Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[par-uh-noh-mey-zhuh, -zhee-uh, -zee-uh] /ˌpær ə noʊˈmeɪ ʒə, -ʒi ə, -zi ə/
noun, Rhetoric
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.
a pun.
Origin of paronomasia
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
[par-uh-noh-mas-tik] /ˌpær ə noʊˈmæs tɪk/ (Show IPA),
paronomastically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for paronomasia
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for paronomasia


(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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for paronomasia

"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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for paronomasia

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for paronomasia

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for paronomasia