adjective syn·cat·e·gor·e·mat·ic \ˌsin-ˌka-tə-ˌgȯr-ə-ˈma-tik, -ˌgȯr-ē-\

Definition of syncategorematic

  1. :  forming a meaningful expression only in conjunction with a denotative expression (such as a content word) logical operators and function words are syncategorematic


play \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

syncategorematic was our Word of the Day on 09/28/2007. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

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.")

Origin and Etymology of syncategorematic

Late Latin syncategoremat-, syncategorema syncategorematic term, from Greek synkatēgorēma, from synkatēgorein to predicate jointly, from syn- + katēgorein to predicate — more at category

First Known Use: 1827

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feeling or affected by lethargy

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