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paronomasia

[par-uh-noh-mey-zhuh, -zhee-uh, -zee-uh] /ˌpær ə noʊˈmeɪ ʒə, -ʒi ə, -zi ə/
noun, Rhetoric
1.
the use of a word in different senses or the use of words similar in sound to achieve a specific effect, as humor or a dual meaning; punning.
2.
a pun.
Origin
1570-1580
1570-80; < Latin < Greek paronomasía a play on words, assonance, derivative of paronomázein to make a slight name-change (par- par- + onomázein to name, derivative of ónoma name); see -ia
Related forms
paronomastic
[par-uh-noh-mas-tik] /ˌpær ə noʊˈmæs tɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective
paronomastically, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for paronomasia

paronomasia

/ˌpærənəʊˈmeɪzɪə/
noun
1.
(rhetoric) a play on words, esp a pun
Derived Forms
paronomastic (ˌpærənəʊˈmæstɪk) adjective
paronomastically, adverb
Word Origin
C16: via Latin from Greek: a play on words, from paronomazein to make a change in naming, from para-1 (beside) + onomazein to name, from onoma a name
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for paronomasia
n.

"pun," 1570s, from Latin, from Greek paronomasia "play upon words which sound similarly," from paronomazein "to alter slightly, to call with slight change of name," literally "to name beside," from par- (see para- (1)) + onomasia "naming," from onoma "name" (see name (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for paronomasia

pun

a humorous use of a word in such a way as to suggest different meanings or applications, or a play on words, as in the use of the word rings in the following nursery rhyme: Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,To see a fine lady upon a white horse; Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,She shall have music wherever she goes

Learn more about pun with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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