from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun A word or expression that is being defined.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun semantics The
term— wordor phrase—defined in a definition.
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
Definiens/definiendum is a pretty common distinction when you’re talking about definitions.
A definition is just a definition, but when the definiendum is a word already in common use with highly favorable connotations, it is clear that we are really trying to be persuasive; we are implicitly recommending the achievement of optimal states.
Note the distinction between defined term and definiendum: the defined term in the present example is X; the definiendum is the unspecified expression on the left-hand side of ˜= Df™, which may or may not be identical to X. (Some authors call the defined term
M. Whittaker says: surely verbum definiendum, clausa definiens if you un-distill the sense.
Consider as a definiendum a universal, such as man, and its definiens, rational animal.
One then locates the definiendum in one of the sub-genera, and proceeds to divide this by another differentia, and so on, until one arrives at the definiendum species.
(Here ˜=™ is placed between a definiendum and a definiens.)
The problem is this: definitions are complex (a definiens is always some combination of terms), so what accounts for the definiendum being one thing, rather than many (1037b10)?
So, for example, a general term (e.g., ˜man™) may be defined using a sentential definiendum (e.g., ˜x is a man™).
Let us say that a homogenous definition is regular iff its definiendum is identical to the defined term.