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Word of the Day
Thursday, August 06, 2015

Definitions for polysemy

  1. diversity of meanings.

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Citations for polysemy
The results of my grim-faced, slash-and-burn treks through the “polysemy” of canonical texts were infinitely duller and cruder than any of my naïve high school efforts to figure out what authors actually meant. Zoë Heller, "Should an Author's Intentions Matter?" New York Times, March 10, 2015
Allegory, which contains within it this mixture of fetter and freedom, is the figure that best represents such a state of affairs, and so opens the path to every other form of polysemy. Franco Moretti, translated by Quintin Hoare, Modern Epic, 1996
Origin of polysemy
1895-1900
Polysemy is a term from the field of linguistics. It can be traced to the Greek terms polý meaning "many" and sêma meaning "sign."