Definition of lexis in English:



  • 1The total stock of words in a language.

    ‘a notable loss of English lexis’
    • ‘According to Mr. Schaik, the influence of the Dutch was there in the Indian and Sri Lankan languages which had absorbed a few Dutch words in their lexis.’
    • ‘Because the word ‘globalization’ wasn't part of the general lexis back then, the snoring bankers weren't troubled by dark daydreams filled with hungry competitors from a flattening world preparing to eat their splendid lunch.’
    1. 1.1 The level of language consisting of vocabulary, as opposed to grammar or syntax.
      • ‘Each major area is enclosed by a large number of isoglosses representing differences in lexis, grammar, and phonology.’
      • ‘This grammar is the first pedagogic grammar to integrate syntax and lexis using corpus data.’
      lexicon, word stock, lexis
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1950s (denoting the wording, as opposed to other elements, in a piece of writing): from Greek, literally word (see lexicon).