UGC NET Study Notes On Types of Definition In Logical reasoning

By Sakshi Ojha|Updated : April 13th, 2023

Today, we are posting Study Notes on Types of Definition In Logical reasoning for the upcoming UGC NET Exam 2023.                                                                     


  • A definition is a statement that gives the meaning of a term.
  • It is a comprehensive description of a concept through known concepts expressed mainly by verbal means.
  • The term definition is derived from the Latin word ‘definire’ which means to enclose within limits or to make boundaries or limits.
  • A definition consists of two parts: Definiendum (Terms which is to be defined) and Define (words used to define a term).
  • The purpose of a definition is to establish a relationship between the concept in question and the other concept in order to determine the position of the concept in the system.

Kinds of Definition

Based on Usage

1. Lexical Definition

  • In this, the word already occurs among users of language and it simply reports the meaning.
  • It is related dictionary and the meaning assigned to words in it.
  • It is the dictionary meaning of a term, the common vocabulary of a given language.
  • For example, defining river, table, chair, book and so on.
  • It is also known as reportive definition.

2. Stipulative Definition

  • In this, a new word or term is coined in order to signify a meaning or object for which no word in the language has previously been given.
  • It is not used to explain the existing definition.
  • It is arbitrary in nature.
  • For example, Selfie word is invented to point a person who loves taking pictures of himself or herself.

3. Precising Definition

  • In this, precise definitions are assigned to a term because our future actions are based on knowledge of this term.
  • It is aimed to clarify a vague or ambiguous term.
  • For example- Legal and Medical studies use the precise definition to remove any ambiguity regarding it.

4. Theoretical Definition

  • This definition try to define the true nature of an object as opposed to the way word is used by a community of users.
  • This definition answers the question, “What really is the object that is being talked about?”
  • Example- Philosophers are interested in theoretical definitions like what is really the nature of “human person”, “knowledge”, “existence”, “being”, “beauty” etc.

5. Persuasive Definition

  • Persuasive definition is mainly aimed to influence attitude.
  • This is used mainly in debate or discussion.
  • It incites either favourable or unfavourable responses to the object so defined. 
  • For Example- there could be a different view on Exams during Coronavirus Pandemic. Some would be in favour of Exam and Some would be against the exam.

6. Analogous definition

  • This type of definition invites comparison: showing an analogy or a likeness that permits one to draw an analogy.
  • Example- Parliament and State legislative assembly are analogous in nature when seen in the context of their functioning.

7. Ostensive definition

  • In this, the meaning is assigned by pointing out examples.
  • Because words are not enough to make someone understand the meaning of the term.
  • Example- Green is the colour of grass. In this green is defined by pointing towards the grass.

Based on Extension and Intension

1. Extensional Definition

  • An extensional definition of a concept or term formulates its meaning by specifying its extension, that is, every object that falls under the definition of the concept or term in question.
  • For example, an extensional definition of the term "nation of the world" might be given by listing all of the nations of the world

2. Intensional Definition

  • In this type of definition, a term is defined by giving it specification and meaning and specifying the properties or features.
  • Giving the meaning of the term may be done through giving its etymological origin or its synonym, or stating the essential attributes of the concept signified by the term.
  • Example- even numbers are numbers divisible by 2.

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We hope you all understood the Types of Definitions in Logical Reasoning for the upcoming UGC NET Exam 2023.

Thank you,

Team BYJU'S Exam Prep


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