

malady – illness, disease

marvel – miracle, wonder

miserly – stingy, closefisted, niggardly

misery – suffering, tribulation

modest – bashful, unassuming

mourn – lament

naïve – artless, simple

nasty – filthy, dirty

need – necessity

noble – lofty, illustrious

norm – standard

novice – beginner

obscene – filthy, indecent

observe – watch, remark

obstacle – hindrance

obstinate – stubborn

obvious – clear, evident

occurrence – event, happening

odd – strange, peculiar

opportunity – occasion

option – choice

pardon – forgive, excuse

permit – allow

pious – devout, godly, religious

precise – exact

premature – hasty

proficient – adept, expert

profuse – lavish, extravagant

progeny – offspring, descendants

project – plan, scheme

prudent – discreet, wise, sagacious

quake – shake

queer – strange, eccentric

quest – search

quit – leave, depart

quiver – tremble, shiver

rare – scarce, infrequent

recover – regain, retrieve

remember – recollect, recall

reserved – reticent

respect – esteem, regard

restraint – restriction, curb

revenge – vengeance, retribution

reverence – veneration

rude – impolite, discourteous

savage – barbarous, cruel

scold – rebuke, reprove, reprimand, censure

secret – hidden

sense – meaning, import

severe – stern, strict

shy – bashful, coy

slander – defamation

sly – crafty, cunning

solitary – lonely

superfluous – unnecessary, needless

sympathy – compassion, fellow-feeling

tacit – silent, unspoken

teach – instruct, educate

tedious – tiresome

tender – soft, delicate

thin – slender, lean

thrifty – frugal, economical

thrive – prosper, flourish

timid – shy, diffident

tradition – custom, convention

transparent – clear, lucid

ubiquitous – omnipotent

ultimate – final, last

usual – common, ordinary

vacant – empty, void

vanquish – conquer, defeat

venom – poison

vulgar – coarse, indecent

winsome – charming, attractive

wizard – magician

zeal – enthusiasm