• synonyms


[ si-man-tiks ]
/ sɪˈmæn tɪks /

noun (used with a singular verb)

  1. the study of meaning.
  2. the study of linguistic development by classifying and examining changes in meaning and form.
Also called significs. the branch of semiotics dealing with the relations between signs and what they denote.
the meaning, or an interpretation of the meaning, of a word, sign, sentence, etc.: Let's not argue about semantics.

Nearby words

semantic field, semantic memory, semantic tableau, semantic web, semanticist, semantics, semaphore, semarang, semasiology, sematic, sematology

Origin of semantics

First recorded in 1895–1900; see origin at semantic, -ics
Related formsse·man·ti·cist [si-man-tuh-sist] /sɪˈmæn tə sɪst/, se·man·ti·cian [see-man-tish-uh n] /ˌsi mænˈtɪʃ ən/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for semanticist

  • Captain, semanticist and anthropologist would make the First Contact.

    It's a Small Solar System|Allan Howard
  • It isn't the kind of a job a Literate semanticist would do, but it's all honest Illiterate thinking, in Illiterate language.

    Null-ABC|Henry Beam Piper and John Joseph McGuire

British Dictionary definitions for semanticist


/ (sɪˈmæntɪks) /

noun (functioning as singular)

the branch of linguistics that deals with the study of meaning, changes in meaning, and the principles that govern the relationship between sentences or words and their meanings
the study of the relationships between signs and symbols and what they represent
  1. the study of interpretations of a formal theory
  2. the study of the relationship between the structure of a theory and its subject matter
  3. (of a formal theory) the principles that determine the truth or falsehood of sentences within the theory, and the references of its terms
Derived Formssemanticist, noun
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

Word Origin and History for semanticist



"science of meaning in language," 1893, from French sémantique (1883); see semantic (also see -ics). Replaced semasiology (1847), from German Semasiologie (1829), from Greek semasia "signification, meaning."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for semanticist


[ sĭ-măntĭks ]


The study or science of meaning in language forms.
The study of the relationships between various signs and symbols and what they represent.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Culture definitions for semanticist


The scientific or philosophical study of the relations of words and their meanings.


Semantics is commonly used to refer to a trivial point or distinction that revolves around mere words rather than significant issues: “To argue whether the medication killed the patient or contributed to her death is to argue over semantics.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.