Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Intermediate between two states, conditions, or regions; transitional or indeterminate.
  • adjective Existing at the limen. Used of stimuli.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective of or pertaining to a limen, especially a sensory threshhold.
  • adjective marginally perceptible.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Pertaining to a threshold or entrance.
  • adjective Relating to a beginning or first stage of a process; inceptive; inchoative; marginal; insignificant.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin līmen, līmin-, threshold + –al.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin liminalis, from limen, "threshold", + -alis, adjective ending

Examples

Comments

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  • From Oxford Dictionary Online:

    a. gen. Of or pertaining to the threshold or initial stage of a process. rare.

    b. spec. in Psychol. Of or pertaining to a ‘limen’ or ‘threshold.’

    July 31, 2008

  • Interesting, knowing subliminal, but not this.

    August 1, 2008

  • I was always told that Bronze Age burial mounds were often placed on the brows of hills, in a liminal location, giving a feeling of ancestral belonging to the residents of the valleys below.

    December 23, 2008

  • See also supraliminal.

    December 23, 2008

  • Being neither altogether of one state or another. Between worlds.

    March 2, 2009

  • A pair of nods to Victor Turner, my pals' Folklore advisor at Indiana University, would be "time-out-of-time" and "betwixt and between".

    August 6, 2009

  • Railroad telegraphers' shorthand for the phrase Supreme Court of the United States. --US Railway Association, Standard Cipher Code, 1906, p.317.

    January 30, 2013