Basically, a synonym is a word that means the same as another. You probably already know of quite a few words that mean the same thing as others. Large, huge, big, and stupendous are four words that mean the same thing. Why would you need to know such things when you are learning to spell? First, knowing a word's synonyms will help you understand the meaning of a word. Secondly, if you are writing and you are unsure of how to spell a word, you may want to exchange that tough word for a simpler word that means the same thing.

For example, perhaps you are writing about the Sahara Desert. Maybe you aren't sure how to spell the word arid, but you know it means hot and dry. You could use those simpler words that mean the same thing — and then go home and learn to spell arid! Remember, writing is a way of expressing yourself. If you can't communicate clearly, then people might not be able to understand you.

Words to Know

unabridged dictionary

A dictionary that has not been shortened by leaving out terms or definitions. An unabridged dictionary is the biggest type of dictionary.

Tools Come in All Shapes and Sizes

Giving yourself a tool box of alternate words can be very handy. For example, if you were writing about a giant anteater, and you didn't know how to spell the word voracious but you knew it meant really hungry, you could substitute simpler words such as big, greedy, or even ravenous.

Practice Makes Perfect

Look at the following list. Can you think of at least one word that has the same meaning for every word on the list?

The first one is done for you.

put place
smart — —
surprise — —
happy — —
pretty — —
lonely — —
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