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The Collaborative International Dictionary

seme \seme\ (s[=e]m), n. [Gr. sh^ma a sign.]

  1. (Linguistics) A linguistic sign.

  2. (Linguistics) A basic component of meaning of a morpheme, especially one which cannot be decomposed into more basic components; a primitive concept.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

in linguistics, 1866, from Greek sema "sign" (see semantic). Compare pheme, etc.


"covered with a small, constantly repeating pattern," 1560s, from Middle French semée "strewn, sprinkled," past participle of semer, from Latin seminare "to sow," from semen (genitive seminis) "seed" (see semen).


Etymology 1 n. (context linguistics semiotics English) Anything which serves for any purpose as a substitute for an object of which it is, in some sense, a representation or sign. Etymology 2

vb. (obsolete form of seem English) Etymology 3

n. (obsolete form of seam English) Etymology 4

  1. (obsolete form of semé English) Etymology 5

    n. (context Japanese fiction English) An active or dominant male character in a same-sex relationship; a top.

Seme (dagger)

Seme may refer to:

  • Seme Border, a settlement in Nigeria on the border with Benin
  • Seme (dagger), a Maasai term for a type of lion hunting knife
  • Seme (martial arts), Japanese martial arts term meaning to attack
  • Seme (semantics), a small unit of meaning identified as one characteristic of a sememe
  • Pixley ka Isaka Seme (1881?-June 1951) a founding member of the African National Congress
  • Semé, a term used in heraldry to describe a field filled with charges
  • Seme, a manga/anime term for a dominant partner in a homosexual relationship
  • SEME, an acronym for the search engine manipulation effect
Seme (martial arts)

is a Japanese martial arts term for a kind of psychological pressure. The seme is the one inflicting something on to the uke. It is also an attitude meant to disrupt the opponents sense of confidence and resolution, prior to an attack.

The term is mostly used in kendo and in karatedo doshinkan

Seme (semantics)

Seme, the smallest unit of meaning recognized in semantics, refers to a single characteristic of a sememe. These characteristics are defined according to the differences between sememes. The term was introduced by Eric Buyssens in the 1930s and developed by Bernard Pottier in the 1960s. It is the result produced when determining the minimal elements of meaning, which enables one to describe words multilingually. Such elements provide a bridge to component analysis and the initial work of ontologies.

Usage examples of "seme".

Common Seme, which appeared in early 1776 and became the most popular pamphlet in the American colonies, did this.

There was a splendid new look to the central city, which had literally been ripped apart under the supervision of the Prefect of the Seme, Haussmann.

The Japanese describe seme as the type of pressure and intimidation a master swordsman can force on a lesser opponent, without seeming to do anything.

He found himself engaged in what appeared to be an endless chase after a phantom Considine, and the difficulties in his way semed insuperable.

Ther wat3 lokyng on lenthe the lude to beholde, For vch mon had meruayle quat hit mene my3t That a hathel and a horse my3t such a hwe lach, As growe grene as the gres and grener hit semed, Then grene aumayl on golde glowande bry3ter.

An other lady hir lad bi the lyft honde, That wat3 alder then ho, an auncian hit semed, And he3ly honowred with hathele3 aboute.

Anon ther is a noyse of peple bigonne For joye of this so loude and heighe withalle It semed that the lystes sholde falle.

He were a bleaunt of blwe that bradde to the erthe, His surkot semed hym wel that softe wat3 forred, And his hode of that ilke henged on his schulder, Blande al of blaunner were bothe al aboute.

Gawan and the gay burde togeder thay seten, Euen inmydde3, as the messe metely come, And sythen thur3 al the sale as hem best semed.

Wel semed ech of hem a fair burgeys To sitten in a yeldehalle on a deys.

And we wol, lord, if that ye wole assente, Chese yow a wyf in short tyme atte leeste, Born of the gentilleste and of the meeste Of al this land, so that it oghte seme Honour to God, and yow, as we kan deeme.

Thanne semed me ther was a parlement At Atthenes, upon certein pointz and caas, Among the whiche pointz yspoken was To have with certein contrees alliaunce, And have fully of Thebans obeisaunce, For which this noble Theseus anon Leet senden after gentil Palamon, Unwist of hym what was the cause and why.

A male tweyfoold upon his croper lay, It semed that he caried lite array.

They semed to melt into imagination, leaving only the sensation of absolute fulfillment.

  Then thi fog semes 2 collect aroun me & its like its not fog @ ol its made up not ov water but ov metil filings, metil dust, sleetin in2 ma skin like asid, burrowing in2 ma pores & it hurts & ma Is go wide & thi metil dust is sandpaperin ma Is & makin me screem & as I opin my mouf its fillin it & nose wif metil grit & am breevin it in & its fire, like breevin flame, fillin me, roastin me from inside.