Semantic change  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Semantic change, also known as semantic shift or semantic progression describes the evolution of word usage — usually to the point that the modern meaning is radically different from the original usage. In diachronic (or historical) linguistics, semantic change is a change in one of the meanings of a word. Every word has a variety of senses and connotations which can be added, removed, or altered over time, often to the extent that cognates across space and time have very different meanings. Semantic change is one of three major processes to find a designation for a concept. The study of semantic change can be seen as part of etymology, onomasiology, semasiology and semantics.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Semantic change" 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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