One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A word, phrase, or symbol which is the subject of a definition, especially in a dictionary entry, or which is introduced into a logical system by being defined.Contrasted with definiens
- ‘He required of definition that the definiens (the statement of definition) should be synonymous with the definiendum (the expression or concept being defined) but contain no terms in common with it.’
- ‘The former is defined, by the ancient logic texts I love, as when a definition uses the same terms in the definiens as in the definiendum.’
- ‘Consider as a definiendum a universal, such as man, and its definiens, rational animal.’
- ‘The more common type,’ referent-based definitions' define the definiendum from the perspective of the entity to which they refer.’
Late 19th century: from Latin, ‘that which is to be defined’, from the verb definire (see define).
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