tabula rasa

[ tab-yuh-luh rah-suh, -zuh, rey-; Latin tah-boo-lah rah-sah ]
/ ˈtæb yə lə ˈrɑ sə, -zə, ˈreɪ-; Latin ˈtɑ bʊˌlɑ ˈrɑ sɑ /

noun, plural ta·bu·lae ra·sae [tab-yuh-lee rah-see, -zee, rey-; Latin tah-boo-lahy rah-sahy] /ˈtæb yəˌli ˈrɑ si, -zi, ˈreɪ-; Latin ˈtɑ bʊˌlaɪ ˈrɑ saɪ/.

a mind not yet affected by experiences, impressions, etc.
anything existing undisturbed in its original pure state.


Origin of tabula rasa

First recorded in 1525–35, tabula rasa is from the Latin word tabula rāsa scraped tablet, clean slate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for tabula rasa

tabula rasa

/ (ˈtæbjʊlə ˈrɑːsə) /

noun plural tabulae rasae (ˈtæbjʊliː ˈrɑːsiː)

(esp in the philosophy of Locke) the mind in its uninformed original state
an opportunity for a fresh start; clean slate

Word Origin for tabula rasa

Latin: a scraped tablet (one from which the writing has been erased)
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

Culture definitions for tabula rasa

tabula rasa

[ (tab-yuh-luh rah-zuh, rah-suh) ]

Something new, fresh, unmarked, or uninfluenced. Tabula rasa is Latin for “blank slate.”


John Locke believed that a child's mind was a tabula rasa.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.