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ostensive definition


a definition that points out or exhibits instances of the term defined


communication noun (communicative processes and contents)


ostensive definitions

Original source:

Princeton WordNet

Definition references


Ostensive definition

conveys the meaning of a term by pointing out examples. This type of definition is often used where the term is difficult to define verbally, either because the words will not be understood or because of the nature of the term. It's usually accompanied... (44 of 971 words)

en​.wikipedia​.org​/wiki​/Ostensive definition

Random House Dictionary:

ostensive definition [philosophy]

the definition of a term by pointing to one or more examples to which the term can be applied. (19 of 22 words)



ostensive definition [semantics] | ostensive definitions [plural] | definition by pointing [synonym]

A process of binding the meaning to the defined term by pointing out examples and counterexamples. (16 of 18 words)

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/ostensive definition

Collins Dictionary:


the word or words used to define or give an account of the meaning of another word, as in a dictionary entry (22 of 261 words, pronunciations)


Britannica Encyclopedia:

definition [language and philosophy]

In philosophy, the specification of the meaning of an expression relative to a language. Definitions may be classified as lexical, ostensive, and ... (22 of 129 words)


Macmillan British Dictionary:

definition | definitions [plural] | by definition

[countable] a statement of what a word or expression means | [uncountable] the clear edges or shape that something has that make it easy to see | "by ... (26 of 115 words, 3 definitions, 6 usage examples, pronunciation)


New World Dictionary:

definition | definitional [adjective, related]

a defining or being defined | a statement of what a thing is | a statement of the meaning as of a word or phrase | a putting or being in clear, sharp ... (30 of 94 words, 7 definitions, pronunciation)


Oxford Dictionary:

definiens | definientia [plural]

a word, phrase, or symbolic expression used to define something, especially in a dictionary entry, or introducing a word or symbol into a logical ... (24 of 67 words, pronunciation)


Cambridge Dictionary:

definition [entry 1] | by definition

a statement that explains the meaning of a word or phrase | a description of the features and limits of something | "by definition": because of its ... (25 of 62 words, 3 definitions, 4 usage examples, pronunciation)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/definition 1

definition [entry 2]

how clear an image or sound is (7 of 20 words, 1 usage example, pronunciation)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/definition 2

American Heritage Dictionary:

definiens | definientia [plural]

The word or words serving to define another word or expression, as in a dictionary entry. (16 of 35 words, pronunciations)



definiens | definientia [plural] | definition [synonym]

an expression that defines; "definition" (5 of 24 words, pronunciations)


Encarta Dictionary:

definiens [technical] | definientia [plural]

the words used to define a word or expression, e.g. in a dictionary or glossary (15 of 57 words, pronunciations)

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861603344​/definition​.html  [offline]

Page last updated: 2013-06-26

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