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homonym (HOM-uh-nim) noun

1. One of two or more words that have the same sound and often the same spelling but differ in meaning.

2. A word that is used to designate several different things. A namesake.

3. Biology. A taxonomic name that is identical to one previously applied to a different species or genus and that therefore is unacceptable in its new use.

[Latin homonymum, from Greek homonumon, from neuter of homonumos, homonymous.]

"Shapiro's title, Earthwards, cannot be spoken without calling up its near homonym, `Earthwords,' the title of Craig Owens's influential 1979 review of Smithson's writing as a paragon of postmodernism." Boettger, Suzaan, Earthwards: Robert Smithson and Art After Babel. (Book reviews), Art Journal, 1 Jun 1996.

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