[sem-eem, see-meem]

noun Linguistics.

the meaning of a morpheme.
a basic unit of meaning or content.

Origin of sememe

< Greek sêm(a) sign + -eme; coined by L. Bloomfield in 1933; cf. semanteme Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for sememe


noun linguistics

the meaning of a morpheme
Also called: semanteme a minimum unit of meaning in terms of which it is sometimes proposed that meaning in general might be analysed

Word Origin for sememe

C20 (coined in 1933 by Leonard Bloomfield (1887–1949), US linguist): from Greek sēma a sign + -eme
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