Share this entry

Share this page

monosemy

Line breaks: mono|semy
Pronunciation: /ˈmɒnə(ʊ)ˌsiːmi
 
/

Definition of monosemy in English:

noun

[mass noun] Linguistics
The property of having only one meaning.
Example sentences
  • These concern the distinction between polysemy and homonymy, and between polysemy and monosemy.

Origin

1950s: from mono- 'one' + Greek sēma 'sign' + -y3.

Derivatives

monosemic

1
adjective

monosemous

2
adjective
Example sentences
  • It might be unclear, in any given case, whether a word should be regarded as polysemous or monosemous.
  • Fortunately, about half of abbreviations (5772 in the supplemental abbreviation file) seem to be monosemous.

Definition of monosemy in:

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 odium
Pronunciation: ˈəʊdɪəm
noun
widespread hatred or disgust for someone…