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

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 making dictionaries. Both of these words, as well as lexical, derive from the Greek word lexis, meaning "word" or "speech." Another 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, meaning "law," which is used in legal phrases such as lex non scripta, "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 As Mesquita has noticed, many communities seem to manage fine without a lexical equivalent. Nikhil Krishnan, The New Yorker, 1 Aug. 2022 Merrill used innovative research methods such as eye-tracking, heat mapping and lexical analysis to study advisor/client interactions. Bridget Brennan, Forbes, 27 Oct. 2021 The trumpet and flugelhorn solos are what lead a large orchestra on its wild lexical ride. Los Angeles Times, 26 Oct. 2021 Apologies don’t come easily and sorry, therefore, is given special status – a lexical Gorilla Glue that works hard to do the impossible. Vicky Spratt, refinery29.com, 16 July 2021 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 See More

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.

First Known Use of lexical

1836, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lexical

see lexicon

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The first known use of lexical was in 1836

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Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lexical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lexical. Accessed 7 Aug. 2022.

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