You are on page 1of 3


Definition by etymology

The Word etymology is derived from the Greek etumos which means real or true. The ending ology suggests
the study/science of something, as in biology or geology. And that is the etymology of etymology. It is the study
of the origins of words; how they evolved. Confused?

Here is another example. The Ancient Greek word hippos means horse. And potamus means river.
Hence hippopotamus literally means river horse.

A few other parts of words derived from Ancient Greek are tele (long distance), micro(small), phone (speak),
and scope (look). From these come such words as telephone,telescope, microphone, and microscope.

Of course not all words are derived from Ancient Greek. The English language is a rich mixture of many languages,
and that is what makes its etymology so interesting. In theInteresting etymology section you can learn how many
words came about, particularly those with amusing origins. We also have a page about the origins of sayings and

2.definition by example

Example clues give you examples of the unknown word. You must figure out what the examples have in common
in order to figure out the meaning of the word. Examples are usually introduced by expressions like these: such as,
for instance, including, for example, and like. Look at this one:

Large corporations like General Foods, Shell Oil, Nortel and Canadian Pacific are often less innovative than
smaller ones.

Some celestial bodies, such as the planets and stars, can be seen with the naked eye.
Piscatorial creatures such as, salmon and trout live in the coldest part of the ocean.

3.definition by contrast

The picture of the landscape is picturesque(very pretty or charming/vivid) but the one of the old house is ugly.
The feral cat would not let us pet him, unlike our tame cat.
Cold weather soon replaced the sweltering(very hot) heat of summer.
The hero was virtuous, not like the evil villain.

The winner of the gold medal was omnipotent against his weaker opponents

4. definition by comparison

Diane was lethargic(not active/sleepy) and didn’t have the energy to get out of bed.
The greatest trip I ever took was my expedition to Africa.
Eating nutritious food is just as important as regular exercise.
I am determined to graduate with honor and my friend is just as resolute.

Sometimes he is perplexed by Sudoku puzzles, but others find them much easier to solve than a crossword
5. definition by synonym
 It was an idyllic(very peaceful,happy) day; sunny, warm and perfect for a walk in the park.
 The dates are listed in chronological order. They start at the beginning and end with the last event.
 Her animosity(a strong feeling of dislike), or hatred, of her sister had divided the family.
 Bill felt remorse, or shame, for his harsh words.
 This situation is a conundrum - a puzzle.

 Emma had a lot of anxiety about the exam but I had no worries about it.
 Marty is gregarious, not like his brother who is quiet and shy.
 She is a famous singing star in her country but unknown to the rest of the world.
 I am willing to hike in the mountains, but he is reluctant because it gets so cold walking up and down the trails.
 Avoiding the accident was futile. Both cars did not have time to stop before crashing.

Definition by analysis

The definition of analysis is the process of breaking down a something into its parts to learn what they do and how they relate to one another.

1. Examining blood in a lab to discover all of its components is an example of analysis.

Definition by negation

VIDEO CUE. On the video, the section “NEGATIVE DEFINITION” is cued over the YELLOW
NOTEPAD GRAPHIC at 10 minutes and 42 seconds into the program.

Narrator: “Another effective approach is to distinguish the word or concept you are defining from
something quite the opposite—or stating what the term you are defining is not. This is called defining by
negation, or negative definition.”

Organic farmer Sharon Casey says the ‘chocolate’ peppers she sells do not taste like chocolate; the
term chocolate refers to the color. Dr. Esh says ultrasound is not like an X-ray. He adds ultrasound does
not hurt and it’s not dangerous. Keena Turner says as a defensive back, you cannot hold receivers.
Janice Peritz says a dreidel is not an everyday toy, or a serious ritual. Musician and author David Ellefson
talks about what his personal manager doesn’t do. Magazine editor and author Kalle Lasn tells us what
‘culture jammers’ are not: “But actually, that’s just a rhetorical device, it was just a way to get people to
think about it.”

Analogy Definition
An analogy is a comparison in which an idea or a thing is compared to another thing that is quite different
from it. It aims at explaining that idea or thing by comparing it to something that is familiar.

 Just as a sword is the weapon of a warrior, a pen is the weapon of a writer.

 How a doctor diagnoses diseases is like how a detective investigates crimes.
 Just as a caterpillar comes out of its cocoon, so we must come out of our comfort zone.
 You are as annoying as nails on a chalkboard.

Related Interests