Is there a one-to-one relationship between word and meaning?

closed as unclear what you're asking by p.s.w.g, FumbleFingers, Ste, Brian Hooper, Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Dec 4 '13 at 20:37

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  • 2
    No, there is not. Meaning is to a large degree based on context. – Cerberus Dec 3 '13 at 21:12
  • @Cerberus is right as usual. "Meaning" is not a simple concept at all. Not even word is a simple concept. – John Lawler Dec 3 '13 at 22:23
  • I think it's Off Topic General Reference that the precise (and often the broad) meanings of all words depend on context. – FumbleFingers Dec 4 '13 at 1:25

I think there are words with one-to-one meaning, not depending on the context, but not usually there is no. Words in English are known of having more than one meaning, thus heavily depending on the context.

As an example of one-to-one word, I think it could be "water", water is water, not depending on the context if not provided with adjectives.

  • Yes, another could be 'animal', which is always 'animal' not depending on the context. – Elberich Schneider Dec 3 '13 at 21:30
  • "Water" is both a noun and a verb. Surely there are two meanings there? Or is that two different words? The question is unanswerable. – Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Dec 4 '13 at 20:38