Definition of tabula rasa in English:

tabula rasa

Syllabification: ta·bu·la ra·sa
Pronunciation: /ˈtäbyo͝olə ˈräsə, ˈräzə

noun (plural tabulae rasae /ˈtäbyo͝olē ˈräsē, ˈräzē/)

1An absence of preconceived ideas or predetermined goals; a clean slate: the team did not have complete freedom and a tabula rasa from which to work
1.1The human mind, especially at birth, viewed as having no innate ideas.
More example sentences
  • So, for Locke, the human mind was a tabula rasa, a blank slate upon which experience records itself as human knowledge.
  • Locke believed that we are born without innate knowledge, with an empty mind, a tabula rasa.
  • They championed the opposing view that the developing human brain is a tabula rasa.


Latin, literally 'scraped tablet', denoting a tablet with the writing erased.

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