Semantics is the study of meaning in language. It can be applied to entire texts or to single words. For example, "destination" and "last stop" technically mean the same thing, but students of semantics analyze their subtle shades of meaning.
To correctly pronounce semantics — which is a singular noun even though it ends in s — accent the second syllable: "suh-MAN-ticks." In the late 1800s, Michel Bréal coined the term sémantique to describe the psychology of language. That French word has its origins in Greek: semantikos means "significant," and comes from semainein "to show, signify, indicate by a sign." Semantics investigates the meaning of language.