The Meaning of Context: What It Is and How To Use It

You may hear the word context in phrases like “taken out of context.” This article will define the meaning of context and show how to use it.

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Title: What Does Context Mean? | The Word Counter

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Meta: You may hear the word context in phrases like “taken out of context.” This article will define the meaning of context and show how to use it.

The Meaning of Context: What It Is and How To Use It

If someone has to give context to a situation or statement, what does that entail? Conversely, what does it mean if something is taken out of context? This article will go over the definition of the word context and numerous topics related to the word context.

What Does Context Mean?

Context refers to the piece of a written or spoken statement that surrounds a word or phrase, giving it a certain effect or meaning. It can also refer to facts and circumstances surrounding an event or situation. Providing broader context can give a full meaning or background to a particular event or statement.

The pronunciation of context is ˈkɒn tɛkst. Phrases like “out of context” and “context clues” contain the word context.

What Is the Etymology of the Word Context?

According to Dictionary, context has been used since the late 1300s in Late Middle English. This word comes from the Latin contextus, which means to join or weave together. This word is the equivalent of the Latin contextere, which combines the Latin prefix con and the Latin root textere or texere, which means to weave.

How Can Context Be Used in a Sentence?

One of the best ways to learn new words is to use them in sentences. You can study the example sentences below  to learn the proper way to use context. Then, try coming up with your own example sentences!

Example #1: The Historical Context of a War

In order to understand why the war began, we studied the historical context surrounding the political events that preceded said war. Once we understood the surrounding events, we were able to pinpoint why the war began.

Example #2: The Social Context of a City

In order to understand New York’s vibrant culture, you must understand the social context of what built the city. Many factors make up the city’s artistic and musical culture and the division of its different boroughs. 

Example #3: The Context of a Word

The students were assigned to decipher the words’ definitions and connotations based on context clues. Some students could figure out what the words meant with ease, but others struggled to comprehend a word’s meaning without being told.

Example #4: The Context of a Statement

She was mad at her boyfriend for saying flirtatious things to another girl, but he assured her that she was taking things out of context. She did not believe him and instead threw all of his belongings out on the lawn. She has no patience for cheaters.

What Are Translations of Context?

When speaking in different languages, it is imperative to understand the context of different words. When you are speaking a language that is not your native tongue, it might be difficult to decipher tone or meaning based on the words alone. Therefore, you should not be afraid to ask for context.

Using this list of translations of the word context from Nice Translator, you can learn how to say the word context in a variety of other languages. See which of these words look and sound similar to the word context!

  • Portuguese (Portugal): contexto
  • Croatian: kontekst
  • Welsh: nghyd-destun
  • Hindi: संदर्भ
  • Polish: kontekst
  • Malayalam: സന്ദര്ഭം
  • Gujarati: સંદર્ભ
  • Italian: contesto
  • Chinese (PRC): 语境
  • Hebrew: הֶקשֵׁר
  • Lithuanian: kontekstas. \ T
  • Korean: 문맥
  • Tamil: சூழல்
  • Japanese: 環境
  • French: le contexte
  • Serbian: контекст
  • Latvian: konteksts
  • Spanish: contexto
  • Slovak: kontext
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 語境
  • Turkish: bağlam
  • Norwegian: kontekst, sammenheng
  • Catalan: context
  • Hungarian: kontextus
  • Swedish: sammanhang
  • Kannada: ಸನ್ನಿವೇಶ
  • German: Kontext, Zusammenhang
  • Romanian: context
  • Telugu: సందర్భం
  • Amharic: አውድ
  • Russian: контекст
  • Malay: konteksnya
  • Danish: sammenhæng
  • Greek: συμφραζόμενα
  • Arabic: سياق الكلام
  • Ukrainian: контекст
  • Swahili: Muktadha
  • Czech: kontext
  • Bengali: প্রসঙ্গ
  • Slovenian: Kontekst.
  • Portuguese (Brazil): contexto
  • Filipino: konteksto
  • Urdu: خیال، سیاق
  • Dutch: context
  • Indonesian: konteks
  • Finnish: konteksti
  • Marathi: संदर्भ
  • Vietnamese: bối cảnh
  • Bulgarian: контекст
  • Icelandic: samhengi
  • Estonian: kontekst
  • Thai: บริบท
  • Basque: testuinguru

What Are Synonyms of Context?

It is always a good idea to learn synonyms for words. If you are ever in a situation where someone you are talking to does not know what a word means, you can use a synonym to help clarify. Power Thesaurus provides the below list of synonyms of the word context:

  • ambience
  • ambient
  • angle
  • approach
  • atmosphere
  • backdrop
  • background
  • bedground
  • belief system
  • broad view
  • case
  • circumstance
  • circumstances
  • climate
  • clime
  • condition
  • conditions
  • connection
  • context of use
  • contextual relationship
  • contexture
  • coordinate system
  • environment
  • environs
  • factors
  • forum
  • frame
  • frame of reference
  • framework
  • habitat
  • light
  • linguistic context
  • location
  • medium
  • milieu
  • perspective
  • reference frame
  • reference system
  • relation
  • scenario
  • scene
  • scope
  • setting
  • settings
  • situation
  • standpoint
  • state of affairs
  • subject
  • surround
  • surroundings
  • text
  • theme
  • topic
  • universe of discourse
  • viewpoint

What Are Antonyms of Context?

Numerous words mean the opposite of context. Power Thesaurus lists these below as well:

  • accent
  • accentuate
  • anterior
  • anteriority
  • belabor
  • bow
  • bring to the fore
  • call attention to
  • draw attention to
  • dwell on
  • emphasize
  • exterior
  • facade
  • face
  • feature
  • focus attention on
  • fore
  • forefront
  • forehead
  • forepart
  • front
  • front line
  • frontage
  • frontal
  • frontispiece
  • give emphasis to
  • give prominence to
  • harp on
  • head
  • heighten
  • highlight
  • insist on
  • lay stress on
  • lead
  • limelight
  • make a point of
  • obverse
  • play up
  • point up
  • press home
  • prioritize
  • proscenium
  • put stress on
  • spearhead
  • spotlight
  • stress
  • underline
  • underscore
  • vanguard


The definition of context (kɑn ntɛkst) is the framework around a statement or event that provides additional information. Often, context is very important for understanding what someone means by a statement or why an event took place. Make sure that you understand an event or statement’s context before making any assumptions. 


  1. Context synonyms – 405 Words and Phrases for Context | Power Thesaurus 
  2. Context antonyms – 14 Opposites of Context | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Context Definition & Meaning | 
  4. Context | Nice Translator