Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.



a word similar to another in sound; the partial coincidence in outward form occurs simply by chance and is not conditioned by semantic or word-formation processes. Examples are seen in the Russian vremia (“time”) and bremia (“burden”) and apellirovat’ (“to appeal”) and operirovat’ (“to operate”).

Some scholars regard as paronyms words with the same root that are similar in structure or sound and are the same part of speech or have common grammatical features. Because of the partial coincidence in sound, there may be an outward change in one of the words, usually the one less used; this is known in linguistics as false etymology. Sometimes a chance coincidence in sound leads to changes that become fixed in language. For example, svidetel’ (“witness”) was connected in Old Russian not with the root vid- (meaning “to see”) but with věd-, a root appearing in vedat’ (“to know”) and svedushchii (“knowledgeable”).

Paronyms may be misused by a speaker, as when stupen’ nogi is used instead of stupnia nogi to refer to the sole of the foot, the confusion arising from the similarity in sound between the Russian words for “stairstep” (or “level”) and “sole.” Paronyms are used in poetry (including rhymes) and also in puns.


Gvozdev, A. N. Ocherki po stilistike russkogo iazyka, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1955.
Bel’chikov, Iu. A., and M. S. Paniusheva. Trudnye sluchai upotrebleniia odnokorennykh slov russkogo iazyka: Slovar’-spravochnik. Moscow, 1968.


References in periodicals archive ?
Theodor Christ from 1978 which has this note: "The clearest evidence that paronymy was and continues to be neglected is found in the fact that, to our knowledge, there is not even a work on semantics (or semasiology) to deal with paronyms in a special chapter similar to those dedicated to homonyms, synonyms or antonyms.
Apart from this primary sense of dramatic, this English adjective, like its Spanish paronym, also has the sense directly derived from its base form drama, i.
More specifically, paronym words are typified as linguistic structures that have a great resemblance between their acoustic representation.
Each block of equivalents to a sense is preceded by a clearly identifiable paronym in L1, which allows the user to browse and find what he is looking for more quickly.
Alcaraz (2003:85) calls paronyms those words which are related because of an identical origin.
Or in what was probably an inadvertent paronomastic slip on the part of Merimee--but une faute beureuse nonetheless --, the narrator begins his tale by describing his wanderings on "la plaine de Cachena" (938)--in place of the actual "Carchena," where the "Car" of "Carmen" finds itself cache in the paronym "Cachena.
But Lewis finds Compound Theory relevant to this part too, since he finds the idea of an accidental entity already present in Aristotle's notion of a paronym (for example, the brave one) at the beginning of the Categories.
As a result, more than four Russian dictionaries of paronyms have been compiled (cf.
b) paronyms (words which are almost homonyms, but have slight differences in spelling or pronunciation and have different meanings): ase (sweat [right arrow] blood); yasumi (rest [right arrow] sickness); shiotare (salt drop [right arrow] shedding tears); kusabira (germ [right arrow] meat)
From the fact that the definition of paronyms is merely grammatical it does not follow that paronyms themselves are grammatical entities.
4) But links with many other paronyms will be woven throughout the text: with "niche," and through it with its anagram "chien," with "nid," with "ne" (as in "nouveau-ne") and especially with "nez," stereotypically a defining characteristic of the Jew.
It is a "linguistic incest" that plays on resemblances between paronyms and homophonic doubles that are in a sense "too close" or "too much the same," and that as a result come to signify in an oblique manner, in a way that must be suppressed or "prohibited" so as not to disrupt the "normal" or"apparent" course of signification between words.