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[si-man-tik] /sɪˈmæn tɪk/
of, relating to, or arising from the different meanings of words or other symbols:
semantic change; semantic confusion.
of or relating to semantics.
Sometimes, semantical.
Origin of semantic
1655-65; < Greek sēmantikós having meaning, equivalent to sēmant(ós) marked (sēman-, base of sēmaínein to show, mark + -tos verbal adjective suffix; akin to sêma sign) + -ikos -ic
Related forms
semantically, adverb
nonsemantic, adjective
nonsemantically, adverb
pseudosemantic, adjective
pseudosemantically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for semantic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He has no verbal knowledge about things, no semantic references.

    The Variable Man Philip K. Dick
  • For what's the profit if I rattle on about freedom in a semantic vacuum?

    West Of The Sun Edgar Pangborn
  • Because I gather now that the whole difficulty was a semantic one.

    Once a Greech Evelyn E. Smith
  • It's really a semantic reaction test; Korzybski would have loved it.

    Day of the Moron Henry Beam Piper
  • Note that text format (bold or italic) has semantic meaning in this volume.

  • Now he wished that he hadn't missed them; he probably wouldn't have this semantic instability to contend with now.

    The Psilent Partner John Victor Peterson
British Dictionary definitions for semantic


of or relating to meaning or arising from distinctions between the meanings of different words or symbols
of or relating to semantics
(logic) concerned with the interpretation of a formal theory, as when truth tables are given as an account of the sentential connectives
Derived Forms
semantically, adverb
Word Origin
C19: from Greek sēmantikos having significance, from sēmainein to signify, from 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
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Word Origin and History for semantic

1894, from French sémantique, applied by Michel Bréal (1883) to the psychology of language, from Greek semantikos "significant," from semainein "to show by sign, signify, point out, indicate by a sign," from sema "sign, mark, token; omen, portent; constellation; grave" (Doric sama), from PIE root *dheie- "to see, look" (cf. Sanskrit dhyati "he meditates").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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