Samuel Butler quote about words from The Note-Books of Samuel Butler - A definition is the enclosing a wilderness of idea within a wall of words.
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A definition is the enclosing a wilderness of idea within a wall of words.
 Samuel Butler, The Note-Books of Samuel Butler (1912). copy citation

Context

“There is one class of mind that loves to lean on rules and definitions, and another that discards them as far as possible. A faddist will generally ask for a definition of faddism, and one who is not a faddist will be impatient of being asked to give one.
III A definition is the enclosing a wilderness of idea within a wall of words. IV Definitions are a kind of scratching and generally leave a sore place more sore than it was before. V As Love is too young to know what conscience is, so Truth and Genius are too old to know what definition is.” source

Meaning and analysis

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