Share this entry

Share this page

general semantics

Syllabification: gen·er·al se·man·tics

Definition of general semantics in English:

plural noun

[usually treated as singular]
A system of linguistic philosophy developed by Alfred Korzybski (1879–1950), which explores the arbitrary nature of words and symbols and attempts to refine ways of using language.
Example sentences
  • Korzybski, after defined time-binding, developed general semantics, a philosophy based on modern science that understands implicitly the important of language, knowledge and time.
  • But did you know that the quintessentially American gesture of wagging pairs of fingers in the air as if putting quotes around spoken words derives from general semantics - the term and the discipline that originated with A. Korzybski?
  • Again, there's some more general semantics (‘the X that S’ where X might not normally take a definite article), and maybe something extra.

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day boscage
Pronunciation: ˈbɒskɪdʒ
noun
a mass of trees or shrubs