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syn·o·nym ( 'si-n&-"nim) n. Abbr. syn. 1. A word having the same or nearly the same meaning as another word or other words in a language.
The American Heritage Dictionary, Third Edition

General Instructions

On the reverse side of this sheet, I have placed 21 sentences. Circle the number of the one I’ve assigned you.

In addition to a dictionary, for this assignment you will need to use a thesaurus. A thesaurus is a reference book that lists words with the same meaning as selected words, but with different spellings and pronunciations. To use it, you look up the word for which you want a synonym, identify the meaning and part of speech you are trying to match, then review the listed synonyms. For those who need it, the Merriam-Webster Thesaurus is available online at

Prepare your work on a separate sheet of paper headed with your name, the class name, the due date and the assignment name. Proofread your work for legibility, clarity, conciseness, spelling, punctuation, capitalization and completeness.

Specific Instructions

      1. Write out the name of the dictionary you are using.
      2. Write out the name of the thesaurus you are using.
      3. Write out your assigned sentence. If you do not use a word processor to prepare your homework, double underline the bolded word.
      4. Write out the dictionary sense (meaning) which defines the bolded word in your sentence. Include its number.
      5. What part of speech (noun, verb, adjective, or adverb) does the bolded word play in your sentence?
      6. List the synonyms you found for your bolded word in the thesaurus you used.
      7. Rewrite your sentence replacing the bolded word with the most appropriate synonym.


      1. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary
      2. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Thesaurus
      3. He struggled mightily to overcome his poor upbringing.
      4. 1 : to get the better of : SURMOUNT <overcome difficulties>
      5. verb
      6. conquer, down, hurdle, lick, master, surmount, throw
      7. He struggled mightily to conquer his poor upbringing.

Circle the number of your assigned sentence.

  1. Her room looked as if it had been hit by a tornado.
  2. He gave his teacher a surly look.
  3. The Statue of Liberty promises hope to all.
  4. As he slunk away, she called him a spineless jellyfish.
  5. Calm down, he cried as she nearly exploded with rage.
  6. Give me a clean towel, he begged.
  7. My empty mouth watered as I looked at the chocolate cake.
  8. Write neatly and don’t dawdle, his teacher said.
  9. Cough syrup always made him sick.
  10. Don’t forget to do your assignment this weekend, his friend pleaded.
  11. Watching TV always left him feeling tired.
  12. The gray cloud looked ominous as it blew across the sky.
  13. With a clear road ahead and the wind at his back, he flew like a bird.
  14. Without a telephone, I’d go crazy.
  15. Eating spinach will improve your health.
  16. Breathing a sigh, she took her diploma with the knowledge she’d flourish.
  17. At the end of the race, she let out a loud cry.
  18. Hold on, I’ll finish in a moment.
  19. Beautiful music filled the air.
  20. The fighter took the powerful punch without flinching.
  21. The lecturer left me staring in awe.

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original web posting: Monday, October 22, 2001
last modified: Sunday, November 21, 2004