Dictionary

semantics

noun plural but singular or plural in construction se·man·tics \si-ˈman-tiks\

: the study of the meanings of words and phrases in language

: the meanings of words and phrases in a particular context

Full Definition of SEMANTICS

1
:  the study of meanings:
a :  the historical and psychological study and the classification of changes in the signification of words or forms viewed as factors in linguistic development
b (1) :  semiotics
(2) :  a branch of semiotic dealing with the relations between signs and what they refer to and including theories of denotation, extension, naming, and truth
3
a :  the meaning or relationship of meanings of a sign or set of signs; especially :  connotative meaning
b :  the language used (as in advertising or political propaganda) to achieve a desired effect on an audience especially through the use of words with novel or dual meanings

Examples of SEMANTICS

  1. More than semantics is at stake. In the case of obesity, the debate has heightened in the wake of major diet-pill recalls last year. Many new diet nostrums are in various stages of testing, and the FDA's bar for approving new drugs is lower for disease treatments than for other problems, such as baldness or skin wrinkles. —Laura Johannes et al., Wall Street Journal, 9 Feb. 1998

Origin of SEMANTICS

(see semantic)
First Known Use: 1893

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms

ablaut, allusion, anacoluthon, diacritic, gerund, idiom, infinitive, metaphor, semiotics, simile

semantics

noun plural but singular or plural in construction se·man·tics \si-ˈmant-iks\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of SEMANTICS

:  the study of meanings: a :  the historical and psychological study and the classification of changes in the signification of words or forms viewed as factors in linguistic development b (1) :  semiotic (2) :  a branch of semiotic dealing with the relations between signs and what they refer to and including theories of denotation, extension, naming, and truth

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May 30, 2015
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