follow Dictionary.com

What's the "een" in Halloween?

polysemy

[pol-ee-see-mee, puh-lis-uh-mee] /ˈpɒl iˌsi mi, pəˈlɪs ə mi/
noun
1.
diversity of meanings.
Origin
1895-1900
1895-1900; < Neo-Latin polysēmia, equivalent to Late Latin polysēm(us) with many significations (< Greek polýsēmos, equivalent to poly- poly- + sêm(a) sign + -os adj. suffix) + -ia -y3
Related forms
polysemous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for polysemous

polysemy

/ˌpɒlɪˈsiːmɪ; pəˈlɪsəmɪ/
noun
1.
the existence of several meanings in a single word Compare monosemy
Derived Forms
polysemous, adjective
Word Origin
C20: from New Latin polysēmia, from Greek polusēmos having many meanings, from poly- + sēma a sign
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Contemporary definitions for polysemous
adjective

See polysemic

Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014 Dictionary.com, LLC
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for polysemous
adj.

1884, from Medieval Latin polysemus, from Greek polysemos "of many sides" (see polysemy).

polysemy

n.

1900, from French polysémie (1897), from Medieval Latin polysemus, from Greek polysemos "of many senses," from poly- (see poly-) + sema "sign" (see semantic). Related: Polysemic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for polysemy

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for polysemous

17
0
Scrabble Words With Friends