Definition of sememe in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsɛmiːm/
Pronunciation: /ˈsiːmiːm/


The unit of meaning carried by a morpheme. Compare with semanteme.
Example sentences
  • If Hitchens were to read this, his ears would bleed at the sememe carried in ‘untrue’.
  • They determine its generative power, for the sememe can be regarded as an inchoate text and, conversely, a narrative best defined as an expanded sememe to which a time dimension has been added.
  • Because actualization is always possible, a sememe can be seen as an inchoate or future text, and a story as an expanded sememe in which a temporal dimension has been added to spatial syntagms.


Early 20th century: from seme + -eme.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: sem¦eme

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