Questions tagged [synonyms]

類義語・同義語. Words which share a meaning in at least one of the senses of each.

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What is the difference between 経験 and 体験?

I was wondering what the difference is between 経験 and 体験? I've come across both terms a couple of times, and I know they both mean 'experience', but what is the difference between the two? Based on ...
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What's the difference between 食品 and 食料

I can't quite figure out the differences between these two. I would guess that 食料 is only used in situations, where the only thing that matters is that the food is there or not there (As in, searching ...
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Are 近畿【きんき】 and 関西【かんさい】 two nouns for the same concept and same region or there is an actual difference?

I have learnt that the 関西【かんさい】 area of Japan is also called 近畿【きんき】. According to my findings (see this entry on another stackexchange site), 関西 is a more popular term than 近畿. I would like to know: ...
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How interchangeable are の/である/なる/たる when qualifying nouns?

So we know that we can qualify/equate two things with a の. 友達のジョン → My friend John 先生の山田さん → A/My teacher Ms. Yamada 勝利者の亀さん → The winner: the turtle (as opposed to the hare) It seems ...
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The difference between 書物、図書 and 本

What are the differences between these three words. They all seem to translate to "books". 書物、図書 and 本
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What's the difference between “マグロ” (maguro), “ツナ” (tsuna), and “シーチキン” (shiichikin)?

It seems that there are (at least) three words for "tuna" in Japanese: "マグロ" / "鮪" / "まぐろ" (maguro) - Seems to be the native name for the creature and used at least in sushi "ツナ" (tsuna) - Seems to ...
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What is the difference between 「名前【なまえ】」 and 「名称【めいしょう】」?

I am learning the word 「名称【めいしょう】」. According to the dictionary, it means "name", but so does 「名前【なまえ】」. What are the differences in terms of meaning and usage between both words? I noticed that the ...
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What is the difference between 危ない and 危うい?

I came across this question, and found the same meaning in the dictionary for both options (a-危ない) or (b-危うい) ですから 下がってください however the answer booklet says it is (a-危ない), what is the difference?
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Difference in word use: 父親 母親 両親 父母

I would like to ask about the following words: 父親【ちちおや】 and 母親【ははおや】. They refer to father and mother, right? But why do they exist? When do we use them instead of お父【とう】さん and お母【かあ】さん? I have a ...
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Is this って equivalent to 「と」?

Is the って in the following sentence equivalent to 「と」 as in AはBと変わる/違う? 昔から好きな曲って変わらないみたい。 My favourite songs have not changed for many years. Does this mean it is equivalent to the と used for ...
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In general/Generally: 概【がい】して, 一般【いっぱん】に, 全体【ぜんたい】に, 総【そう】じて, なべて, 一体{いったい}に, etc

When I look at them in the dictionary, they all mean the same thing. How to know which one to use? If I want to say: "Generally, I go to school by bus" or "Generally, people grow taller&...
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what is the difference in the nuances / usage of 気に病む and 心配する ?

I was wondering what is the difference in the nuances / usage of 気に病む and 心配する ? (E.g. If I want to tell my friend not to worry about a test (albeit an important test), is it more appropriate to use ...
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Fun with synonyms - “perhaps/maybe/probably”

What are the differences when using the following words/phrases to mean "perhaps", "maybe" or "probably"? 多分 恐らく 蓋し {けだし} もしかして ひょっとして なかろう (negative -> probably not) だろう / でしょう / であろう かも知れない Please ...
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Difference between verb types (verbal nouns, transitive & intransitive: eg 開始, 始める and 始まる)

All three of these words mean "to start", but what's the difference between them and where are they used?
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What's the difference between 売店 and 商店

Is 売店 more used for smaller stuff, like a stand? I'm finding it hard to pinpoint the exact difference.
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What may be the difference between the usage of チャンス and 機会 ?

What may be the difference between the usage of チャンス and 機会 ? For example: 1) これは機会だぜ! 2) これはチャンスだぜ!
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What is the difference between 「変更」 and 「変化」?

I came across the word 「変化」 meaning "change, alteration". I already know the word 「変更」 that means "change" as well. What is the difference between both terms? I found a related question where they ...
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Words for “stomach” (お腹、胃袋、etc.)

I noticed that there are many words that can translate to "stomach" in Japanese, including: 胃{い}・胃{い}袋{ぶくろ}・お腹{なか}・腹{はら}・胃{い}の腑{ふ}・胃{い}腸{ちょう} What is the difference between these, and how do I know ...
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What's the difference between 済む, 終わる, 出来る and 上がる

I've seen all four used in the context of something being finished. What's the difference between them?
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What's the difference between “巻寿司” (makizushi), “海苔巻き” (norimaki), and “巻物” (makimono)?

It seems there are three words for the same Japanese food item, a kind of "sushi in a long roll": "巻寿司" (makizushi) "海苔巻き" (norimaki) "巻物" (makimono) Are they all identical / synonyms? Do they refer ...
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返{かえ}る / 戻{もど}る vs “come back” / “go back” / “return”

In English we have a generic and two directional ways of saying related things: return - doesn't imply a direction, has other uses including transitive ones (I returned the book I borrowed) come back ...
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What's the difference between 平行 and 並行?

They both seem to mean "parallel". In my プログレッシブ dictionary, it seems to point to the former being the more mathematical sense of the definition (two co-planar, non-intersecting lines), while the ...
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Words for area/district/region: the actual difference between 地区、地帯、地域、地方 (and also 区域)?

地区 and 地方 have similar definitions, and 地帯 and 地域 are also defined similarly (at least according to JMdict/EDICT: 地区【ちく】 = district; section; sector 地方【ちほう】= district; region; area; locality ...
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Are 清酒{せいしゅ} and 日本酒{にほんしゅ} two words for the same thing?

As well as the several other kinds of Japanese alcoholic drinks I seem to have found two words which both mean the drink known in the west as "saké". Now I know 酒{さけ} can be used for many kinds of ...
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Desire words: When to use 欲望{よくぼう}, 欲求{よっきゅう}, 欲{よく} and 欲念{よくねん}?

Today I ran into these three desire words, which are defined: 欲 = greed, craving, desire, avarice, wants 欲求 = desire 欲望 = desire, appetite, lust And while searching dictionaries, I also found a ...
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When do I use all the words meaning “song”?

There's 歌, 曲, 歌曲, 唄, etc. I was about to give a few example contexts, but in English there really doesn't seem to be more than one way in which we refer to a 'song'. I do see different words being ...
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What is the difference between 詰まらない and 詰らない

What is the difference between 詰まらない and 詰らない? Are they both valid words? Are they pronounced the same and do they have the same meaning?
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Difference between 出席【しゅっせき】する and 参加【さんか】する

Are these words interchangeable? Just for example I have found some sentences but do not see any difference between these word in meaning or politeness: 彼女【かのじょ】はそのコンテストに参加【さんか】した。 She took part in ...
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影 vs 形 vs 形状. What's the difference between them?

I've been reading a text and all three of these come up 影 vs 形 vs 形状. I know they mean shape/figure, but is there a more nuanced difference between them? I can see the logic of where they are in the ...
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Fun with synonyms - “freeze”

I'm a little confused on the difference between [凍る]{こおる} and [凍える]{こごえる}. From what I've researched, it seems like 凍る focuses more on the physical process of something freezing, and the result being ...
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What is the difference [一瞬]{いっ・しゅん}, [一刻]{いっ・こく}, and [(一)刹那]{(いっ・)せつ・な}

They all mean something like an instant or a moment. When are they (and when are they not) interchangeable? Is any more (in)formal/literary than the others? Do they represent the same amount of time? ...
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Difference between 苗字 and 家名?

To put it simply, is there any inherent difference between 苗字 and 家名 ? Since both of these words means "Surname" or "Last Name". Does there a differ in how they are used? Does 苗字 refer to the ...
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ぼちぼち - related words

I am at present rigorously studying 擬音語/擬態語 (an entire world of its own!). The definition my book has for ぼちぼち (also ぼつぼつ) is: 1. Gradually; slowly but steadily 2. Used to describe something that is ...
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Are 勅 and 詔 simply synonyms?

I cannot find a clear difference between these two kanji: 勅 : Imperial decree (みことのり、ショウ) 詔 : Imperial edict (みことのり、チョク) The English definitions for "decree" and "edict" are so similar, I ...
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What's the difference between ~かかる and ~ところだ

After reading this question on this site, I learned that ~かかる following a verb-stem can be translated as "about to ~"; the example in the original question being 殺されかかった, or "about to be killed" (as ...
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Closed: [休]{きゅう}〜 vs. [閉]{へい}〜

Are there particular rules on when to use one or the other? 休〜 appears to be more of a temporary closure or suspension (with implied continuation at some point in the near future)... この図書館は改装のため、...
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What's the difference between 同然 and 同様?

As in the title, what is the difference between these two? dictionary.goo.ne.jp says: 同然: 同じであること。また、そのさま。同様。 同様: 同じであること。ほとんど同じであること。また、そのさま。 and on the 類語 page these two are listed under one entry:...
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Differences between 死ぬ{しぬ}, 他界する{たかいする} and 亡くなる{なくなる}?

What are the differences between 死ぬ{しぬ}, 他界する{たかいする} and 亡くなる{なくなる}?
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Is there a shorter way to say 下の名前?

Since 名前 can also mean full name, it would be nice to have a single word that is complimentary to 苗字. Is there one available for common use?
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Are the meanings of 煙 and 烟 identical?

I noticed that 煙 in the phrase 茶煙永日香{ちゃえんえいじつかんばし} sometimes appears as 烟. For example, here is a teapot with 茶煙永日香 and a scroll with 茶烟永日香. Is there a difference in meaning between 煙 and 烟? 煙 and 烟 ...
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量、数 and 数量 (amount). Is there any of them that is used far more frequently than the other ones or are they pretty much equally used?

Assuming all of the three words are used to convey the same meaning, is there any of them that is used far more frequently or on the other hand they are equally used but differ depending on the ...
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What is a good synonym for「〜のに」at the end of a sentence?

I'm trying to come up with a good synonymous expression to put on a flashcard for 「〜のに」at the end of a sentence like these 彼が出て行けばいいのに。(I wish he would go.) あの建物さえなければ、きれいな景色が見えるのに。(If it wasn't for ...
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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​迷宮 vs 迷路​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

WWWJDIC says that both 迷宮 and 迷路 mean "maze / labyrinth". Google Images suggests that they are about the same thing: link1, link2 However, what may be the differences in nuance and usage between 迷宮 ...
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Fun with synonyms - “evaluation/investigation/etc.”

Explain the differences in the following vocabulary. They all essentially mean some form of investigation, inspection, etc. Please don't just write the definitions; I'm lost on how they differ, when ...
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Can 奪う be a synonym of 殺す?

In the following dialogue, and in general, is 奪う a synonym of 殺す? Maybe a more 'poetical' one? Character A: 誠士郎【せいしろう】を殺したのは鈴爾【れいじ】と雪也【ゆきなり】さんだ。 Character B: なに?誠士郎【せいしろう】を奪ったのが鈴爾【れいじ】と兄さん…!? ...
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What is the difference between 成熟 and 熟成?

I discovered that the word 成熟{せいじゅく} (maturity for people, fruit, etc.) has a little brother which is composed of the exact same kanjis with the same prononciation, but in reverse order: 熟成{じゅくせい}. I ...
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What is the difference between 「警察」and 「警官」?

I understand that 警察 is a broader term to refer to the police in general, but it can be used to refer to a police officer. In such case, is it equivalent to 警官 or there is still a difference between ...
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自分の vs 自らの when used for humans

What's the difference between 自分の and 自らの? Both can be used to mean "oneself", but is there a difference in their nuances / usages? (e.g. what would be the difference between あの子は、自らの命と引換に… and あの子は、...
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What is the difference between 「結局【けっきょく】」and 「とうとう」?

According to the dictionary I use to study, both are adverbs and their definitions are so similar that I can't tell the difference: 結局【けっきょく】: after all; in the end; ultimately; eventually とうとう: ...
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What's the difference between complaints 不満 不平 文句?

I tried reading explanations in Japanese on hinative, but they tend to use one of these words to describe the other two. Usually I only distinguish formal complaints (苦情) and verbal informal ...