n. (used with a sing. or pl. verb)
a. The study or science of meaning in language.
b. The competence of a speaker with regard to the interpretation of the meaning of linguistic structures.
c. The study of relationships between signs and symbols and what they represent. Also called semasiology.
2. The meaning or the interpretation of a word, sentence, or other language form: We're basically agreed; let's not quibble over semantics.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.