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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˌpɒlɪˈsiːmɪ; pəˈlɪsəmɪ)
(Linguistics) the existence of several meanings in a single word. Compare monosemy
[C20: from New Latin polysēmia, from Greek polusēmos having many meanings, from poly- + sēma a sign]
ˌpolyˈsemous, polysemic, polyseme adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈpɒl iˌsi mi, pəˈlɪs ə mi)

diversity of meanings.
[< French polysémie (1897) < Late Latin polysēm(us) with many meanings (< Greek polýsēmos)]
pol`y•se′mous, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


a diversity of meanings for a given word.
See also: Language
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.polysemy - the ambiguity of an individual word or phrase that can be used (in different contexts) to express two or more different meanings
equivocalness, ambiguity - unclearness by virtue of having more than one meaning
monosemy - having a single meaning (absence of ambiguity) usually of individual words or phrases
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


[pɒˈlɪsəmɪ] Npolisemia f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Word-formation studies often speak in this regard of "polysemy" or "affixal polysemy".
Rules-based and model-based approaches like NLP, which operate on a keyword level, cannot take into account polysemy and synonymy.
They cover categories and constructions in context, teaching construal and viewpoint, and polysemy. Among their topics are second-language constructions and interactional competence: subordination and coordination in English second-language learning, optional that in complementation by German and Spanish learners, using blending theory to teach English conditionals, making sense of the definite article through a pedagogical schematic, and polysemy and conceptual metaphors: a cognitive linguistics approach to vocabulary learning.
89) because of "profusion" and "polysemy"--the sheer volume of messages and the variation in how they are interpreted.
Instead of ending up with an argument about lexical polysemy as such, he emphasizes the kinds of lexical polysemy that competing notions in these languages provide.
This is something that the pussy-hat protestors of the 2017 Women's March also understood, seizing upon the unruly polysemy of words and images to tactically disrupt the language wielded to degrade and abuse women, reclaiming it as a symbol of solidarity and empowerment.
National symposium with international participation "112 Socola!" represents the scientific event that marks the "days of Socola Institute" with the central theme of addressing psychiatric emergencies in the wholeness of the polysemy of such notions, in the context of the imminent necessity to define and delineate the psychiatric manifestations of acute and subacute current interdisciplinary practice.
Secondly, the initial cluster centers are randomly generated, thus the clustering results are unstable and susceptible to noise data points, which lead to the ambiguity of visual words [7], which lies in two areas: synonymy and polysemy. Moreover, the traditional BoVW model suffers from another main problem is the loss of spatial information when representing the images as histograms of quantized features and suffers limited accuracy [8].
The task of the public intellectual is to tease out the polysemy of AlDub and craft an alternative discourse.
The play of polysemy here is not solely, or even primarily, the manifestation of a commonplace aesthetic.