paronomasia

Paronomasia is the technique of using a pun, or a joke based on multiple or possible meanings of words. Shakespeare was the king of paronomasia.

Most examples of paronomasia are funny, a clever play on words, although it's also used for emphasis in rhetoric or as a poetic device in literature. Newspaper and website headline writers are known for using paronomasia to catch readers' attention."Otter Devastation," for example, the headline on a story about environmental changes affecting otters, sounds like "utter devastation," a common news phrase. In Greek, paronomasia means "play upon similar-sounding words."

Definitions of paronomasia
  1. noun
    a humorous play on words
    synonyms: pun, punning, wordplay
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    type of:
    fun, play, sport
    verbal wit or mockery (often at another's expense but not to be taken seriously)
Word Family