Is there a word that is the inverse of "define"? Like taking a definition and giving the word?

For example. If you said "The action of propelling one self from a surface using leg muscles", and I said "Jump", I would have done this.

  • 3
    You would have identified the word "jump". But that's always supposing there is a word meeting the definition - a single correct one, at that, otherwise you could only suggest a possible answer. If I'd said "The action of propelling one self from a surface using arm muscles" you couldn't identify the word. You might guess "brachiate", but who's to say whether I would accept that as "the correct answer"? I'm not sure this is a constructive question. Commented Aug 25, 2012 at 0:34
  • @FumbleFingers Your comments sounds like a fine answer. Commented Aug 25, 2012 at 0:41
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    @Mark Beadles: I refrained from voting to close on the off-chance there's a word more specifically fitting OP's concept. I don't really approve of these "please identify the word matching my description" questions anyway. It's just turning ELU into a human-powered reverse dictionary Commented Aug 25, 2012 at 0:57

3 Answers 3


Couldn't it just be as simple as the word name? You have named the thing being described.


  • +1 Name would be my answer of choice.
    – Kris
    Commented Aug 25, 2012 at 8:42

To mention a word that agrees with a definition is (in my opinion) to particularize, specialize, manifest, embody, or incarnate (sense 4) that definition.


Breviloquentify? Cf. breviloquence.

eta: after MetaEd's feedback. Breviloquence is a rather obscure term for speaking in a brief and pertinent mode. I suggest breviloquentify as a possible verb form (to make breviloquent) but would advise against it unless you explain the word as you use it. In normal Englsih I would just use the phrase "the word for..."

  • given that neither word is easily understood, could you perhaps add a definition? Commented Aug 25, 2012 at 10:42
  • "A brief and pertinent mode of speaking." to summarize a few online dictionaries. From Latin with roots brevis +‎ loquentia i.e brief and speaking.
    – Wudang
    Commented Aug 25, 2012 at 11:35
  • -1 OP wants the word for it, not the word for his prose after using the result of doing it.
    – MetaEd
    Commented Aug 25, 2012 at 15:28
  • @ΜετάEd - perhaps you'd like to take a wild guess at what the "-ify" suffix does to a noun?
    – Wudang
    Commented Aug 25, 2012 at 16:11
  • Apologies. Ed is right that this is not a helpful answer in terms of this sites goals.
    – Wudang
    Commented Aug 26, 2012 at 13:18

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