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paronomasia Line breaks: par¦ono|masia
Pronunciation: /ˌparənəˈmeɪzɪə/

Definition of paronomasia in English:

noun

A play on words; a pun.
Example sentences
  • That humorous lyric mentioned earlier, ‘You can't have your Kate and Edith, too’ and the song ‘Overnight Male’ demonstrate paronomasia, use of words alike in sound but different in meaning.
  • Here, as throughout the poem, her paronomasia acts as a device for eliciting the sensitive connections between words and our physical response to them.
  • The last example also contains paronomasia; here, the pun is on possessed meaning both having come into possession and unreasonably determined.

Origin

Late 16th century: via Latin from Greek paronomasia, from para- 'beside' (expressing alteration) + onomasia 'naming' (from onomazein 'to name', from onoma 'a name').

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