A synonym is a word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase in the same language.
Example:
The word "brave" has many synonyms:
 
Brave.JPG
Why do we need synonyms? Synonyms are also called as similar words. They are used to avoid repetition of the same words again in writing a text. The meaning has to be exact or very close to the exact phrase. If it can be used as a replaceable word, it is called a synonym. Sometimes if the word does not come to mind, one can always look up for synonyms, to discover the exact word.
Example:
Instead of using the word "beautiful" in a text repetitively, one can use words like good looking, attractive, pretty, lovely, gorgeous etc. It makes the text more interesting to read and also provides an opportunity to express several nuanced ideas.
How are synonyms different from meanings?
The word tends to be described by its meanings. Synonyms are alternate spellings of the same word that are interchangeable.
In the same example as above, "meaning" of beautiful is pleasing the senses or mind aesthetically. "Synonyms" of beautiful are attractive, pretty, lovely etc.
Can synonyms be used interchangeably in all circumstances? No. One has to apply the meaning in the context and then interchange the synonym; otherwise, the sentence becomes illogical.
Example:
The synonyms of the word "next" are following, nearest, close, proximate etc.
However, each word has a unique "meaning" attached to it. Unless the meaning of the synonym matches the word, it cannot be replaced.
 
My aunt lives next door - the meaning is my aunt lives nearby, close to me.
But it cannot be replaced as,
My aunt lives following door (or)
My aunt lives the nearest door etc.
 
The "meaning" of next is "coming immediately after"
The "meaning" of following is "as a result of"
Important!
We have to be cautious while replacing synonyms for words. By choosing one synonym for the other, it can subtly (not literally), influence or change the intent and tone of the text.
For an extensive list of synonyms, click here.
Synonyms of words from the lesson "The Necklace":
S.No
Word
Synonyms
1
PrettyCharming
2
Costume Outfit
3
DearieDarling
4
Occasion Event
5
EmployeeWorker
6
DismayShock
7
Stammer Stutter
8
Economical  Low-budget
9
SumAmount
10
Grieve Sorrow
11
Frighten Scare 
12
NeverthelessHowever
13
Lend Offer
14
UtterlyCompletely
15
HumiliateEmbarrass
16
EmbraceHug
17
RapidlyQuickly
18
ExcitedlyEagerly/impatiently
19
UtterlyCompletely
20
ReturnCome back
21.
PerceiveRecognise
22.
RobberThief
23.
NecessityEssential
24.
Frightful Fearful
25.
DebtDues
26.
Ruin Destroy
27.
MerchantTradesman
28.
Pail Bucket
29.
Astonishment Shock
30.
Familiar Known
31.
Personage Person
32.
PettyUnimportant
33.
DestinyFate
34.
LuxuryRichness
35.
ShabbyDirty
36.
Exquisite Beautiful
37.
DisappointmentSadness
38.
Elegant Graceful
39.
Spitefully Hateful
40.
Residence
Abode
41.
Delight Happy
42.
SupposeAssume
43.
InscribeEngrave
44.
Consequently Accordingly/Therefore
45.
AffairEvent/Occasion
46.
Colleague Co-worker
47.
NeverthelessIn Spite of
48.
AnxiousWorried
49.
Poverty-stricken Impoverished
50.
AdornDecorate
51.
RespondReply
52.
MidstMiddle
53.
UtterExpress
54.
GraciousElegant
55.
WrapCover
56.
ShiverShake
57.
RapidlyQuickly
58.
NecessityEssential
59.
AwryWrong
61.
Miserable Unhappy
62.
ContentSatisfied
 
Important!
To practise more synonyms, click here.