Acceptance – Concept, examples and differences with meaning

We explain what a meaning is, how it differs from the meaning and various examples. Also, what is the origin of the word.

The meanings of a term are its meanings accepted by the speakers of a language.

What is a meaning?

With the word meaning we mean the different meanings that can be given to a specific term in a language, depending on their respective contexts of use. Normally, meanings are called the entries that a word registers in the dictionary, or the different understandings that are given to the same term in the spoken language.

Colloquially speaking, it is possible to understand meaning as a synonym of meaning, but the two terms are not exactly the same. The total meaning of a word is made up of the total of its meanings, that is, the meaning of a word varies according to each of its possible meanings. This is what happens, for example, with the word “bank“, of which we can identify at least three meanings:

  • The bench that is in the squares and that is part of the furniture to sit on.
  • The bank in which we deposit our money or request loans, the financial institution.
  • The conjugation in the first person of the verb “bank”, used in Rio de la Plata as a synonym for “endure”, “wait” or “support”.

Thus, the same word can have multiple meanings in the dictionary, depending on the degree of subtlety between its meanings and associated meanings.

On the other hand, one of the lost meanings of the word meaning (or rather, precisely, one of its old meanings), is that of “acceptance”. The latter comes from its etymological origin, since it comes from Latin acceptio, action and effect of “accept” or “approve” (formed by ad-, “Towards”, and capere, “Take”), but is currently deprecated.

Anyway, we could understand it as that the meanings of a term are its senses “approved” or “accepted” by the speakers of a language.