Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- The collapsing together of more or less synonymous words into one common linguistic category.
- Specifically, the senior author, after much close study and a long period of familiarization, used judgments to accomplish three qualitative (semantic) tasks: (1) identification: in which institutionally relevant words were culled from the text andmarked for analysis; (2) stemming: in which different forms of the same word (singular vs. pluralforms, conjugational differences in verb forms, etc.) were reduced to common word stems; (3) synonymification: in which words that are used more or less interchangeably, were collapsed together into one common linguistic category. ( John W. Mohr and Brooke Neely, Department of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara, Modeling Foucault : dualities of power in institutional fields)