In life and language, we often come across two words that have the same meaning. They are literally two words that can be used to refer to the same thing. These words are considered to be synonym of each other. A synonym is literally a word having the same or nearly the same meaning as another word.
Linguists and some people in general argue that two words in the same language cannot mean the same thing, if they did then there wouldn’t be a need for two different words, and hence they would not have developed. Keeping this in mind, it can be said that synonym refers to words that mean nearly the same thing. They might not be the same, but are close enough that they can be used interchangeably or synonymously.
Let’s consider an example: ‘smart’ and ‘clever’. These two are synonym. They are nor exactly the same thing, but a very similar and are used interchangeably. A single word can have many synonyms, such as a synonym for ‘smart’ can be quick, intelligent, astute, brainy, brilliant, canny, crafty, wise, genius, sharp, shrewd, quick-witted, etc.
Synonyms are quite handy while speaking and writing, as they allow the speaker or writer to talk about a topic without using the same word over and over again.