Definition of context in English:



  • 1The circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed.

    ‘the decision was taken within the context of planned cuts in spending’
    • ‘I think if you can understand your contexts then you have power to use this to help yourself.’
    • ‘Are we defined by the work we do, or do we define ourselves within the context of what we do?’
    • ‘For new readers this can be an advantage, but they become disadvantages in contexts of closer study.’
    • ‘What it does do is examine the situation it has created within the context it has laid out.’
    • ‘This is down to his determination to place current events in a historical context.’
    • ‘He is also smart enough to understand the context of his personal achievements.’
    • ‘Social visiting within such contexts is very common and occurs on both an everyday basis and for special events.’
    • ‘It takes long to explain our context so you can understand the impact of such thing in our culture.’
    • ‘This will change many times before November, but it is all taking place within a context.’
    • ‘To explain the ideas of Nazism without this is to examine ideas outside their social context.’
    • ‘Yet the contexts within which engagement and idea sharing are invited obviously do not have wide appeal.’
    • ‘It is in our interests to know and understand the contexts in which such values have been shaped.’
    • ‘He analyses events in their context, a very worthy practice for any historian to follow.’
    • ‘I had never really attached the plays fully to the social context they came from.’
    • ‘It is far from clear to me that information and computation are meaningful terms outside of such contexts.’
    • ‘So in the context of this background, it was perfectly reasonable for Sean to say what he did.’
    • ‘Here, military history becomes an aspect of war is best studied in terms of the political contexts that give it meaning.’
    • ‘It was the context within which this was happening that drew me in this time because it seemed to be talking to me.’
    • ‘Western managers often have difficulties making new decisions within new environmental contexts.’
    • ‘We are going to be able, within a European context, to be in a more positive position.’
    circumstances, conditions, surroundings, factors, state of affairs
    frame of reference, contextual relationship
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    1. 1.1 The parts of something written or spoken that immediately precede and follow a word or passage and clarify its meaning.
      ‘word processing is affected by the context in which words appear’
      • ‘Put another way, he chooses his words carefully, and he chooses the contexts in which they will have most impact.’
      • ‘I like visiting the websites and see the words in their original context and formatting.’
      • ‘Each word in the context signifies the opposite of what it was once meant to.’
      • ‘Wordsworth likes to take words from a context that is dreadful and render them benign.’
      • ‘Surely we can imagine other meanings and contexts for these words.’
      • ‘The only relevant inquiry is as to the sense of the words in the context in which they are used.’
      • ‘Are there some contexts in which that word has a narrower meaning than a reference to a liability to make good any loss?’
      • ‘Numerous grammatical items can only be understood if the context is taken into account.’
      • ‘At the end the utterance may be reduced to single words alluding to contexts they once occurred in.’
      • ‘They are each asked to spell one word to which they may ask the country of origin and what context the word may be used.’
      • ‘It's clear to me that he has either not read the piece properly, or not understood its context.’
      • ‘I will exhibit the evidence for personal contexts and then say a word about impersonal ones.’
      • ‘The problem is to decide what this means in the context in which the words are used.’
      • ‘It also results in the legitimate public use of words that in other contexts are regarded as slang.’
      • ‘We must understand the meanings of the words in their contexts.’
      • ‘Action is revealed in talk and as such talk must be analysed in terms of its context.’
      • ‘In these contexts it's not so much a word struggling to express the inexpressible as a word used to sound good and to avoid real thinking.’
      • ‘What saddens me so much is that very little is being written in the context of the debate.’
      • ‘It was written in a commercial context and it falls to be objectively construed.’
      • ‘The conceptualizations associated with a word will tend to vary somewhat according to the contexts in which the word is used.’
      structure, framework
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Late Middle English (denoting the construction of a text): from Latin contextus, from con- together + texere to weave.