from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Pertaining to a threshold or entrance.
- adj. Relating to a beginning or first stage of a process; inceptive; inchoative; marginal; insignificant.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. of or pertaining to a limen, especially a sensory threshhold.
- adj. marginally perceptible.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Pertaining to the threshold or entrance; hence, relating to the beginning or first stage; inceptive; inchoative.
- Specifically In psychophysics, pertaiuing to the stimulus limen or differential limen. See limen.
Havdalah marks what is called a "liminal moment," a boundary between the sacredness of the Sabbath and the ordinary days of the week.
Dragonflies tend to turn up at times in my life that I would describe as liminal -- threshold moments when you stand in the doorway between what your life was before and what it will be.
In anthropological terms, the transformative experience discussed above takes place during a phenomenon called the liminal state, that moment when a person has stepped across a psychological "threshold" out of the ordinary "world" of existence into a new "place" where they are open to experience, something undefined and unknown.
I was inspired to buy this by Farah Mendlesohn's Rhetorics of Fantasy, which ranks it as a key exemplar of one of the four modes of fantasy story-telling, the 'liminal' in which the boundary with the fantastic is hazy and uncertain; other examples being Little, Big (which I bounced off) and the first two Gormenghast books (which I remember loving as a teenager).
Power's photographs of contemporary Poland, taken over five years, often present what the writer Iain Sinclair has called "liminal" landscapes: in-between places often on the outskirts of cities, neglected and overlooked, neither here nor there.
The nachtzehrer is a dead body kept in a kind of liminal life by supernatural forces or Satan.
In our extended family, we have defined the "liminal" as the place where two very different states of being meet.
So right now, I am living in another kind of liminal space.
I'm so glad I started reading this anthology of "liminal", literary/genre works around the time I served on a panel on comics as interstitial art; for one thing, the panel was another project of the IAF, which is a great force for bringing literary attention to writers whose work might otherwise disappear, incorrectly, into the genre ghetto.
It's a fancy word that means "in between", in case you wondered -- kind of like "liminal".