[lim-uh-nl, lahy-muh-]

Origin of liminal

1880–85; < Latin līmin- (stem of līmen) threshold + -al1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for liminal

Historical Examples of liminal

  • Meantime we are aware also of a substratum of fragmentary automatic, liminal ideas, of which we take small account.

  • This may be technically expressed by saying that the liminal intensity (Schwelle) is raised during sleep.


    James Sully

British Dictionary definitions for liminal


  1. psychol relating to the point (or threshold) beyond which a sensation becomes too faint to be experienced

Word Origin for liminal

C19: from Latin līmen threshold
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

Word Origin and History for liminal

1884, from Latin limen "threshold, cross-piece, sill" (see limit (n.)) + -al (1). Related: Liminality.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

liminal in Medicine


  1. Relating to a threshold.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.