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Synonyms Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

Instructor: Jeremy Cook

I have been teaching elementary school for 16 years. I have extensive experience in lesson and curriculum development and educational technology.

Have you ever written something and used some of the same words over and over again? If so, then you haven't been using enough synonyms. This lesson will explain synonyms and show you how to use them.

What is a Synonym?

Synonyms are words that have the exact or almost exact meaning as another word in the same language. For this reason, synonyms can be interchangeable with other words. Interchangeable means that you can easily switch out one thing for another.

Let's look at an example of how synonyms work. Look at the sentence: 'I had a great birthday party last year.' We want to use another word instead of the word great. Can you think of some other words that mean exactly or almost exactly the same thing as great? We will use the word fantastic, which is a synonym for the word great. Now the sentence will read, 'I had a fantastic birthday party last year.'

The words rich and wealthy are another example. When they are interchanged in the same sentence, they give the same meaning.

When rich is switched with wealthy, the sentence means the same thing.
Rich Wealthy Synonym

Things to Remember

While it may seem simple to come up with synonyms, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. It is important to really look at the context of the sentence or piece of writing to make sure that the synonym you want to use doesn't change the meaning. Context is the words before and after a word that give it meaning.

For example, let's say you wanted to replace the word good with the word great. These can sometimes be synonyms, but other times, the word great will change the overall meaning of the sentence too much. The same could be true for replacing good with okay. It might work for one sentence, but not another.

Another thing to look for is the article that comes before the word you want to replace. Depending on what word you are using, you may have to change the article. Let's take the sentence we used in the first paragraph. If you wanted to replace great with amazing, you would have to change the article. 'I had a great birthday party last year' would change to 'I had an amazing birthday party last year.' The article changed from 'a' to 'an' since amazing starts with a vowel.

Look at all the ways to say the word bad. These are synonyms.
Synonyms for Bad

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