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Having or characterized by many meanings, as the words play and table.

[From Late Latin polysēmus, from Greek polusēmos : polu-, poly- + sēma, sign.]

pol′y·se′my (pŏl′ē-sē′mē, pə-lĭs′ə-) n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.polysemous - of words; having many meanings
ambiguous - having more than one possible meaning; "ambiguous words"; "frustrated by ambiguous instructions, the parents were unable to assemble the toy"




[ˌpɒlɪˈsiːməs] adjpolisemico/a
References in periodicals archive ?
With all these possibilities for linguistic change, the most likely explanation for Faramir's "nothing certain" when answering Frodo's question about the name Cirith Ungol is that Faramir is holding in his mind all the polysemous and metaphorical meanings of the word; whereas the creature in question--Shelob--is simply so much like a spider that simply saying "spider" to Frodo and Sam would have prepared them as well as anything.
Despite being a polysemous area, topics which which stand out include learning and knowledge (Brown & Duguid, 1991; Cook & Yanow, 1993; Fenwick, Nerland, & Jensen, 2012; Gherardi, 2001, 2006; Nicolini, Gherardi, & Yanow, 2003; Strati, 2007), strategy-as-practice (Jarzabkowski, 2004; Whittington, 1996), education (Bispo, 2015; Davis, 2012; Gherardi, 2015; Landri, 2012), science and technology (Orlikowski, 2000, 2007; Suchman, Blomberg, Orr, & Trigg, 1999).
Nevertheless, we also find the distinctive forms cesme 'source, spring' and cusme 'sun', corresponding respectively to the spellings casma and cysma in Agarunov's dictionary; both forms derive from the polysemous Pers.
The spirit of Old Man Coyote engenders creative forces that can inspire cultural critique and provides a polysemous heuristic for the articulation of a democratic attitude.
As we have argued, words like jukurrpa, altyerre and their counterparts in other Australian languages are typically polysemous, but one of their meanings --perhaps the most central one--does have a temporal aspect, albeit very vague; namely, the events of the Jukurrpa, Altyerre etc.
The flip side of interactivity and interconnectivity is the loss of the opportunity for musing or "slow cooking," which is indispensable for mastering a language that is polysemous and rich in ambiguity.
For this author at least, revision has moved beyond the aesthetic and even political spheres to become a polysemous ontological project.
A contronym or autantonym is a polysemous word where one of the meanings is the antonym of another--that is, a word which is its own opposite [10].
Opening up biopolitics to the polysemous nuances of animacy, a term Chen draws from her linguistic training to encompass the vicissitudes of liveness and agency, allows for the clear thematic organization of her book despite what may seem a daunting task in terms of the scope of her many interventions and interlocutors.
It refers to the task that automatically assigns the appropriate sense, selected from a set of pre-defined senses for a polysemous word, according to a particular context.
A community that is bounded in a certain space or locality and composed of a group of people of very different lifestyles amongst whom the quality of relationships are polysemous and ambivalent, rife with comeraderie or conflict, friendship, tolerance, or friction.
Pictures, analyzed in this paper, disclosed polysemous relation of the text and image that escape any strict definitions and hierarchic structures and establish typical for postmodern culture relation between things.