Word of the Day – Homonymous

Word of the Day : May 26, 2020


adjective hoh-MAH-nuh-mus


Did You Know?

The “ambiguous” sense of homonymous refers mainly to words that have two or more meanings. Logicians and scientists who wanted to refer to (or complain about) such equivocal words chose a name for them based on Latin and Greek, from Greek hom- (“same”) and onyma (“name”). In time, English speakers came up with another sense of homonymousreferring to two things having the same name (Hawaii, the state, and Hawaii, the island, for example). Next came the use of homonymous to refer to homonyms, such as see and sea. There’s also a zoological sense. Sheep and goats whose right horn spirals to the right and left horn spirals to the left are said to be homonymous.


“The Chelyabinsk meteorite became a media celebrity after the videos of its explosion in mid-air, occurring in February 2013 near the homonymouscity, went viral on social networks.” — Luca Maltagliati, Nature, 17 Feb. 2017

“Like the bird homonymous with his name, ‘Cro’ operates like he’s under the cover of night. Though Cromartie’s numerically best game came against Tulane this fall, in which the senior recorded six tackles and a sack, Downing tabbed South Florida and Connecticut as the raider’s brightest.” — Katherine Fominykh, The Capital Gazette (Annapolis, Maryland), 12 Dec. 2019

Merriam-Webster Word of the Day