Many dictionaries use a semicolon in a meaning for a word. For instance for the word impertinent I have seen:
"outside the bounds of proper speech or behaviour; impudent; insolent; saucy"
Then there is a synonym explanation of connotations for impertinent, impudent, insolent, and saucy.
My question is: Does the semicolon introduce synonyms always? Does it mean that the word following a semicolon SHARES the meaning of the main entry word you are looking up; that is, the sense preceding the first semicolon in the meaning?
I know that insolent cannot be substituted for impertinent, but maybe impertinent can be substituted for insolent with a loss of connotation.
Just what the heck are these guys who write dictionaries trying to convey with the semicolon in the meaning of a word?