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noun Linguistics.
  1. the vocabulary of a language, as distinct from its grammar; the total stock of words and idiomatic combinations of them in a language; lexicon.
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Origin of lexis

1955–60; < Greek léxis speech, diction, word, text, equivalent to lég(ein) to speak, recount (akin to lógos account, word, Latin legere to read; see logos, lection) + -sis -sis
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lexis

Historical Examples of lexis

  • Porson was accustomed, meanly enough, to ridicule the Greek lexis of this ode; which was to break a fly upon the wheel.

    The Collected Writing of Thomas De Quincey, Vol. II

    Thomas De Quincey

  • For in the view of the Greeks the words (lexis) were an integral part of the whole composition.

  • But there was a separate dispute far less notorious as to the quality of the lexis.

British Dictionary definitions for lexis


  1. the totality of vocabulary items in a language, including all forms having lexical meaning or grammatical function
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Word Origin for lexis

C20: from Greek lexis word
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