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index +‎ -ical


indexical (comparative more indexical, superlative most indexical)

  1. Of, pertaining to, or like, an index; having the form of an index.
  2. (linguistics, philosophy) Having the character of pointing to, or indicating, a particular state of affairs.
    • 2012, Michael Silverstein, ‘The [] walked down the street’, London Review of Books, vol. 34 no. 21:
      In order that they might represent the worlds of experience and imagination, such symbols have to be put together with ‘indexical’ signs, as Peirce termed them, such as articles (the, some), demonstratives (this, those), tense-inflections (walk-s, walk-ed), moods (may/might walk, shall/should walk) etc.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Nouns to which "indexical" is often applied: expression, sign, reference.

Derived terms[edit]


indexical (plural indexicals)

  1. (linguistics, philosophy) An indexical statement.
    • 2007 August 15, Wayne A. Davis, “Replies to Green, Szabó, Jeshion, and Siebel”, in Philosophical Studies, volume 137, number 3, DOI:10.1007/s11098-007-9128-6:
      So even with indexicals, there is a Sinn for every meaning.

Further reading[edit]