Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: LINGUISTICS

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

context

noun
     
con‧text S3 W1 [uncountable and countable]
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.
2SL 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.
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