Word sense  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

In linguistics, a word sense is one of the meanings of a word.

For example a dictionary may have over 50 different meanings of the word play, each of these having a different meaning based on the context of the word usage in a sentence. For example:

"We went to see the play Romeo and Juliet at the theater."
"The children went out to play in the park."

In each sentence we associate a different meaning of the word "play" based on hints the rest of the sentence gives us.

Computers or people that read words one a time must use a process called word sense disambiguation to find the correct meaning of a word.

Related Terms

Polysemy is the property of having multiple senses. It differs from homonymy, where two different words (lexemes) happen to have the same spelling and pronunciation.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Word sense" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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