nominal definition
A definition, for example of a species of substance or animal, that locates it by sufficient of its properties to distinguish it from other kinds of substance or animal, but without getting at its underlying structure or ‘essence’. Thus a definition of water as the colourless liquid good for bathing and drinking is a nominal definition; a definition of it as H2O is a ‘real’ definition. The distinction is first made explicit by Locke, although his own attitude towards the possibility of finding real definitions, specifying the real essences, of things is ambivalent. See essentialism.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

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  • nominal definition — noun : a statement giving the meaning of a name, word, or expression a purely nominal definition, completely lacking in operational utility Morris Watnick contrasted with real definition …   Useful english dictionary

  • nominal definition — noun Logic a definition that describes something sufficiently to distinguish it from other things, but without describing its essence …   English new terms dictionary

  • nominal definitions — nominal definition …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Nominal — Nom i*nal, a. [L. nominalis, fr. nomen, nominis, name. See {Name}.] 1. Of or pertaining to a name or names; having to do with the literal meaning of a word; verbal; as, a nominal definition. Bp. Pearson. [1913 Webster] 2. Existing in name only;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Definition — For other uses, see Definition (disambiguation). A definition is a passage that explains the meaning of a term (a word, phrase or other set of symbols), or a type of thing. The term to be defined is the definiendum. A term may have many different …   Wikipedia

  • nominal — adj. 1 existing in name only; not real or actual (nominal and real prices; nominal ruler). 2 (of a sum of money, rent, etc.) virtually nothing; much below the actual value of a thing. 3 of or in names (nominal and essential distinctions). 4… …   Useful english dictionary

  • nominal — nominal, ale, aux [ nɔminal, o ] adj. et n. m. • 1503; lat. nominalis, de nomen « nom » I ♦ Ling. 1 ♦ Qui se rapporte au nom (III), a valeur de nom, équivaut à un nom. Emploi nominal d un mot. Formes nominales de la conjugaison (infinitifs,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Nominal identity — is the identity in name only as opposed to the individual experience of that identity. The concept is often used in sociology, psychology and linguistics. Contents 1 Social sciences 1.1 Nominal identity in ethnicity 2 Linguistics …   Wikipedia

  • nominal — nominal, ale (no mi nal, na l ) adj. 1°   Qui est relatif au nom. •   Il arrive si souvent, et surtout en histoire naturelle, qu une erreur nominale entraîne une erreur réelle...., BUFF. Ois. t. III, p. 352.    Terme de logique. Définition… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Nominal analogue blanking — Nominal analog blanking or nominal analogue blanking is the outermost part of the overscan of a standard definition digital television image. It consists of a variable and arbitrary gap of black (or nearly black) pixels at the left and right… …   Wikipedia

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