Concept vs. Definition

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Concept and Definition is that the Concept is a mental representation or an abstract object or an ability and Definition is a statement that explains the meaning of a term.

  • Concept

    Concepts are the fundamental building blocks of our thoughts and beliefs. They play an important role in all aspects of cognition.

    Concepts arise as abstractions or generalisations from experience; from the result of a transformation of existing ideas; or from innate properties. A concept is instantiated (reified) by all of its actual or potential instances, whether these are things in the real world or other ideas.

    Concepts are studied as components of human cognition in the cognitive science disciplines of linguistics, psychology and philosophy, where an ongoing debate asks whether all cognition must occur through concepts. Concepts are used as formal tools or models in mathematics, computer science, databases and artificial intelligence where they are sometimes called classes, schema or categories. In informal use the word concept often just means any idea.

    In metaphysics, and especially ontology, a concept is a fundamental category of existence. In contemporary philosophy, there are at least three prevailing ways to understand what a concept is:

    Concepts as mental representations, where concepts are entities that exist in the mind (mental objects)

    Concepts as abilities, where concepts are abilities peculiar to cognitive agents (mental states)

    Concepts as Fregean senses (see sense and reference), where concepts are abstract objects, as opposed to mental objects and mental states

    Concepts can be organized into a hierarchy, higher levels of which are termed “superordinate” and lower levels termed “subordinate”. Additionally, there is the “basic” or “middle” level at which people will most readily categorize a concept. For example, a basic-level concept would be “chair”, with its superordinate, “furniture”, and its subordinate, “easy chair”.

  • Definition

    A definition is a statement of the meaning of a term (a word, phrase, or other set of symbols). Definitions can be classified into two large categories, intensional definitions (which try to give the essence of a term) and extensional definitions (which proceed by listing the objects that a term describes). Another important category of definitions is the class of ostensive definitions, which convey the meaning of a term by pointing out examples. A term may have many different senses and multiple meanings, and thus require multiple definitions.In mathematics, a definition is used to give a precise meaning to a new term, instead of describing a pre-existing term. Definitions and axioms are the basis on which all of modern mathematics is constructed.

  • Concept (noun)

    abstract and general idea; an abstraction

  • Concept (noun)

    understanding retained in the mind, from experience, reasoning and/or imagination; a generalization (generic, basic form), or abstraction (mental impression), of a particular set of instances or occurrences (specific, though different, recorded manifestations of the concept).

  • Concept (noun)

    In generic programming, a description of supported operations on a type, including their syntax and semantics.

  • Definition (noun)

    A statement of the meaning of a word or word group or a sign or symbol (dictionary definitions).

  • Definition (noun)

    A statement expressing the essential nature of something; formulation

  • Definition (noun)

    The action or process of defining.

  • Definition (noun)

    The act of defining; determination of the limits.

  • Definition (noun)

    A product of defining.

  • Definition (noun)

    The action or power of describing, explaining, or making definite and clear.

    “Her comic genius is beyond definition.”

  • Definition (noun)

    Clarity of visual presentation, distinctness of outline or detail.

    “The definition of a telescope.”

    “Improve the definition of an image.”

  • Definition (noun)

    Clarity, especially of musical sound in reproduction.

  • Definition (noun)

    Sharp demarcation of outlines or limits.

    “A jacket with distinct waist definition.”

  • Definition (noun)

    The degree to which individual muscles are distinct on the body.

  • Definition (noun)

    A statement which provides a previous declaration with a value or body of a subroutine (in the case of function).

  • Definition (noun)

    A statement that establishes the referent of a term or notation.

  • Concept (noun)

    an abstract idea

    “structuralism is a difficult concept”

    “the concept of justice”

  • Concept (noun)

    a plan or intention

    “the centre has kept firmly to its original concept”

  • Concept (noun)

    an idea or invention to help sell or publicize a commodity

    “a new concept in corporate hospitality”

  • Concept (noun)

    (of a car or other vehicle) produced as an experimental model to test the viability of innovative design features

    “a concept car for next month’s Geneva motor show”

  • Concept (noun)

    an idea or mental image which corresponds to some distinct entity or class of entities, or to its essential features, or determines the application of a term (especially a predicate), and thus plays a part in the use of reason or language.

  • Definition (noun)

    a statement of the exact meaning of a word, especially in a dictionary

    “a dictionary definition of the verb”

  • Definition (noun)

    an exact statement or description of the nature, scope, or meaning of something

    “our definition of what constitutes poetry”

  • Definition (noun)

    the action or process of defining something

    “a question of definition”

    “issues of methodology and definition”

  • Definition (noun)

    the degree of distinctness in outline of an object, image, or sound

    “the clarity and definition of pictures can be aided by using computer graphics”

  • Definition (noun)

    the capacity of a device to make images distinct in outline

    “we’ve been pleased with the definition of this TV”

Oxford Dictionary

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