Definition of liminal in English:
1Of or relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Late 19th century: from Latin limen, limin- 'threshold' + -al.
Words that rhyme with liminalcriminal, subliminal
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