Do definition questions need an example sentence?

Is there a term equivalent to 'mute' but at the level of 'lexis'

e.g.. If not I just feel like it's a personal issue with me, even-though that is absolutely absurd, so ...

  • i would be happy to provide examples but they would be so strange as to not really help explain my question at all
    – user99677
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 21:45
  • Let's see a strange example. It should be entertaining, at least. My suggestion for the OP was aphasic, but I am sure it will offend someone, and I don't see it as an antonym for lexis.
    – ab2
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 1:49
  • Definition questions are plain off-topic. Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 5:36
  • @curiousdannii no idea what you mean. i'm surprised that there were 5 close votes (and 4 downvotes) given that people felt able to give so many potential solutions
    – user99677
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 19:38

1 Answer 1


I do not know exactly what you mean by "definition question", so this question is difficult to answer, but here are my thoughts on your given example.

This question seems to be categorized as both a and a and should be tagged as such. Although I am not sure if this applies to all "request" type questions, single-word-requests presently require an exemplary sentence pursuant to this tag data:

This tag is for questions seeking a single word that fits a meaning. To ensure your question is not closed as off-topic, please be specific about the intended use of the word. YOU MUST INCLUDE A SAMPLE SENTENCE demonstrating how the word would be used.

That is because by seeking an antonym, you are seeking a word with a meaning that is opposite of the original word.

Including an exemplary sentence shows us both that the word is needful, increasing the possibility that such a word exists, and more importantly it provides us with context that helps clarify which particular word or phrase is best suited for the context. Most questions that do not provide the exemplary sentence will be closed as "unclear what you are asking".

Additionally, regarding CuriousDanni's statement that "Definition questions are off topic period." I do not think I can fully agree with that opinion, given that "definition questions" could mean any number of questions where we use a dictionary definition to corroborate our answers, but there is a good point to be had there in that a certain category of question is not allowed on this website.

English Language & Usage is not a substitute for commonly available resources that can "definitively" answer a question, and questions which can be answered in that manner are strictly forbidden by our hosts on the entire Stack Exchange network, because they do not encourage sufficient participation. Please read Are Some Questions Too Simple for a more detailed explanation. Moreover, our help center page entitled What topics can I ask about here? contains the following prohibition:

But please, don’t ask any questions about the following topics. They are out of scope for this site.

  • The meaning of words, or synonyms for words, unless you have first looked them up in a dictionary or thesaurus. See below for suggestions about simple and basic questions.

However, if you do the research and clearly explain why the answers provided in such a resource are lacking, we should be glad to offer our insight on the matter though pursuant to this clause in the simple and basic questions subsection:

Of course, if your question isn't adequately answered by these resources, feel free to ask here on English Language and Usage Stack Exchange. Be sure to mention the research you've done and what you're still hoping to learn!

The way we presently enforce this policy is with the the following close reason:

Please include the research you've done, or consider if your question suits our English Language Learners site better. Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic.

As such, I believe that question would have been better served if it checked thesaurus.com to see if Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition had antonyms in the vocabulary and lexis entries. Proving that no such entry exists in a given resource goes a long way towards a question having a more positive reception.

  • 2
    Rather than saying "Definition questions are plain off-topic" I probably should have said "Plain definition questions are off-topic" ;) Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 23:20

You must log in to answer this question.