What Is Lexical Definition In Linguistics

The lexical definition of a term, also known as a dictionary definition , is the meaning of the term in common use. As its other name implies, this is the type of definition you are likely to find in the dictionary. A lexical definition is generally the expected type of a definition request, and it is generally expected that such a definition will be declared as simple as possible to convey information to the wider audience.

Note that a lexical definition is descriptive, reporting the actual use within speakers of a language , and changes with the change in use of the term, rather than prescriptive, which would be to stay with a version considered “correct”, regardless of the drift in the accepted meaning. They tend to be inclusive, trying to capture whatever the term is used to refer to, and as such are often too vague for many purposes.

When the breadth or inaccuracy of a lexical definition is unacceptable, an accurate or stipulated definition is often used.

Words can be classified as lexical or non-lexical. Lexical words are those that have independent meaning (such as noun (N), verb (V), adjective (A), adverb (Adv) or preposition (P).

The definition that reports the meaning of a word or phrase as it is actually used by people is called a lexical definition. Meanings of words given in a dictionary are lexical definitions. Since a word can have more than one meaning, it can also have more than one lexical definition.

Lexical definitions are true or false. If the definition is the same as the actual use of the word, then it is true, otherwise it is false.

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