Concept

Intension

Summary
In any of several fields of study that treat the use of signs—for example, in linguistics, logic, mathematics, semantics, semiotics, and philosophy of language—an intension is any property or quality connoted by a word, phrase, or another symbol. In the case of a word, the word's definition often implies an intension. For instance, the intensions of the word plant include properties such as "being composed of cellulose (not always true)", "alive", and "organism", among others. A comprehension is the collection of all such intensions. Overview The meaning of a word can be thought of as the bond between the idea the word means and the physical form of the word. Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure (1857–1913) contrasts three concepts:

the signifier – the "sound image" or the string of letters on a page that one recognizes as the form of a sign

the signified – the meaning, the concept or idea that a sign expresses or evokes

the referent – the actual thing or set of thin

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