The basic intention of Qur’anic exegesis (tafsīr) is to understand what the text of the Qur'an means. Before attempting to understand anything of the Qur’anic worldview, its theology and ethical values, there is a need for exegetes to engage with the individual words found in the Qur’an itself. Yet, exegetes and translators, whether medieval or modern, have different theological perspectives, which influence how they do this. Many modern scholars have recognised that lexicology plays an important part in exegesis, but there are few studies of how exegetes use it to develop their interpretations of the Qur’an or that address lexicology in Qur’anic exegesis in any depth. This volume of essays addresses this gap in the scholarship.

The Meaning of the Word provides an overview of the development of lexicological analysis in the tafsīr tradition, and examines how exegetes interpreted words in the Qur’an. The contributions reflect on lexicology in Qur’anic exegesis through studies of a wide range of subjects, from linguistics to literary criticism, and law and gender to mysticism; from examinations of the issue of lexicology in the Arab, Persian and Turkish worlds to its examination in the European world; and from studies of the earliest discussions of Qur’anic lexica to those made in twentieth-century Turkey and recent English translations of the Qur'an. This volume will become a subject-specific reference volume for anyone working on the interpretation of the Qur’an, but also in Islamic Studies and the wider field of Religious Studies.