Definition of liminal
liminal was our Word of the Day on 07/11/2016. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of liminal from the Web
In short, old media still dominated, but culture was at an odd liminal stage.
Tarkovsky’s Zone of liminal danger threatens to inherit the earth.
His work explores the liminal space between interior and exterior worlds by stringing up a cat’s cradle of language in which his characters swing between memories, dreams, and reflections—an act in which the audience colludes.
But with the decline of these prey species, the cats have begun to rely on mountain prey that may be more liminal to their regular diet such as Persian ibex and urials, a type of wild sheep.
There, in the liminal space where the particles in a material begin to change from one configuration to another, new quantum effects appear.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'liminal'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
The noun limen refers to the point at which a physiological or psychological effect begins to be produced, and liminal is the adjective used to describe things associated with that point, or threshold, as it is also called. Likewise, the closely related word subliminal means "below a threshold"; it can describe something inadequate to produce a sensation or something operating below a threshold of consciousness. Because the sensory threshold is a transitional point where sensations are just beginning to be perceptible, liminal acquired two extended meanings. It can mean "barely perceptible" and is now often used to mean "transitional" or "intermediate," as in "the liminal zone between sleep and wakefulness."
Origin and Etymology of liminal
Latin limin-, limen threshold
First Known Use: 1875See Words from the same year
Medical Definition of liminal
: of, relating to, or situated at a sensory threshold : barely perceptible or capable of eliciting a response liminal visual stimuli
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