Meaning of CONTEXT in English


con ‧ text S2 W2 AC /ˈkɒntekst $ ˈkɑːn-/ BrE AmE noun [uncountable and countable]

[ Word Family: verb : ↑ contextualize ; noun : ↑ context ; adverb : ↑ contextually ; adjective : ↑ contextual ]

[ Date: 1400-1500 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: contextus 'connection of words' , from contexere 'to weave together' , from com- ( ⇨ COM- ) + texere 'to weave' ]

1 . the situation, events, or information that are related to something and that help you to understand it

political/social/historical etc context

the political context of the election

place/put/see etc something in context

To appreciate what these changes will mean, it is necessary to look at them in context.

in the context of something

These incidents are best understood in the broader context of developments in rural society.

2 . the words that come just before and after a word or sentence and that help you understand its meaning:

The meaning of ‘mad’ depends on its context.

3 . take/quote something out of context to repeat part of what someone has said or written without describing the situation in which it was said, so that it means something quite different:

His comments, taken out of context, seem harsh.

• • •


■ adjectives

▪ the social/political/historical etc context

You often need to understand the cultural context of jokes.

▪ a wider/broader/larger context (=a more general situation, set of events etc)

It’s important to look at the story in the wider context of medieval Spain.

▪ an international/European/British etc context

We study the work of these artists in their European context.

▪ a general context

This problem is occurring within a general context of economic difficulty.

■ verbs

▪ see something in the context of something (=consider and understand something in relation to a particular situation)

His life and work must be seen in the context of his youth.

▪ look at/examine etc something in context

Although this does not seem to be a good result, let’s examine it in context.

▪ put something in/into context (=consider something in context)

These statistics need to be put into context.

▪ place/set something in context (=consider something in context)

The issue must be placed within its historical context.

▪ provide a context for something

The study provides a context for future research.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.