Definition

Definition refers to a rhetor’s efforts to define something.

Definition is essential for communication to take place. Communities of Practitioners share definitions, research methods, and genres.

People are able to communicate because they define the world. People are symbol analysts: they share symbols. They use words, the signifier, to communicate information, the signified.


Knowledge is made by defining the world. This includes

  • using concrete and sensory language about an item’s properties
  • developing theories to explain an idea or hypothesis
  • conducting research to learn more about the empirical world