Monosemy

məˈnäsəmē

Noun

  • The property of having only one meaning.

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Example Sentences

“I’ll be presenting a paper on the difficulties of translating monosemy and polysemy in ancient texts at the conference.”

“We’re taking a monosemy approach for the first round of research.”

“The artificial language is built on a monosemy structure.”

Word Origin

Greek, 1950s

Why this word?

Unless you’re a linguist or a computer scientist, the chances of you using the word “monosemy” in conversation are slim, but it’s still an interesting concept to understand. In linguistics, monosemy is when a word or a part of a word has only one meaning. In modern English, we use metaphor, slang, and jargon, so the chances of a word today truly having only one meaning are very slim. However, ancient languages were very often monosemous, which gives us the building blocks of modern languages.

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Learn a new word Inchoate

inˈkōət