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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.


(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


(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.


a diversity of meanings for a given word.
See also: Language
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


[pɒˈlɪsəmɪ] Npolisemia f
References in periodicals archive ?
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.
Their topics include itineraries of satire: polysemy and morality in Marguerite de Navarre's HeptamAaAaAeA?
Possible sources of this divergence are other causes of polysemy than figurative extension, for example in the sense of [pen.
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.
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.
Synopsis: "The Good of Recognition" analyzes the polysemy of recognition operative in the thought of two contemporary French thinkers, Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995) and Paul Ricreur (1913-2005).
272, italics in original), he suggests that polysemy and multiple players can overcome it.
The final consolidation of its meaning was, perhaps unsurprisingly, the work of Ho Chi Minh, who stressed the conceptual and historical difference of 'revolution' from other forms of political protest and in so doing, foreclosed the polysemy of the term in the early stages of its circulation.
On the other hand, approaches to prepositional semantics mostly focus on their polysemy relations, i.
Kintsch's (2001) study describing the prediction algorithm, which makes the language used in a student essay more context dependent, shows that the prediction algorithm is improving the polysemy problem inherent in LSA.