Quick Reference

Those parts of a text preceding and following any particular passage, giving it a meaning fuller or more identifiable than if it were read in isolation. The context of any statement may be understood to comprise immediately neighbouring signs (including punctuation such as quotation marks), or any part of—or the whole of—the remaining text, or the biographical, social, cultural, and historical circumstances in which it is made (including the intended audience or reader). The case of irony shows clearly how the meaning of a statement can be completely reversed by a knowledge of its context. An interpretation of any passage or text that offers to explain it in terms of its context is sometimes said to contextualize it. Adjective: contextual.

Subjects: Literature — Chemistry.

Reference entries