Share this entry
semasiology Syllabification: se·ma·si·ol·o·gy
Pronunciation: /səˌmāsēˈäləjē/

Definition of semasiology in English:


The branch of linguistics that deals with words and phrases and the concepts that they represent. Compare with onomasiology.
Example sentences
  • In contrast, semasiology conceptualizes the signifying body and the spaces in which people move as specifically human; that is, as meaning-making practices specific to language-using creatures.
  • In semasiology, for example, a non-Cartesian concept of person is coupled with a new-realist, post-positivist philosophy of science.
  • This presumes Williams's concept of the ‘action sign’, and thus locates semasiology where it belongs at the forefront of anthropological theories of human embodiment.


Pronunciation: /-əˈläjikəl/
Example sentences
  • In spite of the above critical remarks, I do not wish to deny the value of both the onomasiological and the semasiological approaches in semantic studies.
  • Williams provided exactly this understanding in her semasiological concept of the ‘action sign’.
  • More specifically, I proceed from the perspective of semasiological theory, which accepts biology as a necessary ground for human agency but not as a deterministic mechanism that can account for human social behavior.


Mid 19th century: from German Semasiologie, from Greek sēmasia 'meaning', from sēmainein 'signify'.

Definition of semasiology in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources