- a condition in which a single word, phrase, or concept has more than one meaning or connotation.
Origin of polysemy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Related Words for polysemousenigmatic, questionable, unclear, uncertain, puzzling, equivocal, opaque, inconclusive, dubious, cryptic, obscure, vague, doubtful, indefinite, indeterminate, muddy, tenebrous, unintelligible, inexplicit, enigmatical
- the existence of several meanings in a single wordCompare monosemy
Word Origin for polysemy
C20: from New Latin polysēmia, from Greek polusēmos having many meanings, from poly- + 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
1884, from Medieval Latin polysemus, from Greek polysemos "of many sides" (see polysemy).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper