Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote in 1word1day,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day
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Thursday word: liminal

liminal (LI-muh-nl or LAIM-uh-nl) - adj., of or pertaining to a threshold or boundary, esp. a sensory threshold; relating to or being an intermediate state, phase, or condition; of or relating to the beginning of a state or process.


For that sensory threshold, it's related to the psychological concept of liminality. This is not a common word outside of technical uses, especially compared to the form subliminal, being below the threshold of perception. It was coined in 1884 from Latin līmen, threshold. I poke at this one every so often to remind myself that it is not "limnal" but has three syllables.

Spaces like the threshold of a door are liminal, lying between defined areas without belonging to either of them.

---L.
Tags: adjective, l, latin, psychology
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