The tendency of the meaning of words and phrases to change over time.

The word "nice", for example, is a compliment meaning pleasant, friendly, or sweet; its original meaning, a few hundred years ago, was closer to "stupid". (Webster1913 says it meant "foolish; silly; simple; ignorant; also, weak; effeminate.")

This phrase is used by linguists and philologists to mean that words don't mean the same as they used to.

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