Quotes About Definitions

Most popular definitions quotes

A good definition is like a good poem: beautiful and worthwhile in itself.
A definition is the enclosing a wilderness of idea within a wall of words.

words ideas

How many a dispute could have been deflated if the disputants had dared to define their terms.

arguments

A definition is as convention-bound as a sonnet and usually more compact.  Writing one is considered, at least by anyone who has ever tried it, something of an art.
If we stop pretending definitions are science, we can enjoy them as a kind of literature—think of them as extremely nerdy poems—without burdening them with tasks for which they are unsuited.