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Meaning Shift

  • Definition: A change in word meaning so that one of the word's sub-referents, or a referent originally only loosely associated with the word, becomes the new primary meaning of the word; for example, "bead" used to mean "prayer" but now refers to a type of jewelery.

    Source: American English, second edition by Walt Wolfram and Natalie Schilling-Estes

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