Appendix:Glossary of semantics

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This is a glossary of semantics.

Table of Contents: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


absent referent 
The condition of a sign which has an empty, absent, non-existent, paradoxical, hypothetical, supernatural, or undefined referent, such as nothing, null, vacuum, or void.


conceptual definition 
A definition in terms of concepts, such as the one found in a dictionary, instead of in terms of the results of measuring procedures.
A meaning of a word or phrase that is suggested or implied, as opposed to a denotation, or literal meaning. A characteristic of words or phrases, or of the contexts that words and phrases are used in.


The term—word or phrase—defined in a definition.
That which defines the definiendum in a definition.
A statement of the meaning of a word or word group or a sign or symbol.
The primary, literal or explicit meaning of a word, phrase or symbol.
dictionary definition 
A descriptive definition specifying one of the commonly used meanings of the defined term.
The distinguishing feature which marks something off from other members of the same family.


enumerative definition 
A definition that exhaustively lists all the objects that fall under the defined term.
Capacity of a concept or general term to include a greater or smaller number of objects; -- correlative of intension.
extensional definition 
A definition of a term that specifies its extension, that is, every object that falls under the definition.


Within a definition, a broader category of the defined concept.


Any property or quality connoted by a word, phrase or other symbol, contrasted to actual instances in the real world to which the term applies.
intensional definition 
A definition that gives the meaning of a term by specifying all the properties of the things to which the term applies.


The definition or connotation of a word.


operational definition 
A showing of something — such as a variable, term, or object — in terms of the specific process or set of validation tests used to determine its presence and quantity.
ostensive definition 
A process of binding the meaning to the defined term by pointing out examples and counterexamples.


An instance of a category or a concept that combines its most representative attributes, such as robin being a prototype of bird, unlike penguin.


recursive definition 
A definition of a term within which the term itself appears, and that is well-founded, avoiding an infinite regress.
The specific entity in the world that a word or phrase identifies or denotes.


A branch of linguistics studying the meaning of words.
A single conventional use of a word; one of the entries for a word in a dictionary.
stipulative definition 
A definition in which a new or currently-existing term is given a new meaning for the purposes of argument or discussion in a given context.