Definition of semantics in English:


plural noun

  • 1[usually treated as singular] The branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning. The two main areas are logical semantics, concerned with matters such as sense and reference and presupposition and implication, and lexical semantics, concerned with the analysis of word meanings and relations between them.

    • ‘The approach combines a constrained-based semantics with a general mechanism of conversational implicature.’
    • ‘So, the logic is justified by a semantics; the semantics is justified by a meaning-theory.’
    • ‘She combines the methods of history, semantics, and semiotics to show how and why the formulae were first adopted in organic chemistry.’
    • ‘The issue here is not one of political semantics but of analysis and prescription.’
    • ‘But this interpretation is outlawed by the semantics of referential dependence associated with reflexives.’
    • ‘Supposedly, there's never been a form of semantics, a language, that has existed that long.’
    • ‘Had I stumbled on a right-wing plot to subvert the semantics of English collective nouns?’
    • ‘It's enough to make anybody believe in the feasibility of linguistic semantics, at least for a while.’
    • ‘I then present three arguments that this dynamic approach is more faithful to natural language semantics than static Montagovian theories.’
    • ‘Most procedural programming languages follow natural semantics of control flow and hence are easy to understand.’
    • ‘That is, the structure, semantics, composition and constructs of Maori language itself.’
    • ‘It is significant that many linguists have sought to limit the role of polysemy in linguistic semantics, if not to eliminate it altogether.’
    • ‘We must attend to social and cultural history in order to make sense of semantics.’
    • ‘A change in language, in the fundamentals, in the semantics, the grammar, the very essence of the language.’
    • ‘From logic we have model-theoretic semantics, and from that possible-worlds analyses of modal and epistemic discourse.’
    • ‘The real communication problems arise surely from divergent vocabulary and semantics.’
    • ‘Internalist semantics could really have saved a lot of trouble here.’
    • ‘This conclusion is not about semantics or language but has enormous implications.’
    • ‘Frame semantics is a linguistic theory which is currently gaining ground.’
    • ‘At that moment, no amount of language twists or Libertarian semantics will be able to trick God.’
    1. 1.1The meaning of a word, phrase, or text.
      ‘such quibbling over semantics may seem petty stuff’
      • ‘To me, the sound of a poem is at least as important as the semantics; so is the visual.’
      • ‘In this paper we present a precise semantics for the two series of counting numerals of Latin: the cardinals and the collectives.’
      • ‘Lost in semantics and tears, he heads to his mother's house, where he hopes he at least will be in time for dinner.’
      • ‘How about this - once Tariana starts addressing the real problems within her portfolios, we can discuss the semantics.’
      • ‘The point is that the semantics we use are not tick box mechanisms.’
      • ‘It's not a matter of semantics this time, as were my arguments with people over what to call the sniper.’
      • ‘This causes problems when a client is coded to use one service, but tries to use another service with different semantics.’
      • ‘And if we all were to do that, we would realize that we don't need to fight over formalities and semantics.’
      • ‘Again, this kind of statement is born out of faulty semantics.’
      • ‘We all try for the same goal, in the end, though we call it by different names and kill each other over the semantics.’
      • ‘These well-meaning campaigners are chronically tone-deaf to pop cultural semantics and subtleties.’