[ lahy-muhn ]
/ ˈlaɪ mən /
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noun, plural li·mens, lim·i·na [lim-uh-nuh]. /ˈlɪm ə nə/.
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Origin of limen

First recorded in 1890–95, limen is from the Latin word līmen
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does limen mean?

A limen is a threshold or border between one thing and another.

In psychology and physiology, the word more specifically refers to the point or threshold at which a sensation, such as pain, becomes strong enough to be experienced. In this sense, the limen is the dividing line between the sensation being too faint to be noticed and the point where it starts to be felt.

In medicine, limen refers to the opening or entrance to a body part, such as an anatomical canal.

The adjective liminal can be used for all senses of the word limen to describe things that are located or exist at such a point. The state of existing at such a point is called liminality.

The correct plural of limen can be either limens or limina.

Example: This study will attempt to identify the limen at which the sensation of pain can be experienced by a patient.

Where does limen come from?

The first records of the word limen come from the late 1800s. It comes from the Latin līmen, meaning “threshold.” In its literal sense, a threshold is a doorway.

Limen almost always refers to some kind of threshold or border between two places or stages. In psychology and physiology, limen often refers to a threshold where something begins or becomes sufficient enough to be experienced, such as pain or consciousness. The adjective form liminal often describes places that serve as transitional zones between one place and another—an airport might be described as liminal.

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How is limen used in real life?

Limen is almost always used in a technical or formal way.



Try using limen!

True or False? 

Limen usually means the same thing as threshold.

How to use limen in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for limen

/ (ˈlaɪmɛn) /

noun plural limens or limina (ˈlɪmɪnə)
psychol another term for threshold (def. 4) See also liminal

Word Origin for limen

C19: from Latin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012