One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Ancient Greek Philosophy. Each of a number of different words having the same meaning; a synonym.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Saturday Review. In sense 1 from ancient Greek πολυώνυμον synonym (recorded in Hellenistic and Byzantine Greek authors, in Peripatetic philosophy), use as noun of neuter of πολυώνυμος; compare -onym, also synonym.
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