Context meaning and examples

Context clues are more commonly found in nonfiction texts than in fiction, although they are sometimes found in children's literature, often with the goal of building readers' vocabulary. Words can have multiple meanings, so being able to infer the correct definition from context is a valuable reading comprehension skill. One way to learn new words is through the context of the words around them. We infer the meaning of these words from what's going on or what has already been established in the text.

Clues for deciphering a word's meaning can be rendered in the form of anything from a subtle hint to a straight-out explanation, definition, or illustration. Context clues can also take the form of synonyms, antonyms, word-structure clues, comparisons such as metaphors and similesand contrasts. For example:. Word-structure clues are understood in two ways: a reader or listener understands a base word and a prefix or suffix and infers the meaning from the combination of the two, or the reader knows a word origin and upon hearing a word of similar origin, infers its meaning.

For instance, if you know that "anti-" means against, it's easy to infer the meaning of the word "anti-establishment. Likewise, if you're aware that a "memorial" is something in remembrance for a person who has died, you might readily intuit the meaning of the following sentence, even if you'd never previously heard the term "in memoriam. Comparison context clues show the meaning of a word through similarities to other items or elements, similies or metaphors:.

Learning new words from context alone does have its limitations, as this method is not always definitive. Often, context may give a reader a general idea of a word, but not a full meaning. If the sentences in which an unknown word appears don't clearly spell out it's meaning, that meaning may be lost.

For long-term retention, readers need to see a word multiple times. The more often an inferred definition is included, the more likely the reader will retain and understand a new word. Share Flipboard Email.

Richard Nordquist. English and Rhetoric Professor.

Context in Language

Richard Nordquist is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern University and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks. Updated January 24, Synonym context clues offer words nearby with the same meaning:.

Synonym: The annual bazaar is scheduled for the last day of school. It's always a fun festival. Antonym context clues offer nearby words with opposite meanings.

Antonym: "You look pretty content about it, not like you're all bent out of shape at all," he noted. Definition context clues just spell out the meaning in a straightforward manner:.Add context to one of your lists below, or create a new one.

These are words often used in combination with context. Click on a collocation to see more examples of it. Definitions Clear explanations of natural written and spoken English. Click on the arrows to change the translation direction. Follow us. Choose a dictionary. Clear explanations of natural written and spoken English. Word Lists. Choose your language. My word lists. Tell us about this example sentence:. This is a good example of how the word is used.

The word in the example sentence does not match the entry word. The sentence contains offensive content. Cancel Submit. Your feedback will be reviewed. B2 the situation within which something exists or happensand that can help explain it:. It is important to see all the fighting and bloodshed in his plays in historical context.

This small battle is very important in the context of Scottish history. To understand this issueit must first be situated in its context.

The production is deliberately stylelessand this takes the play out of its historical context. What was the context you found the word in? He thinks smacking is OK in the context of a happy family. His remarks were very tasteless in the context of a memorial service.

Linking and relating. You can also find related words, phrases, and synonyms in the topics: Regarding and concerning. C1 the text or speech that comes immediately before and after a particular phrase or piece of text and helps to explain its meaning :.

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In this exercisea word is blanked out and you have to guess what it is by looking at the context. If words are used out of context, only a small separate part of what was originally said or written is reportedwith the result that their meaning is not clear or is not understood :. The reporter took my remarks completely out of context. He is willing to look for solutions in the context of changes to the health-care system.

English the text or speech that comes immediately before and after a particular phrase or piece of text and that influence how it is used and what it means.

context meaning and examples

I can't take a word out of it's contextual meaning. Examples of context.To save this word, you'll need to log in.

When we say that something is contextualizedwe mean that it is placed in an appropriate setting, one in which it may be properly considered. Examples of context in a Sentence … it was Dickens who first used the word 'detective' in a literary context … — John MullanHow Novels WorkEntrepreneurship and civil freedoms depend on a context of civil order, predictability, and individual security.

WoodwardBalkan Tragedy… the old building, its original acre, inside its high outer wall, was immune to change, out of context and out of time. The book puts these events in their proper historical and social contexts. We need to consider these events in context. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, is among those tasked with assessing it in the context of hosting public events at the college level.

Definition and Examples of Context Clues

Taylor Jr. Send us feedback. See more words from the same year Dictionary Entries near context contested election contestee conteur context context-free contextual definition contextualism. Accessed 10 Apr. Keep scrolling for more More Definitions for context context.

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Please tell us where you read or heard it including the quote, if possible. Test Your Vocabulary Name that Thing: Flower Edition Name that flower amaryllis hydrangea chrysanthemum hyacinth Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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Log in here for access. Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. Log in or Sign up. Amanda teaches high school and college English. She has a bachelor's degree in literature and a master's in English. Context helps readers understand what they otherwise wouldn't be able to comprehend. It is a much-needed assistant, helping readers define unknown words and make sense of outside information. In writing, it is often necessary to provide new words, concepts and information to help develop a thought.

For example, maybe you need to include a fact to support your claim or a quote to better illustrate your analysis of a literary work. Whenever you use a fact or quote from another source, it is important that you tell the reader a bit about that information first.

This is what we mean by context. You need to literally surround that piece of information with text that illuminates its meaning and relevancy. That is why context, when broken down, literally means 'with text. Including context means providing the reader with the situation, a background picture of where the piece of information came from and what or who is involved.

If you are writing a book review and you need to include an excerpt from the text, then you'll need to tell the reader a the situation, b the setting and c the speaker if applicable at the time of the quote. Here is a quote from William Golding's Lord of the Flies : 'Maybe,' he said hesitantly, 'maybe there is a beast' As a reader, this excerpt makes little sense.

Who is the 'he? Making a joke? Without context, we have no idea. Here is the same quote, but this time with context - the situation, setting and speaker - clearly identified:. While stranded on a deserted island, a group of boys believe there is a dangerous creature lurking in the underbrush; Simon is the first to identify this menace, suggesting to the boys that 'maybe,' he said hesitantly, 'maybe there is a beast' Here, the context clearly identifies the situation - the island boys recognize a threat - and also details where the quote takes place and who is speaking.

We surround the excerpt with text, and in this, provide much-needed context.Use context in a sentence.

Examples of Context Clues

An example of context is the words that surround the word "read" that help the reader determine the tense of the word. The current status, condition or mode of a system.

See context sensitive help. Sentences Sentence examples. By continuing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Please set a username for yourself. People will see it as Author Name with your public flash cards. The definition of context is the words that surround other words and impact their meaning or the setting in which something occurs. YourDictionary definition and usage example. Link to this page. MLA Style "Context. In YourDictionary. All rights reserved.

context meaning and examples

The circumstances in which an event occurs; a setting. Origin of context Middle English composition from Latin contextus from past participle of contexere to join together com- com- texere to weave ; see teks- in Indo-European roots. Noun plural contexts The surroundingscircumstancesenvironmentbackground or settings that determine, specify, or clarify the meaning of an event or other occurrence.

In what context did your attack on him happen? Verb third-person singular simple present contexts, present participle contexting, simple past and past participle contexted obsolete To knit or bind together; to unite closely.

Adjective comparative more context, superlative most context obsolete Knit or woven together; close; firm.

Context Clues - Award Winning Context Clues Teaching Video - Comprehension & Reading Strategies

Origin From Latin contextus. English Wiktionary. Home Dictionary Definitions context. Sentence Examples. Related Whoa! Examples of Context Clues. Also Mentioned In. Join YourDictionary today.This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. Learn more Got it! Sometimes, when we read a given portion of text, we're not entirely sure what's going on. This is where context clues come in. Context clues provide further information about a word or phrase that helps readers understand its meaning.

These clues offer insight - either directly or indirectly - into the portion of text that's difficult to understand. Let's explore various examples of context clues to see how they work. The most basic, and perhaps helpful, type of context clues are synonyms.

If you can't decipher a meaning, adding a few synonyms, or words with similar meanings, is a surefire way to point to a word's meaning. Let's take a look at a few examples:. A synonym is one way to understand meaning.

But, how about a straightforward definition? It's hard to misconstrue a context clue when the actual definition is provided. Here are a few examples:. The dates are listed in chronological order; they start at the beginning and end with the last event.

Sometimes, the best way to understand something is to understand what not to do or what something isn't. In the same way, an antonymor an opposite, can convey meaning. If you point out the differences, you can come to understand each component better. Attempting to avoid the accident was futile; it was impossible for either of them to stop in time.

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This painting of the landscape is picturesque, while the one of the old house is just plain ugly. Has a friend or family member ever asked you to just come right out with it? Sometimes, readers don't want to search for your meaning. Instead, if you provide a bigger picture and offer added detail or context, the reader will come to understand the tricky word.

Here are some examples:. Even the most esteemed intellectuals have to look up a word from time to time. However, in the moments when we don't have access to our cell phones or laptops, a couple strong context clues might help us understand a given line's meaning. In the meantime, there are a couple ways to ward off your uncertainty surrounding new words or phrases.

Make it a goal to increase your vocabulary. These tips will help you set sail on a lifetime of learning. Home Examples Examples of Context Clues.

Synonyms as Context Clues The most basic, and perhaps helpful, type of context clues are synonyms. Let's take a look at a few examples: It was an idyllic day - sunny, warm, and perfect for a walk in the park. She hums continuously, or all the time, and it annoys me.

context meaning and examples

The crime he committed was egregious; he'll never recover from this horrendous scandal. His animosity, or hatred, of his sister divided the family. Bill felt remorse, or shame, for his harsh words.Context is the background, environment, settingframework, or surroundings of events or occurrences.

Simply, context means circumstances forming a background of an event, idea or statement, in such a way as to enable readers to understand the narrative or a literary piece. It is necessary in writing to provide information, new concepts, and words to develop thoughts. Whenever writers use a quote or a fact from some source, it becomes necessary to provide their readers some information about the source, to give context to its use.

This piece of information is called context. Context illuminates the meaning and relevance of the text, and may be something cultural, historical, social, or political. Dickens begins his novelA Tale of Two Citiesinby describing the release of Doctor Manette from Bastille, before taking the story to and early In this time span, the narrative covers a broad story.

In a larger view, this novel begins inwhile its final scene looks forward to the situation of the post-revolutionary Paris. This story has a historical context, which Dickens has organized around various events that occurred during the French Revolution. He has drawn historical features from major events, including the fall of Bastille, the September Massacres, and the Reign of Terror.

George Orwell felt disillusioned by Soviet Communism, and its revolution during his time. In the phenomenal novel, Animal FarmOrwell has expressed himself by using satire through the allegorical characters of Old Major and Boxer; relating them to the Russian Revolution and its characters. Orwell uses animals to explain history and context of Soviet Communism, some of which relate to party leaders.

In fact, Orwell uses this fable for political and aesthetic reasons, following the Russian Revolution as its context. During this entire period, Calvinism was popular within the English churches; however, it was controversial. According to Calvinistic doctrine, the status of the people was predestined as saved or damned. The Renaissance period provides context for this play by Marlowe. There is a popular saying that stories indicate values and cultures of the societies in which their authors live.

In Oedipus RexSophocles presents his protagonistOedipus, struggling to implement his will against the destiny set forth by the Greek gods. During this process Sophocles reveals Greek values of the period during which he wrote the play. He has illustrated the context of this play through the words and actions of Oedipus and other characters; as their Greek ideals concerning their governance, fate, and human relationships with the gods.

These were some of the more popular themes of that era, and so form context of the Oedipus Rex. This excerpt provides an excellent example of context, as it narrates an incident involving a group of young men on a deserted island. Context describes why they were afraid, giving a clear picture of the situation and setting. Context is all about providing a background or picture of the situation, and of who is involved. Context is an essential part of a literary text, which helps to engage the audience.

Without context, readers may not see the true picture of a literary work.

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Context helps readers understand the cultural, social, philosophical, and political ideas and movements prevalent in society at the time of the writing.