Partial synonyms are synonyms that have the same meaning in a certain context, but in another sentence they can change their meaning and therefore no longer function as a synonym. For example: wedding/party. 

On Saturday we will have Juana ‘s wedding . I will be with my friends throughout the party .

In this case, the words wedding and party function as synonyms because they refer to the same thing, and serve to avoid repetition of the word “wedding”. But outside of this context, the word party is not always synonymous with wedding.

Total synonyms , on the other hand, are those that have the same meaning in any context. For example: speed / speed.

  • It may help you: Sentences with synonyms

How to recognize a partial synonym?

In order to recognize a partial synonym, we must change the word from the context, that is, use the same word in another semantic field . If the phrase retains its meaning, then it is a full synonym . If the phrase loses meaning (as in the previous example) then it is a partial synonym. For example:

  • Yesterday my brother had surgery , luckily the operation went well. In this context, surgery and operation are synonymous.
  • The company made a millionaire investment abroad and that operation was what led to its ruin. In this context, operation is not synonymous with surgery .

Therefore, surgery and operation are partial synonyms, since they can function as synonyms but only in the context of medicine.

Examples of partial synonyms

admiration – appreciation energy – current
alba – aurora school – organization
joy – well-being room
food man – gentleman
friendship synonym – fellowship same – similar
friendship – camaraderie start – prologue
love – service send – order
apparatus – instrument engine – machine
block – scene woman girl
wedding – party woman – maiden
brilliant – smart wife
house – shack ship – car
jealousy – envy ship – car
boy pride – satisfaction
small boy belly – abdomen
crash – overturn leave – emigrate
surgery – operation pleasure – joviality
eat – have lunch plants – flora
make – make pen – pen
commemorate – remember poor – humble
cup – trophy protect – protect
cup – crystal glass acknowledge – confess
copy – imitate syndrome – disease
correct – repair solder – join
run – fun suspicion – conjecture
depression – sadness drink
fun – joviality take – hold
pain – hurt sadness – pity
enmity – confrontation union – mix