Kinds of Definition

Topics: Definition, Meaning of life Pages: 2 (322 words) Published: February 27, 2013
Does a kind of definition merely indicate that a thing is signified by a term, without declaring the nature of that thing, or does it also declares its nature? The answer to this question is the basis for every important division into NOMNAL and REAL. NOMINAL DEFINATION

A nominal definition( definitio nominis, meaning a definition of name) merely indicates that a thing is signified by a term without declaring the nature of the thing.

Examlpe:if you are asked,”what does makapili mean?” if you mean man, you are giving a nominal definition. By substituting a word that you questioner knows for the one that he does not know, you indicate what thing is signified by the word makapili. KINDS OF NOMINAL DEFINITIONS

On the basis of the various in which they indicate in the thing signified by a term, nominal definition are either etymological definitions, definitions by synonyms, definitions by description or definitions by examples. Etymological Definition

This kind of definition defines a word by giving the meaning of the word or words from which is derived. For example, “philosophy” is derived from the Greek words philos and Sophia which mean “love” and “wisdom”, respectively. Consequently, the etymological definition of philosophy is “love of wisdom” Definition by synonym

This kind of definition defines a word by giving words with similar meanings (either of the same language) and are better known than the word being defined. For example, anthropos means, “man”; to connect means “ to put together”. Definition by Description

This kind of definition defines a word by describing the thing signified by a term, not for the purpose of revealing its nature or essence, but merely to indicate what a thing is that is being spoken of “Chalk”, for instance, can be defined by this sort of definition as “the material of which is made the little stick that a teacher uses to write on the blackboard.
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