se·​man·​tic | \ si-ˈman-tik How to pronounce semantic (audio) \
variants: or less commonly semantical \ si-​ˈman-​ti-​kəl How to pronounce semantical (audio) \

Definition of semantic

1 : of or relating to meaning in language
2 : of or relating to semantics

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Other Words from semantic

semantically \ si-​ˈman-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce semantically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of semantic in a Sentence

the process of semantic development

Recent Examples on the Web

Sure enough, despite her attempt to preempt semantic criticism, such criticism quickly appeared. Graeme Mcmillan, WIRED, "While You Were Offline: The President Is Running for President, FYI," 23 June 2019 The debate over whether Indiana Dunes deserved to be a national park was mostly a semantic one. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "America’s newest national park, Indiana Dunes, is also the closest one to Milwaukee," 20 Feb. 2019 Yet Rye began her remarks with little regard for the semantic implications of AOC’s statement. John Hirschauer, National Review, "Angela Rye Knows You’re Racist," 24 June 2019 One of them, which signaled both a medium-length pause and a semantic boundary inside a sentence, hadn’t been used for that particular function before. Christopher Tayler, Harper's magazine, "New Books," 24 June 2019 The reasons for their reluctance, in part, were semantic. Peg Tyre,, "How to survive in an AI world," 13 June 2019 In the end, a case that sparked a national reckoning over race and justice will reach its conclusion in a largely semantic inquiry about police takedown tactics. Wesley Lowery, Washington Post, "‘I can’t breathe.’ Five years after Eric Garner died in struggle with New York police, resolution still elusive.," 13 June 2019 Λαων, λ αε: etymology obscure, semantic field dubious. Anne Carson, Harper's magazine, "From a manuscript in progress. Carson’s collection of performance pieces," 10 June 2019 The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for the plaintiffs, holding that a jury might conclude that the FDA rejected Merck’s proposed label warning because of a semantic disagreement. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Fighting a Tort Plague," 6 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'semantic.' 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 semantic

1890, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for semantic

Greek sēmantikos significant, from sēmainein to signify, mean, from sēma sign, token

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Statistics for semantic

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for semantic

The first known use of semantic was in 1890

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English Language Learners Definition of semantic

: of or relating to the meanings of words and phrases
: of or relating to semantics

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More from Merriam-Webster on semantic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with semantic

Spanish Central: Translation of semantic

Nglish: Translation of semantic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of semantic for Arabic Speakers

Comments on semantic

What made you want to look up semantic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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