Open main menu

Wiktionary β

Appendix:English autological terms

A word is autological or homological if it describes itself. Since adjectives are words that are designed to describe things, including words, most autological words are adjectives.

Other parts of speech may be autological: Nouns and Verbs can also be self-descriptive, though not in the same way that adjectives are; phrases may be autological, e.g., “three words long” is three words long; likewise acronyms may be, like TLA for “Three Letter Acronym" or RAS syndrome for "Redundant Acronym Syndrome syndrome".

A word which is not autological is heterological, except the word “heterological” itself, which logically cannot be either – see the Grelling–Nelson paradox. The word “autological” itself may be taken, without contradiction, to be either autological or heterological – see Grelling–Nelson paradox#Autological.

The main list of autological words is Category:English autological terms; below find discussions of words that are autological in certain contexts or require explanation.


Depending on contextEdit

Depending on inclusion or frequencyEdit

Depending on order or positionEdit

Depending on format or deliveryEdit

Computer programming and websitesEdit

  • 010000100110100101101110011000010111001001111001 ('Binary' in Binary)
  • editable (in a wiki-based online encyclopedia)
  • linking (in an online encyclopedia)
  • QmFzZTY0 ('Base64' in Base64)
  • true when used as a string literal in most programming languages (non-empty strings usually evaluate to true when converted to boolean)
  • string

Dependent on an errorEdit

  • mispellings of "mispelt" etc
  • mispronunciations of "mispronunciation"
  • keying errors when writing "typo" or "typos"

Previously autologicalEdit


Depending on contextEdit

Computer programming and websitesEdit


Other parts of speechEdit

See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit