lex·​i·​cal | \ ˈlek-si-kəl How to pronounce lexical (audio) \

Definition of lexical

1 : of or relating to words or the vocabulary of a language as distinguished from its grammar and construction Our language has many lexical borrowings from other languages.
2 : of or relating to a lexicon or to lexicography lexical methods aim to list all the relevant forms— A. F. Parker-Rhodes

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Other Words from lexical

lexicality \ ˌlek-​sə-​ˈka-​lə-​tē How to pronounce lexical (audio) \ noun
lexically \ ˈlek-​si-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce lexical (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for lexical



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The Wordy History of Lexical

The word lexicon can be used as a synonym of dictionary, and the word lexicography refers to the practice of dictionary making. Both of these words, as well as lexical, derive from the Greek word lexis, meaning "word" or "speech." A fourth descendant of lexis is lexiphanic, an archaic adjective describing one who uses pretentious words for effect. Lexis should not be confused with the Latin lex, or "law," which is used in legal phrases such as lex non scripta, meaning "unwritten law."

Examples of lexical in a Sentence

a dictionary provides lexical information—it tells you what the word “cat” means, not all there is to know about cats
Recent Examples on the Web Now, Biden and his supporters are making the next lexical jump, taking what was once an arcane word for physical assets and transforming it to mean anything the government deems worthy of spending. Nicole Gelinas, Washington Examiner, 29 Apr. 2021 It’s a private publication, owned by the Walt Disney Co. , that is free to make its own lexical decisions. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, 20 Apr. 2021 Since this was a global health catastrophe, many of the lexical changes have been health-related. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, 24 Dec. 2020 On the opposite end of the spectrum is the popular sign name for Donald Trump, which bears no lexical relationship to the president’s name in English but deftly evokes his iconic comb-over. Sonja Sharp Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 10 Nov. 2020 Part of my technique was also to invent an entire lexical field or vocabulary for these children. Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, 20 Oct. 2020 They will now be written in English in the same order as in Japanese ON JANUARY 1ST a minor lexical revolution rolled through Japan. The Economist, 2 Jan. 2020 The lexical dispute continued into the 1920s and returned again with the official designation of Denali as the name of Alaska’s highest peak in 2015. National Geographic, 25 Sep. 2019 There are other ways to wage a social struggle on the lexical front. The Economist, 22 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lexical.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lexical

1836, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lexical

see lexicon

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Time Traveler for lexical

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The first known use of lexical was in 1836

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Statistics for lexical

Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lexical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lexical. Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for lexical



English Language Learners Definition of lexical

linguistics : relating to words or vocabulary

More from Merriam-Webster on lexical

Nglish: Translation of lexical for Spanish Speakers


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