A sememe is a proposed unit of transmitted or intended meaning; it is atomic or indivisible. A sememe can be the meaning expressed by a morpheme, such as the English pluralizing morpheme -s, which carries the sememic feature [+ plural]. Alternatively, a single sememe (for example [go] or [move]) can be conceived as the abstract representation of such verbs as skate, roll, jump, slide, turn, or boogie. It can be thought of as the semantic counterpart to any of the following: a meme in a culture, a gene in a genetic make-up, or an atom (or, more specifically, an elementary particle) in a substance. A seme is the name for the smallest unit of meaning recognized in semantics, referring to a single characteristic of a sememe.
Bazell, Charles Ernest (1954). The sememe in "Litera", I. Istanbul. pp. 17–31. Reprinted in: Hamp, Eric P.; Fred W. Householder, Robert Austerlitz (eds.) (1966). Readings in linguistics II. University of Chicago Press. pp. 329–40.Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
Vakulenko, Serhii (2005). The Notion of Sememe in the Work of Adolf Noreen, in "The Henry Sweet Society for the History of Linguistic Ideas Bulletin" 44. pp. 19–35.