1. Miller0700
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    Miller0700 Contributing Member

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    What's it called when you define a word by its use in a sentence?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Miller0700, Jul 20, 2016.

    Example: "Kangaroos are endemic to Australia."

    I wouldn't know what endemic meant in any other occasion, but since I know that kangaroos are only found in Australia I can assume endemic means: "Found only in a specific location."
     
  2. Laurin Kelly
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    Laurin Kelly Active Member

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    Context?
     
  3. Miller0700
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    Miller0700 Contributing Member

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    That's probably the closest. I thought it was something else.
     
  4. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    You use a context clue to glean the meaning of a word from it's context in the sentence.
     
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  5. Sniam
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    Sniam Member

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    You could call it an illustration :)
     
  6. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    Ostensive definition maybe? The context of an example gives the unfamiliar word intuitive meaning.
     
  7. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually, it means 'of or related to disease' so the sentence means: kangaroos are a plague upon Australia... which isn't really what you'd walk away with if that were the only sentence you had to go on.
     
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  8. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sorry, @Sack-a-Doo!, but your definition is a little restricted. Going back to the Greek...

    En (in) & demos (the people) = endemic =
    1.
    (of a disease or condition) regularly found among particular people or in a certain area.

    • 2.
      (of a plant or animal) native or restricted to a certain place.

    Other uses of the suffix -demic do tend to emphasize the medical.



    Pan (all) & demos = pandemic = an epidemic of infectious disease that has spread through human populations across a large region; for instance multiple continents, or even worldwide.
    Epi (upon or above) & demos = epidemic = the rapid spread of infectious disease to a large number of people in a given population within a short period of time, usually two weeks or less.

    ETA: And to return to the OP, you could also say that, while snakes are endemic to Australia, they are also endemic to the jungles of South America; but they are not endemic to Ireland.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2016
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  9. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    Not by any definition I've come across... In my experience, it's basically a technical synonym for 'native', as used in the OP. In epidemiology, you can describe disease as endemic - the normal background level of a disease present outside of outbreaks (~= the opposite of epidemic).

    Edit: beaten to the punch!
     
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  10. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Damn! Google has let me down. Who'd'a thunk it. ;)

    Still, if I wanted to be clear, I'd say: Kangaroos are native to Australia. That's just good writin’.
     

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