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Synonyms that are Identical Except for Prefix

asked 2017-01-13 11:52:25 -0400

akap gravatar image

What would you call a word that has an identical word except for the prefix that means the exact same thing?

For example: meliorate and ameliorate both mean the same thing flammable and inflammable both mean the same thing

and so on.

I ask in preparation for the GRE. I was given in my study flashcards the word ameliorate, and then in the practice test I had to know what meliorate means ... and I mistakenly assumed it was the opposite of ameliorate. I would like to know the term for this type of word, so I can find on Google a solid list of such words, in preparation for if the GRE throws this wrench again.

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answered 2017-01-24 15:46:23 -0400

charshey gravatar image

I don't know if there's a word for what you're talking about. However, there is a thread on reddit where users made a list of words like this: https://www.reddit.com/r/linguistics/...iterateandreiteratemeanthesame_thing/

A related term is auto-autonym, or contranym, where a word can mean two different and opposite things: for example, cleave can mean to cling or to separate. Here's a Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auto-an...

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Asked: 2017-01-13 11:52:25 -0400

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Last updated: Jan 24