lexical

adjective
lex·i·cal | \ˈlek-si-kəl \

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 \ noun
lexically \ˈlek-si-k(ə-)lē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for lexical

Synonyms

linguistic (also linguistical), rhetorical (also rhetoric), verbal, vocabular, wordy

Antonyms

nonlexical, nonlinguistic, nonverbal

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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

Her decision to hold a snap election in June last year brought lexical complications. James Masters, CNN, "From 'titanic success' to 'Mad Max': How language around Brexit changed," 27 Mar. 2018 The commission made a number of other lexical recommendations. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "France Says ‘Au Revoir’ to the Word ‘Smartphone’," 16 Jan. 2018 And light drinkers weren't better than abstainers at lexical fluency, the study showed. Olga Khazan, The Atlantic, "Even Small Amounts of Alcohol Impair Memory," 15 Dec. 2017 In 1900, papers in Science and Nature were about as accessible to a general audience as pieces in the New York Times, according to a lexical analysis cited in a 2003 feature in Nature by Jonathan Knight. Daniel Engber, Slate Magazine, "Humans Run Experiments, a Robot Writes the Paper," 12 Dec. 2017 Dumpster fire, in lexical and emoji form, defeated woke in a runoff. Stefan Fatsis, Slate Magazine, "Dumpster Fire, Brexit, Fake News," 3 Feb. 2017 And while the consequences of Trump’s risky bet on the Iran Deal are more significant than a semantic difference, Iranians—who take great pride in their history in the region—did not let the lexical slight, Freudian or otherwise, go unnoticed. Kia Makarechi, vanityfair.com, "Trump Trolls Iran by Reigniting “Persian Gulf” War," 13 Oct. 2017 And while the consequences of Trump’s risky bet on the Iran Deal are more significant than a semantic difference, Iranians—who take great pride in their history in the region—did not let the lexical slight, Freudian or otherwise, go unnoticed. Kia Makarechi, The Hive, "Trump Trolls Iran by Reigniting “Persian Gulf” War," 13 Oct. 2017 Or emoji might be a lexical fad, here for now but gone as soon as this wave of digital natives hands control of the global village over to the next generation. Nick Stockton, WIRED, "Emoji—Trendy Slang or a Whole New Language?," 24 June 2015

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

The first known use of lexical was in 1836

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More Definitions for lexical

lexical

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of lexical

linguistics : relating to words or vocabulary

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More from Merriam-Webster on lexical

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lexical

Spanish Central: Translation of lexical

Nglish: Translation of lexical for Spanish Speakers

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