Stipulative Definitions: Clarifying Your Meaning For Readers

Compared to a lexical definition, the stipulative definition provides a more specific
definition for a word or word phrase; this definition depends on the specific writing

Each stipulative definition should:
a) provide the writer’s specific meaning of a word or word phrase
b) include one to three COMPLETE sentences (approx.)
c) use specific language
d) be used consistently throughout the document

e) include:
1. the specific term to be defined (
Food quality)
2. a linking phrase that connects the term and the definition (
refers to)
3. a definition that establishes the meaning of the term
the freshness and taste of consumable products in a restaurant.)

Sample Stipulative Definitions

Responsible parties are those individuals who have signed the Lyon
Company rental agreement.  

Residential families are groups of individuals who live in the same home
for a period of over one year.

Food quality refers to the freshness and taste of consumable products in
a restaurant.

Cell-Phone Divas are male and female drivers who carelessly
participate in telephone conversations while operating their
automobiles.  These drivers put others at risk by focusing on cell-phone
discussions, rather than obeying traffic signals
and watching for crossing pedestrians.  Although some Divas
continue to ignore the "hands free" device law, some Divas
actually use "hands free" devices but continue to ignore red lights and
stop signs while deeply engaged in their phone conversations.  

Norwick's recent study extends the definition of "residential family" to
include individuals who reside in the same dwelling, whether
brought together by blood, adoption, marriage, and/or friendship, so long
as the primary factor for shared residence is not economic necessity.

Oklahoma Survivors are individuals who were physically present in Okalahoma
City at the time of the bombing tragedy.

Ghost Survivors, individuals who witnessed the tragedy but were not
physically injured, are sometimes forgotten in discussions of the
Oklahoma City bombing.

Tearjerkers are those movies that contribute to a feeling of emotional
vulnerability in viewers during and/or after watching the movie.  Evidence of
emotional vulnerability can include physical symptoms (tearing up, turning
red) as well as behavioral symptoms (speaking more frankly about one's
feelings and/or becoming physically closer to loved ones as if seeking