Definition of context
contextlessplay \ˈkän-ˌtekst-ləs\ adjective
contextualplay \kän-ˈteks-chə-wəl, kən-, -chəl, -chü-əl\ adjective
Examples of context in a Sentence
… it was Dickens who first used the word ‘detective’ in a literary context … —John Mullan, How Novels Work, 2006
Entrepreneurship and civil freedoms depend on a context of civil order, predictability, and individual security. —Susan L. Woodward, Balkan Tragedy, 1995
… the old building, its original acre, inside its high outer wall, was immune to change, out of context and out of time. —Harriet Doerr, The Tiger in the Grass, 1995
We need to look at the event within the larger context of world history.
The book puts these events in their proper historical and social contexts.
We need to consider these events in context.
Recent Examples of context from the Web
The co-founder of the MIT program on climate change says the administration is citing an outdated report, taken out of context.
In this context, school baths were a pedagogical tool:
While Comey’s memos on those exchanges already have been reported on, Comey could offer more detail and context.
When a reporter asked him about the context of the quote, Mason quickly pulled back.
As usual, expect spectacular visuals and a game attempt to put it all into contemporary context.
In a fast-adoption scenario, oil prices could drop to about $15 a barrel in 2015 prices by early 2040 (for context, crude goes for just under $50 a barrel today).
Haithem El-Zabri, a Palestinian-American activist singled out in the reports, was shocked to hear his name mentioned in that context.
But the context of it all is the hustle of comedy life for Louis C.K.’s alter ego, a comic who’s successful, albeit not quite as successful as the star.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'context'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
context, in Context
In its earliest uses (documented in the 15th century), context meant "the weaving together of words in language." This sense, now obsolete, developed logically from the word's source in Latin, contexere "to weave or join together." Context now most commonly refers to the environment or setting in which something (whether words or events) exists. When we say that something is contextualized, we mean that it is placed in an appropriate setting, one in which it may be properly considered.
Origin and Etymology of context
Middle English, weaving together of words, from Latin contextus connection of words, coherence, from contexere to weave together, from com- + texere to weave — more at technical
First Known Use: circa 1568
CONTEXT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of context for English Language Learners
: the words that are used with a certain word or phrase and that help to explain its meaning
: the situation in which something happens : the group of conditions that exist where and when something happens
CONTEXT Defined for Kids
Definition of context for Students
1 : the words that are used with a certain word in writing or speaking Without the context, I don't know what he meant by the word “odd.”
2 : the situation in which something happens The book considers her actions in their historical context.
Seen and Heard
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