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A Definiendum is a label of a definitional item.



  • (Wikipedia, 2013) ⇒ Retrieved:2013-12-13.
    • A headword, head word, lemma, or sometimes catchword is the word under which a set of related dictionary or encyclopaedia entries appear. The headword is used to locate the entry, and dictates its alphabetical position. Depending on the size and nature of the dictionary or encyclopedia, the entry may include alternative meanings of the word, its etymology and pronunciation, compound words or phrases that contain the headword, and encyclopedic information about the concepts represented by the word.

      For example, the headword bread may contain the following (simplified) definitions:



      * A common food made from the combination of flour, water and yeast

      * Money (slang)


       :* To coat in breadcrumbs

       :— to know which side your bread is buttered to know how to act in your own best interests.

      The Academic Dictionary of Lithuanian contains around 500,000 headwords. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has around 273,000 headwords, [1] while Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary has about 470,000. [2] The Deutsches Wörterbuch (DWB), the largest lexicon of the German language, has around 330,000 headwords.[3] These values are cited by the dictionary makers, and may not use exactly the same definition of a headword. In addition, headwords may not accurately reflect a dictionary's size. The OED and the DWB, for instance, include exhaustive historical reviews and exact citations from source documents not usually found in standard dictionaries.

      The term 'lemma' comes from the practice in Greco-Roman antiquity of using the word to refer to the headwords of marginal glosses in scholia; for this reason, the Ancient Greek plural form is sometimes used, namely lemmata (Greek λῆμμα, pl. λήμματα).



  • (Masse et al., 2008) ⇒ Blondin Masse, A, G. Chicoisne, Y. Gargouri, Stevan Harnad, O. Picard, and O. Marcotte. (2008). “How Is Meaning Grounded in Dictionary Definitions?.” In: Proceedings of the third TextGraphs Workshop.
    • QUOTE: At its most basic level, a dictionary is a set of associated pairs: a word and its definition, along with some disambiguating parameters. The word to be defined, [math]\displaystyle{ w }[/math], is called the definiendum (plural: definienda) while the finite nonempty set of words that defines [math]\displaystyle{ (w, d_w) }[/math], is called the set of definientes of [math]\displaystyle{ w }[/math] (singular: definiens). [In the context of this mathematical analysis, we will use “word” to mean a finite string of uninterrupted letters having some associated meaning.]

      Each dictionary entry accordingly consists of a definiendum [math]\displaystyle{ w }[/math] followed by its set of definientes d_w. A dictionary [math]\displaystyle{ D }[/math] then consists of a finite set of pairs [math]\displaystyle{ (w, d_w) }[/math] where [math]\displaystyle{ w }[/math] is a word and [math]\displaystyle{ d_w = (w_1, w_2,..., w_n) }[/math], where [math]\displaystyle{ n }[/math] >= 1, is its definition, satisfying the property that for all ([math]\displaystyle{ (w', d'_w) }[/math]) in D and for all d in d_w, there exists [math]\displaystyle{ (w; d_w) }[/math] in D such that [math]\displaystyle{ d = w' }[/math]. A pair (w, d_w) is called an entry of D. In other words, a dictionary is a finite set of words, each of which is defined, and each of its defining words is likewise defined somewhere in the dictionary.