Definition of syncategorematic
- logical operators and function words are syncategorematic
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
In ancient Greek logic, katēgorēma referred to something that was affirmed or denied about the subject in a proposition. For instance, in "the paper is white," "whiteness" would be the katēgorēma. Seventeenth-century logicians extended this concept, which they called "categorem," to cover the subject of the proposition as well. So, in the proposition "All men are mortal," mortality is a categorem and so is man. But what about all? Words like all that signify quantity (as well as words that function as adverbs, prepositions, or conjunctions) are syncategoremata - that is, they are words that have meaning in propositions only when used in conjunction "with" other words. (Syn- means "with.")
What made you want to look up syncategorematic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!
Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!TAKE THE QUIZ
Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.TAKE THE QUIZ