We hear it from English learners all the time… “Why does English have so many common synonyms!?”
We won’t bore you with the history of English. Instead, we’re making synonyms easier to identify. In this article, we’ve compiled 100 Common Synonyms you’ll hear in everyday English.
In case you forgot…
- A synonym is a word or phrase that has a common or similar meaning as another word or phrase in the same language.
The list isn’t meant to be a replacement for a thesaurus. Instead, our goal is to point out 75 common words that are direct synonyms.
Speakers use these words in a wide range of contexts (business, casual conversation, etc…). Meaning, you could hear one word used or the other in any situation. We included nouns, verbs, and adjectives on our list, and some of the words can elevate your vocabulary!
Each set of words has example sentences for you to see each word in use. And we define the words so there’s no confusion. Memorize our list and improve your vocabulary!
List of Common Synonyms: A – E
Able — Capable – Having the means to do something
- She was able to walk only three months after her terrible accident.
- The boy is capable of doing amazing things in life.
Accomplish — Achieve – To successfully complete something
- We can accomplish a lot if we work together.
- She could achieve anything she set her mind to do.
Adore — Love – A feeling of deep affection
- I adore long walks on the beach at sunset.
- She loves going to the movies.
Afraid — Scared – To feel fear
- The boy was afraid to enter the room.
- She was scared of sudden, loud sounds.
Allow — Permit – To give permission
- Please allow me to take your coat.
- Will you permit him to enter the courtroom?
Angry — Mad – Feeling of displeasure or strong annoyance, or hostility
- Beth was angry with her mother.
- He was mad at his dad.
Annoy — Bother – To irritate or make someone a little angry
- Don’t annoy your brother today!
- The little boy kept bothering the small dog.
Answer — Reply – Something said, written or done as a response to a question or statement
- Did you give an answer to the question?
- Did you reply to his email?
Arrive — Reach – To come to a certain point in travel or as a conclusion or thought
- When will you arrive?
- We don’t know when we will reach our destination.
Ask — Inquire – Say something to get an answer
- I asked him about the specials for this evening.
- She inquired about the loud noises she heard last night.
Begin — Commence – To start or do the first part
- We will begin the race soon.
- The ceremony will commence at nine in the morning.
Big — Large – Of considerable size
- I ordered a big box of doughnuts for everyone.
- Instead of the shoes she ordered, she received a large coat.
Blend — Mix – Combine one substance with another substance
- Blend the eggs with the flour.
- Mix the protein powder with the milk.
Buy — Purchase – Obtain something in exchange for payment
- Dad said we’re not going to buy a new car this year.
- It isn’t smart to purchase something when you have no money.
Center — Middle – Point that is equal in distance from all other points or sides
- Put the ball in the center of the court.
- The man stood in the middle of the field.
Contemplate — Think – Direct your mind towards something
- I have to go to the park and contemplate my next move.
- He’s going to the park to think about what he should do next.
Creepy — Spooky – Causing an unpleasant feeling or fear
- That house always struck me as very creepy.
- The cemetery can be very spooky at night.
Defective — Faulty – Imperfect, lacking, or deficient
- The computer was defective so we sent it back.
- His house had faulty wiring, so he called an electrician.
Delicious — Exquisite – Delightful and of high quality
- These apples are delicious.
- Chef Ronaldo’s cuisine is exquisite.
Difficult — Hard – Requiring a lot of effort or skill
- The course was very difficult.
- Running a mile in under five minutes is hard!
Easy — Simple – Requiring little effort or skill
- I found the task to be very easy.
- Making scrambled eggs is simple with the right tools.
Extra — Additional – Added to an existing amount
- Do you have any extra milk I could use?
- We required some additional salt in the recipe.
Common Synonyms: F – L
Fair — Impartial – Treating everyone the same
- A judge is supposed to be fair in matters of law.
- We were looking for an impartial jury.
Faithful — Loyal – Showing firm and constant support
- The dog was faithful to his owner.
- Coldplay is a band with a lot of loyal fans.
Forgive — Pardon – To stop resenting someone or to give up a claim
- Will you forgive him for his actions?
- The judge is set to pardon the man next Tuesday.
Frank — Candid – Truthful, straightforward, honest
- We spoke frankly for the first time in ages.
- She was very Candid in her interview.
Freedom — Liberty – The ability to do what you want without restraint
- People just want the freedom to live peacefully.
- We seek liberty and justice for all.
Frustrated — Exasperated – Intensely irritated
- I was so frustrated with her that I almost snapped.
- The boy yelled and yelled until his mom was exasperated.
Gather — Collect – Bring together, assemble, or accumulate
- We’re gathering rocks to add to our collection.
- Collect all the pieces, and we can assemble the puzzle.
Get — Receive – Come to have something; presented with
- Did you get your keys back?
- I haven’t received his letter yet.
Gift — Present – Something given willingly without payment
- He gave her a gift for her birthday.
- For his graduation, he received many presents.
Great — Fantastic – Extraordinarily good
- I think it’s great that you two are dating.
- The movie was fantastic!
Guarantee — Assure – To give confidence in something
- I can’t guarantee that she’ll show up on time.
- We can assure you that we will arrive before noon.
Happy — Delighted – To be greatly pleased
- They were happy to see their father once again.
- I was delighted to hear that your trip went well.
Hate — Loathe – Feeling of intense dislike or disgust
- I hate it when we have plans for the weekend and it rains.
- She loathed her ex-husband for all the things he did during their marriage.
Help — Assist – Make it easier for someone to do something
- Can I help you?
- Would someone please assist me?
Idea — Thought – A mental impression, opinion, belief, or concept
- I had an idea on the way to school.
- Can you give us your thoughts about the project?
Idiot — Fool – A silly or stupid person
- I wouldn’t say he’s always an idiot, but he was acting like one that day.
- Only a fool would follow him.
Important — Significant – To have a great effect, noteworthy
- We have some important business to discuss.
- Was what you discussed significant at all?
Inspect — Examine – To look closely at something to examine its condition
- She went to inspect the back seat of the car.
- We need to examine the specimen.
Job — Occupation – A profession
- John got a new job last week!
- She’s thinking about changing her occupation.
Last — Final – Coming at the end of something or a series
- Just wait until the last moment.
- I want to see the final scene of the movie again.
Late — Tardy – Slow in action, or delayed beyond an expected time
- Carol was always late to work.
- We won’t tolerate anyone being tardy to class.
Loud — Noisy – Producing a lot of noise
- The television was too loud for the neighbors.
- Why is that fan so noisy?
Lucky — Fortunate – Having a favorable outcome
- We were lucky to find her.
- It was fortunate that she came when she did.
Common Synonyms: M – S
Mistake — Error – An action or judgement that was incorrect or wrong
- The player was prone to making mistakes and was cut from the team.
- He completed every task without error.
Moody — Temperamental – Possibility of changing one’s mood or state unreasonably; unpredictable behavior
- John was dealing with a lot and became very moody during his sessions.
- The temperamental refrigerator would sometimes freeze food, and other, times it would spoil it.
Nearly — Almost – Very close to; not quite
- They nearly missed their flight.
- The storm almost caught up with us.
Odd — Strange – Different from what is expected, unusual
- Has Julie been acting oddly to you?
- Her demeanor has been very strange.
Polite — Courteous – Showing respectful behavior
- The boy was very polite to all of his teachers.
- Janet was a very courteous woman and never raised her voice.
Previous — Former – Existing or occurring before
- The car belonged to the previous owner of the garage.
- She was the former winner of the award.
Prohibit — Forbid – Do not allow, or order someone not to do something
- We’re prohibited from leaving the house until dad returns.
- I forbid that they can leave until I return.
Pull — Tug – To use force to cause something to move towards oneself
- The boy kept pulling on his mother’s dress.
- The puppy tugged on the carpet.
Push — Shove – To use force to cause something to move away from oneself
- John pushed the rock with great force.
- Carol shoved the door open.
Raise — Lift – Move to a higher position or level
- Can you raise the chair about two centimeters?
- I need someone to lift this box for me.
Rest — Relax – To stop work or movement
- You should rest after all the work you’ve done.
- It’s time to relax on the beach.
Rich — Wealthy – Having a lot of resources
- His investments made him very rich.
- The Walton family is very wealthy.
Smart — Intelligent – Able to quickly acquire knowledge and apply skills
- The boy is considered to be very smart.
- The girl was known as very intelligent.
Smell — Sniff – To perceive odors or scents
- My nose is stuffy, so I can’t smell anything.
- The dog would sniff anything around.
Split — Divide – To separate into parts
- I’m going outside to split the firewood.
- We need to divide the cake into equal slices.
Start — Begin – Undergo the first part of an activity or action
- We couldn’t start until she arrived.
- It’s time to begin the test.
Sunset — Sundown – The point in time when the sun disappears on the horizon
- We’re not leaving until sunset.
- The two were scheduled to meet at sundown.
T – Z
Taxi — Cab – Vehicle that transports passengers for a fee
- Can you call a taxi so we can leave?
- I need to find a cab to get home.
Tell — Divulge – To make information known
- Did you tell him about the dress?
- She wouldn’t divulge her secrets.
Thankful — Grateful – Showing appreciation
- I was very thankful for the kind messages.
- Joey was grateful for his cards.
Thick — Dense – Close, compact in substance
- The wool coat was too thick to wear even in Autumn.
- The forest was very dense with thick brush and trees.
Thin — Slim – Slenderly built person
- Tom always had a thin build.
- Carrie has a slim figure.
Tired — Fatigued – Drained of strength and energy
- My dad is always tired from working so much.
- I ran two miles, so I’m feeling fatigued.
Trash — Garbage – Discarded or waste matter
- Can you take the trash out to the dumpster?
- Would you throw this in the garbage?
Try — Attempt – To make an effort to do something or achieve something
- I won’t try to explain my actions.
- Don’t even attempt to run that course.
Use — Utilize – To put something into action as a means of accomplishing something or getting a result
- They used a small camera to help with the surgery.
- We utilized a jack and tire iron to change the tire.
Very — Extremely – To a great degree
- The mountains are very tall.
- Don’t climb that mountain because it’s extremely dangerous.
Walk — Stroll – To move at a regular pace by foot
- We like to walk after six to clear our heads.
- They took a leisurely stroll at dusk.
Wonderful — Amazing – Inspiring admiration
- I’m feeling wonderful today!
- The clouds looked amazing with the sunset.
Write — Record – To mark on a surface with a pen or pencil
- Please write your name for me.
- We have someone to record the details of the meeting.
With our Ultimate List of Common Synonyms, you’re now prepared to use and understand these English words in any situation! Can you think of any more we missed? Leave a comment below and let us know.
As always, for all things English grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary, and business English, visit the Magoosh English Speaking Blog!