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liminal

Syllabification: lim·i·nal
Pronunciation: /ˈlimənl
 
/

Definition of liminal in English:

adjective

technical
1Of or relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.
Example sentences
  • Through a ritual process, centered upon a liminal stage of revelation and testing, the evangelist shows Jesus' true identity as a holy man, capable of brokering God's patronage on his people.
  • Anthropologists have frequently problematised the exciting, fraught and profoundly liminal stage that human beings traverse between childhood and adulthood.
  • We are in this transitional, liminal phase, of waiting to see what are the appropriate questions to be asking about human possibility and about the human condition.
2Occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.
Example sentences
  • Facts about the direction of one's attention occupy a curiously liminal position in respect to the divide between the rational and the non-rational in our psychological lives.
  • They occupy the liminal space between us and other, civilization and barbarism, human and beast, the real and the imaginary, attraction and repulsion.
  • The liminal position between tradition and adaptation has been described by Ralph Ellison as the quintessential American identity.

Origin

late 19th century: from Latin limen, limin- 'threshold' + -al.

Derivatives

liminality

1
Pronunciation: /ˌliməˈnalətē/
noun
Example sentences
  • He gives the example of initiation into adulthood as a period of liminality in Ndembu society, when the norms of everyday life no longer pertain.
  • These barriers, located in the near environment, sometimes unknowingly accepted by us and often tacitly deployed through routine decisions and judgments, persist as a vestige of our liminality…
  • Pertaining to baroque poetics and a major feature of perception is Iago's strategy of liminality, by which he conducts his victim to the door of perception, whether visual or verbal.

Words that rhyme with liminal

criminal, subliminal

Definition of liminal in:

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