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the study of the history of words and how their form and meanings have changed over time.


the identification, analysis, and description of the structure of words.


The study of words, their nature and meanings.


a branch of lexicology that studies words in a dictionary and determines which words to include in a dictionary.


the vocabulary of a language, including words and expressions


the fundamental unit of the lexicon. For example, "finds, found, and finding" are all forms of the lexeme "find."


the smallest unit of a lexeme that has meaning. For example, the word "shipment" contains two morphemes: ship and ment.

Free morpheme

a morpheme that is also a lexeme. (In our example above, "ship" can stand alone as a word by itself so it is a free morpheme.

Bound morpheme

a morpheme that is not also a lexeme (cannot stand alone by itself as a word. In our shipment example, "-ment" is a bound morpheme.)

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