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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 ?
This is managed by their functioning as so many polysemously coded rites of passage that organically embed each segment within the larger story sequence.
Again, this winter clothing reference functions polysemously, invoking both positive and negative valences: "frumpery" perceived as an outdated, unfashionable, outworn concept of peace, or intentionally dowdy clothing as an external sign of nonconformist ideologies, of nonviolence and simple living.
This word has long ago taken the second meaning of "white person" polysemously.