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gailcalled's avatar

Can you define the word "limn" without looking it up?

Asked by gailcalled (53016 points ) February 19th, 2012

My sister asked me this today and because I collect words as a hobby, I was able to. That and a quarter will no longer buy me even a coke, however.

Do you, like me, love words with an often unrequited passion?

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26 Answers

HungryGuy's avatar

I’m a writer, so it’s important for me to vary my word use and to use the correct word to get my meaning across. But if I use obscure words that most people don’t know, that rather defeats the purpose of the whole process.

And no, I don’t know the definition of “limn.” Shoot me :-/

SpatzieLover's avatar

I don’t know the meaning. Like you @gailcalled, I have a love of words. I’ve always been fascinated by etymology.

My guess, limn has something to do with light.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Ha, this question is doubly clever!

Kayak8's avatar

As a painter, I know this word . . .

Jeruba's avatar

Yes, I can.

But you know, I have never thought of that passion as unrequited before. Is it?

CWOTUS's avatar

Yes. And of course it’s unrequited; words don’t love me back.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

My first thought was its relation as the root of limnology about which I am familiar.

john65pennington's avatar

At first, I had a broken arm and the doctors called it a broken limb.

Then, they discoved I had a broken neck and called it a broken limn.

Sounds good to me.

Symbeline's avatar

@SavoirFaire I looked it up Baaahaha I get it now. XD

No and nah, but I’m glad my passion is also unrequited. I wouldn’t want no zombies masticating my ass.

So I was looking in a thesaurus in order to find a not so used word that means ’‘to bite’’, and found ’‘masticate’’. I remember making jokes in English, but putting in French only words and making them sound all English. ’‘Mastiquer’’ was one of them, but it turns out there’s an English version as well. Lol. Well, the moar u no. Mastication, FTW.
It can also mean to stick something on the wall, or glue something or make it stick somehow. zombie guts

Sunny2's avatar

Could you use it in a sentence, please?

augustlan's avatar

I thought it had something to do with light, too, but in a divining kind of way. Like being enlightened to a meaning, maybe? Now I have to go look it up.

Edit: Not exactly. :/

silverangel's avatar

since @Kayak8 said he knew it as a painter then it must be related to painting or drawing… I guess :P

By the way, @gailcalled how do you collect words? :D

janbb's avatar

He limned the portrait of Jan Austen with delicacy and a fine touch.

gailcalled's avatar

Synonyms: delineate, depict, draw, image, describe, paint, picture, portray, render, set out, sketch

From a Kirkus book review: A novella and five stories limn with acuity and empathy the intricate negotiations and painful losses of family life.

@silverangel: I continue, even at my advanced age, to find unfamiliar words that please me when I discover the meaning. “Limn” is not a verb I am apt to use, but when my sister asked me for the definition, I knew it.

I have also, all my sentient life, done crossword puzzles and the British cryptic crosswords that make me focus on a word as a solo operator.

janbb's avatar

Just noticed my interesting Freudian slip. I wish I were “Jan” Austen.

gailcalled's avatar

I did wonder but figured you knew what you were doing.

janbb's avatar

Flippers and Prejudice?

gailcalled's avatar

Mansfield Floe

janbb's avatar

Northanger Eddy

rebbel's avatar

I scrolled down, without reading other’s answers, and I think it is an American basketball player, from Chinese descent, who plays for New York and who is a hype right now.

gailcalled's avatar

Elizabeth Bbennett

janbb's avatar

AKA lizbb

Sunny2's avatar

I learned a new word! (new to me). Thanks.

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