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a. the sense of an expression; its connotation
b. the reference of an expression; its denotation. In recent philosophical writings meaning can be used in both the above senses



the content linked with some expression (word, proposition, sign) of a certain language.

The meaning of linguistic expressions is studied in linguistics, logic, and semiotics. In the science of language, meaning is understood as the sense content of a word. In logic and semiotics the meaning (in Anglo-American philosophy, the reference) of a linguistic expression is understood as that object or class of objects that are designated (named) by the expression (the referential, or extensional, meaning), while the.sense (in Anglo-American philosophy, the meaning) of the expression (sense, or intentional, meaning) implies its thought content—that is, that information contained in the expression by means of which the ascription of the expression to some object (objects) occurs. For example, the referential meanings of the expressions “evening star” and “morning star” refer to one and the same object—the planet Venus—but their thought contents, or sense meanings, are different. Questions of the criteria for equivalence of meanings (senses)—that is, the criteria of synonomy of linguistic expressions—is one of the problems studied by logical semantics.

References in classic literature ?
During the early part of his illness everyone in the house looked askance at me, and Anna Thedorovna would nod her head in a meaning manner; but, I always looked them straight in the face, and gradually they ceased to take any notice of my concern for Pokrovski.
I am merely pointing out the misuse; and as for the origin of the misuse and the meaning that lies behind it all, the explanation is very simple.
Though Harmon Gow developed the tale as far as his mental and moral reach permitted there were perceptible gaps between his facts, and I had the sense that the deeper meaning of the story was in the gaps.
I was more than ever frightened of myself, thinking anew of her against whom I was a witness, of the owner of Chesney Wold, of the new and terrible meaning of the old words now moaning in my ear like a surge upon the shore, "Your mother, Esther, was your disgrace, and you are hers.
We had a favourite haunt, called the Story-seat, and we went back to that, meaning not to look at the grass near it where Porthos used to squat, but we could not help looking at it sideways, and to our distress a man was sitting on the acquainted spot.
They knew not the meanings of the words they mouthed; they but repeated the ritual that had been handed down from preceptor to neophyte since that long-gone day when the ancestors of the Piltdown man still swung by their tails in the humid jungles that are England now.
Yet I was still at sea; nor, seemingly, could Ajor enlighten me, since she was compelled to use words which I could not understand and which it was impossible for her to explain the meanings of.
They were more hairy, it is true; their legs were a trifle more twisted and gnarly, their eyes a bit smaller, their necks a bit thicker and shorter, and their nostrils slightly more like orifices in a sunken surface; but they had no hair on their faces and on the palms of their hands and the soles of their feet, and they made sounds similar to ours with somewhat similar meanings.
It was almost a prayer, but a prayer that included a thousand meanings Daylight strove to feign sheepishness, but his heart was singing too wild a song for mere playfulness.
Other men had discovered the trick of expression, of making words obedient servitors, and of making combinations of words mean more than the sum of their separate meanings.
He passed whole months in decomposing and recomposing words and fitting them to new meanings.
For some of Johnson's meanings were not correct, and when these mistakes were pointed out to him he was not in the least ashamed.