Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In Roman antiquity, a table or tablet; especially, a writing-tablet; hence, a writing or document; a legal instrument or record.
  • noun In anatomy and zoology, a table or tablet; a hard, flat, expansive surface, as of bone; specifically, in corals, a dissepiment; one of the highly developed and usually transverse or horizontal partitions which cut the septa, when these are present, at right angles, forming a set of floorings or ceilings of certain cavities.
  • noun Eccles., same as frontal, 5 .

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

  • noun A table; a tablet.
  • noun (Zoöl.) One of the transverse plants found in the calicles of certain corals and hydroids.
  • noun a smoothed tablet; hence, figuratively, the mind in its earliest state, before receiving impressions from without; -- a term used by Hobbes, Locke, and others, in maintaining a theory opposed to the doctrine of innate ideas.

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

  • noun A table or tablet.
  • noun zoology One of the transverse plants found in the calicles of certain corals and hydroids.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin

Examples

  • Also, there was this one poem in it called tabula rasa.

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  • BUT … to tie it back to LOST, John Locke – the philosopher not that other John Locke – used the phrase tabula rasa to define his philosophy of the mind as a blank slate.

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  • While the notion of tabula rasa focused on the impressionability of, and “exposure learning” by, the child, the emphasis on the infant's dependency pointed to what very much later came to be called instrumental learning.

    Dictionary of the History of Ideas

  • Only of course, Nénette emerges as a kind of tabula rasa...a moving confrontation with the fool on the hill, about which Society has long mythologized, both envying, pitying -- and thus, condemning -- her/him.

    Michael Vazquez: On Nénette

  • Only of course, Nénette emerges as a kind of tabula rasa...a moving confrontation with the fool on the hill, about which Society has long mythologized, both envying, pitying -- and thus, condemning -- her/him.

    Michael Vazquez: On Nénette

  • If you had asked me on Wednesday afternoon about that passage, I would have remembered exactly one thing: In the original, both "tabula" and "rasa" were misspelled, a rare twofer in the Misspelling, Foreign Words category.

    The blank slate is in my head

  • Perhaps he saw me as some kind of tabula rasa upon which he could inscribe the unique signature of his craft, like a missionary teaching a savage to read the word of God.

    Broken Music, A Memoir

  • And that is a wonderful place to reach because you've achieved a kind of tabula rasa.

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  • It certainly helps that the a capella original track presented a kind of tabula rasa for other artists, but I'd think no one would have bothered to re-mix this song if the original work weren't so compelling.

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  • It certainly helps that the a capella original track presented a kind of tabula rasa for other artists, but I'd think no one would have bothered to re-mix this song if the original work weren't so compelling.

    Expecting Rain

Comments

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  • "Palæont. Name for the horizontal dissepiments in certain corals." (OED)

    September 15, 2008