Encyclopedia > Polysemy

  Article Content

Polysemy

Polysemy refers to the concept of words with multiple meanings, such as "The child started to walk" and "My mother used to dance the Lambeth Walk".

Although closely related in meaning to homonym, lexicographers distinguish between polysemes, different uses of the same word, as walk the dog, take a walk, Lambeth Walk, going walking, which they define in a single dictionary entry, and homonyms like fluke, which have multiple meanings and different etymologies, and are therefore separate definitions.

There is clearly a gray area between the two ideas, but homonyms are much better known to average speakers, while polysemes are a matter for specialists.



All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

 
  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
 
 
  
  Featured Article
Monty Woolley

... was typecast as the wasp-tongued, supercillious sophisticate. His most famous role is that of the cranky professor forced to stay immobile because of a broken leg ...

 
 
 
This page was created in 23.4 ms