Definition of synchronic in US English:



  • Concerned with something, especially a language, as it exists at one point in time.

    ‘synchronic linguistics’
    Often contrasted with diachronic
    • ‘Currently, linguists generally prefer the synchronic study of spoken language to the diachronic comparison of words in texts, and have tended to regard philology as pre-scientific.’
    • ‘But, the synchronic and diachronic become entangled in both analysis and presentation, with key theoretical points coming across jumbled and disconnected.’
    • ‘It focuses on the synchronic treatment of entries and on the more concrete and practical aspects of the editorial process.’
    • ‘Often investigating history will allow us to understand why some puzzling synchronic details are the way they are.’
    • ‘The distinction between ritual and ceremony as pointed out by Alan Wald can then be analysed from a diachronic and a synchronic point of view.’
    • ‘He's identifying the ungrammatical strings that the grammar should not describe; he's doing modern empirical synchronic syntax.’
    • ‘It has substituted a diachronic for what should be a synchronic perspective.’
    • ‘In addition to placing English in a diachronic chain of invader-turned-native languages, Rao argues for an Indian English in a synchronic relation with American English and Irish English.’
    • ‘From a diachronic viewpoint, languages seem to change from being more pragmatic to more syntactic; from a synchronic perspective, different languages may simply be at different stages of this evolutional circle.’
    • ‘Furthermore, the ambiguity of distinction between species and varieties is not only a synchronic problem, reflecting some kind of contemporaneous blurring of the boundaries between taxa at these levels.’
    • ‘On the other hand, there is the danger that, as folklorists (to use the jargon) adopt a more synchronic approach, some of the virtues of their more diachronically-oriented predecessors will be forgotten.’
    • ‘Paradoxically, however, I felt at the same time a real need to explain their story through a fuller understanding of its historical context - admittedly a synchronic, rather than a diachronic, concern.’
    • ‘One of the tenets of sociolinguistics is that synchronic variation of the type illustrated here and in the examples in Chapter 3 represents a stage in long-term change.’
    • ‘‘Romanticism’ is the interpretive sense we make of Romantic-era literature by means of diachronic and synchronic narratives.’
    • ‘Both the diachronic and synchronic methods of linguistic analysis live on in studying words on the Internet.’
    • ‘Childs is, of course, absolutely right: The task of the interpreter is a struggle between the diachronic and the synchronic.’
    • ‘In general, synchronic description tends to neutralize principles of continuity (which entail other principles of change), so that elements have only the significance they have in that instance.’
    • ‘It's clear, from diachronic and synchronic investigations, that all known languages give similar descriptions of the world.’
    • ‘Most economic theory is synchronic - it deals with simultaneous events at one point in time.’
    • ‘Ethnological concerns in turn were replaced by synchronic ethnographic research on the structure and functioning of individual societies.’
    concurrent, happening at the same time, done at the same time, contemporaneous, concomitant, coinciding, coincident, synchronous, synchronized
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1920s: from late Latin synchronus (see synchronous) + -ic.