I am looking for an adjective with a meaning: this is definite, clear, and there's no room for misinterpretation; nothing's left variadic.

For example: logical statements have only one, very strict interpretation. The purpose of the word is similiar: to be used for a mathematical model thoroughly describing a real object. The real object comes in tons of varieties, but the model points to strictly only one.

I've searched the uncle Google and came up with unequivocal but that doesn't seem right.


The most obvious choice would be unambiguous, I would say.

| improve this answer | |
  • I've used this for an example search in my area of research and - tadam - instant results. Compared to the other answers this did very well. – hauron Jun 4 '14 at 21:18

unequivocal sounds right to me.

unequivocal: not subject to misinterpretation or more than one interpretation

As an alternative, consider irrefutable.

irrefutable: that cannot be refuted or disproved; not able to be proved wrong: not capable of being refuted

| improve this answer | |
  • OP says he has done. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 4 '14 at 22:30
  • It seems that both unambiguous and unequivocal are negated versions of other words. I'm wondering if there is a non-negated one as well? – Aleksandar Savkov Jul 18 '15 at 9:28
  • I first thought of unequivocal, meaning something that cannot be argued. – Robusto Apr 3 at 13:39
  • @EdwinAshworth: That's the problem with this system. We're supposed to furnish answers for people who don't know them, and then submit to their judgment on the matter. – Robusto Apr 3 at 13:40

Some general terms include
indisputable, “Not disputable; not open to question; obviously true”
definite, “Having distinct limits; Free from any doubt; Determined; resolved”

In a mathematical context, consider either of the following terms:
well-defined, “Accurately and precisely described or specified” and “(mathematics, of a function etc) Defined using unambiguous axioms”
sound, “Complete, solid, or secure” and “(mathematics, logic) (argument, logical system) having the soundness property”

| improve this answer | |

Univocal :

An expression , word or term having only one meaning.

| improve this answer | |
  • Can this be used in mathematics/engineering? – hauron Jun 4 '14 at 21:14
  • It is used in Statistics for instance. – user66974 Jun 4 '14 at 21:24

The closest to the opposite of lexical ambiguity, or polysemy is monosemy: having only one meaning

| improve this answer | |

Mono-interpretable would come to mind, which describes a concept of mono-interpretability.

It is the antonym of poly-interpretable.

To react to the comment below (Shouldn't the antonym of poly-interpretable be poly-uninterpretable? Jokes aside I don't see a one vs many relation as being an antonym.)

Mono- is often, if not always, used to form the antonym of a word formed with the poly- prefix.

A usual antonym for polygamy is not poly-nongamy or poly-singleness or anything describing the idea that someone is multiple times not married. The antonym for married to several people is married to one person: monogamy.

Likewise, the antonym for polytheism is not poly-atheism or any other concept describing the not-believing in several deities, but rather a concept describing a believe in one, as opposed to many, deity: monotheism.

One v.s many are perfectly fine antonyms if the one-ness or many-ness are defining properties of the concept. After all, in polygamy, the big point is not that people marry, but that they do it multiple times. Polytheism is not about theism per se, but about the fact there are multiple gods.

| improve this answer | |
  • Shouldn't the antonym of poly-interpretable be poly-uninterpretable? Jokes aside I don't see a one vs many relation as being an antonym. – Oldcat Jun 4 '14 at 22:27
  • @Oldcat What about monogamy vs polygamy, or monotheism vs polytheism? I surmise an antonym is anything that inverts the meaning. And if something is poly-uninterpretable one of the two options is then likely mono-interpretable? :) – Arun Sep 18 '14 at 8:09
  • Monogamy and polygamy, monotheism and polytheism, are not pairs of logical opposites. Atheism, on the other hand, opposes any form of theism. But agamy isn't a word: perhaps it should be. – frank May 13 '16 at 12:44

To add an option without negation (un- prefix):

In terms of a single meaning of a word or phrase you can use monosemic (noun: monosemy) with antonym polysemic (noun: polysemy) as in


| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.