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Types of Words

A word is a sequence of letters that means something. Our list below contains over 20 different types of words. We intentionally excluded parts of speech.

Different Types of Words

Type of Word Definition
Abbreviation A word that has been shortened.
Acronym A word formed from the first letter or letters of a
compound term and pronounced as a word.
Anagram A word formed by rearranging the letters of another word.
Antonym Words that have opposite meanings. The antonym may be for only one meaning of a word that has other meanings.
Clipped Words A word that has been shortened or clipped due to use, e.g., ad – advertisement, bike – bicycle.
Compound Words A word created by joining two or more words. They do not always retain their original meaning, e.g., brainstorm.
Collocation Words that are frequently used together.
Contractions A word that is formed by shortening words,
replacing one or more letters with an apostrophe.
(Reverse Pair)
A word that reads differently in reverse,
sometimes these words are referred to as reverse pairs.
Emordnilap is palindrome spelled backwards.
Eponyms A word based or derived from a person’s name.
Heteronym Words that are spelled the same but have a different
pronunciation, meaning and origin.
Homograph Words that are spelled the same but
have a different meaning and origin.
Homophones Words that sound alike, but have
a different meaning and usually spelling.
Onomatopoeia A words that resembles the sound to which they refer;
the noise they depict, e.g., boom.
Oxymoron Words that contradict each other; clashing ideas.
Palindromes A word or sentence that read the same
way forward and backward.
Portmanteau A word that is formed by combining two or
more words; the words morph into one word,
e.g., moped = motor + pedal.
Sesquipedalian A word that is very long.
The shortest word on our list has only 12 letters.
Sight Words Common words that are often not spelled
phonetically but must be learned, so they can be
recognized automatically on sight.
Synonym Words that have similar meanings.
Word Pairs A pair of words that always appear in the same order.
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