Meaning of polysemy in English:


Translate polysemy into Spanish


mass nounLinguistics
  • The coexistence of many possible meanings for a word or phrase.

    ‘For my part, therefore, I am inclined to see features of both monosemy and polysemy in a word's semantic structure.’
    • ‘In doing this, lexicographers generally take the view that homonymy relates to different words whose forms have converged while polysemy relates to one word whose meanings have diverged or radiated.’
    • ‘Valéry puts to work the regulated polysemy of the word ‘capital’.’
    • ‘All the words for actual (kinds of) snow have been removed, and I'm ignoring the extensive polysemy of snow and many of its derivatives.’
    • ‘Literariness was not merely the quality that distinguished poetics from pragmatics, it was the guarantee and promise of linguistic richness, of polysemy.’



/ˈpɒlɪsiːmi/ /pəˈlɪsɪmi/


Early 20th century from poly-‘many’ + Greek sēma ‘sign’.