What word describes an author’s deployment of a word/term?

I’m writing about Hobbes and Locke who basically have two different understandings of the word ‘right’. When Hobbes says ‘right’ or ‘rights’ he is referring to one’s liberty to do something, whereas Locke uses ‘right’ to mean someone’s claim to something. This may seem a subtle difference, but I’m looking for terms that describe the authors’ different use of the same word without the sentence looking clumsy. Thanks.

Answer

You could say that they are using the word in a different interpretation.

interpretation

an explanation or opinion of what something means

Source: Cambridge Dictionary

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