The portable meaning of words is ... What is the figurative meaning of a word? Words used in figurative meaning

Language is a multifaceted and multifunctional concept. To determine its essence, it is necessary to carefully consider many questions. For example, the device of language and the ratio of elements of its system, the influence of external factors and functions in human society.

Determining Portable Values

Already from the junior classes of the school everyone knows that the same words can be used differently in speech. The direct (main, basic) meaning is that which is correlated with objective reality. It does not depend on the context and on the allegory. An example of this is the word "collapse". In medicine, it means a sudden and sudden drop in blood pressure, and in astronomy - the rapid contraction of stars under the influence of gravitational forces.

The portable meaning of words is their second meaning. It arises when the name of a phenomenon is consciously transferred to another in connection with the similarity of their functions, attributes, etc. For example, the same "collapse" has a figurative meaning of the word. Examples relate to public life. So, in a figurative sense, "collapse" means the destruction, the collapse of the unification of people as a result of the onset of a systemic crisis.

Scientific definition

In linguistics, the figurative meaning of words is their secondary derivative, associated with the main meaning of metaphorical, metonymic dependence or any associative traits. In this case, it arises on the basis of logical, spatial, temporal and other correlations of concepts.

Application in speech

Words with a portable meaning are used when naming those phenomena that are not an ordinary and permanent object for designation. They come close to other concepts of emerging associations, which are obvious to the speakers.

Words used in figurative meaning can retain imagery. For example, dirty insinuations or dirty thoughts. Such figurative meanings are given in explanatory dictionaries. These words differ from the metaphors invented by the writers.
However, in most cases, when the values are transferred, the imagery is lost. An example of this can serve as expressions such as the spout of the kettle and the knee of the pipe, the course of the clock and the tail of the carrot. In such cases, the image decays in the lexical meaning of words.

Changing the essence of a concept

The portable meaning of words can be fixed for any action, feature or object. As a result, it goes into the category of main or basic. For example, the back of the book or the door handle.


The portable meaning of words is often a phenomenon caused by their many meanings. In scientific language it is called "Polysemia". Often one word has more than one stable meaning. In addition, people who use the language, often there is a need to call a new phenomenon, which so far has no lexical designation. In this case, they use already familiar words.

Issues of polisemy are, as a rule, questions of nomination. In other words, the movement of things with the existing identity of the word. However, not all scientists agree with this. Some of them do not allow more than one word meaning. There is another opinion. Many scientists support the idea that the figurative meaning of words is their lexical meaning, realized in various variants.

For example, we say "red tomato". The adjective used in this case is a direct value. "Red" can be said about a person. In this case, it is meant that he blushed or blushed. Thus, a portable value can always be explained through a direct value. But to give an explanation of why red is called red, linguistics can not give. It's just what this color is called.

In polysemy, there is also a phenomenon of unequal meanings. For example, the word "flare up" may mean that the object suddenly caught fire, and that the person was flushed with shame, and that a quarrel suddenly arose, etc. Some of these expressions are found in the language more often. They immediately come to mind when the word is mentioned. Others are only used in special situations and special combinations.

Between certain meanings of the word there are semantic links, which make it understandable when different properties and objects are called identically.


The use of a word in a figurative sense can be not only a stable fact of language. Such use is sometimes limited, fleeting and carried out within the framework of only one utterance. In this case, the goal of exaggeration and expressiveness of the above is achieved.

Thus, there is an unstable portable meaning of the word. Examples of this use are in poetry and literature. For these genres this is an effective artistic technique. For example, Blok can recall "the deserted eyes of wagons" or "dust swallowed the rain in pills". What is the portable meaning of a word in this case? This is evidence of his unlimited ability to explain new concepts.

The emergence of portable meanings of words of a literary-stylistic type is also a path. In other words, figurative expressions.


In philology, there are a number of different types of names transfer. One of the most important among them is a metaphor. With its help, the name of one phenomenon is transferred to another. And this is possible only if similar characteristics are similar. The similarity can be external (by color, size, character, form and movements), as well as internal (by assessment, sensations and impressions). So, with the help of metaphor they speak of black thoughts and an acidic face, a receding storm and a cold reception. In this case, the thing is replaced, and the sign of the concept remains unchanged.

The portable meaning of words with the help of metaphor takes place at different degrees of similarity. An example is a duck (adaptation in medicine) and a tractor caterpillar. Here, the transfer is carried out using similar forms. A metaphorical meaning can also be given to names given to a person. For example, Hope, Love, Faith. Sometimes the transfer of values is carried out in a manner similar to sounds. So, a whistle was called a siren.


This is also one of the most important types of name transfer. However, when using it, similarities between internal and external features are not used. Here there is a contiguity of cause-effect relationships or, in other words, the contact of things in time or in space.

The metonymic, portable meaning of words is a change not only of the subject, but of the concept itself. If this phenomenon occurs, only the links of the neighboring links of the lexical chain can be explained.

Portable meanings of words can be based on associations with the material from which the object is made. For example, land (soil), table (food), etc.


This concept means the transfer of any part to the whole. An example of this is the expression "the child follows the mother's skirt", "one hundred head of cattle", etc.


This concept in philology means the identical sounds of two or more different words. Homonymy is the sound coincidence of lexical units, which are not related semantically.

Distinguish between phonetic and grammatical homonyms. The first case concerns those words that are in the accusative or nominative case, they sound the same, but they have a different phoneme composition. For example, "rod" and "pond". Grammatical homonyms arise in cases when both in the phoneme and in pronunciation the words coincide, but separate forms of words are different . For example, the figure "three" and the verb "three". When the pronunciation changes, such words will not coincide. For example, "rub", "three", etc.


This concept refers to the words of the same part of speech, identical or similar in their lexical meaning. In the sources of synonymy are foreign language and its lexical meanings, general literary and dialectal. There are such portable meanings of words and thanks to the jargon ("lop" - "is").

Synonyms are divided into species. Among them:

  • Absolute, when the meanings of the words completely coincide ("octopus" - "octopus");
  • Conceptual, differing in shades of lexical meanings ("thinking" - "thinking");
  • Stylistic, which have differences in stylistic coloring ("sleep" - "sleep").


This concept refers to words belonging to the same part of speech, but having opposite concepts. This type of portable values can have a different structure ("make" - "make") and different roots ("white" - "black").
Antonymy is observed in those words that express the oppositional orientation of signs, states, actions and properties. The purpose of their use is the transfer of contrasts. This technique is often used in poetic and oratorical speech.

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