Ask Difference

Introduction vs. Definition — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on October 17, 2023
An Introduction initiates or presents a topic, while a Definition specifies the meaning or essence of a word or phrase. Both provide clarity but serve distinct purposes.
Introduction vs. Definition — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Introduction and Definition

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Key Differences

An Introduction and a Definition are both foundational concepts in writing and communication. The Introduction serves as the opening, giving readers or listeners a glimpse into what to expect, offering context or background. Meanwhile, a Definition pinpoints the meaning, essence, or nature of a specific word or phrase, ensuring clarity.
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When someone encounters a new subject or topic, the Introduction offers a brief overview or entry point, facilitating a smooth transition into the depth of the material. Contrarily, when one is faced with an unfamiliar term, a Definition provides clarity by detailing its meaning or explaining its context.
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In academic papers, books, or articles, the Introduction might set the stage, presenting the problem statement, objectives, and sometimes the methodology. The Definition, on the other hand, can be found within the body, often in glossaries, where specific terms are explained to aid comprehension.
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Not limited to written material, both concepts apply to verbal communication. For instance, in a lecture, an Introduction might give a roadmap of the discussion, while Definitions throughout ensure listeners grasp the terminologies and concepts.
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Although both the Introduction and Definition aim at clarity and comprehension, their methods differ. An Introduction welcomes and immerses, while a Definition elucidates and clarifies.
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Comparison Chart

Purpose

To present or initiate a topic
To specify the meaning of a word or phrase
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Use Case

Beginning of articles, lectures
Within content, glossaries
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Focus

Broad overview
Specific detail or meaning
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Application

Written and verbal communication
Primarily in written form but also verbal
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Relation to Audience

Welcomes and immerses
Elucidates and clarifies
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Compare with Definitions

Introduction

A preliminary explanation or overview.
The speaker began with a brief Introduction.
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Definition

A definition is a statement of the meaning of a term (a word, phrase, or other set of symbols). Definitions can be classified into two large categories, intensional definitions (which try to give the sense of a term) and extensional definitions (which try to list the objects that a term describes).
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Introduction

An act of bringing into notice or use.
The Introduction of new technology revolutionized the industry.
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Definition

A statement explaining the meaning of a word or phrase.
The dictionary provided the Definition of 'ephemeral'.
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Introduction

Presenting one person to another.
She made a formal Introduction of her colleague.
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Definition

The degree of distinctness in an image or sound.
High Definition TVs are now common.
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Introduction

A thing preliminary to something else, especially an explanatory section at the beginning of a book, report, or speech
Your talk will need an introduction which states clearly what you are talking about and why
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Definition

Describing the nature or basic qualities of something.
The Definition of a mammal is based on specific criteria.
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Introduction

Initial exposure to a subject.
This course serves as an Introduction to philosophy.
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Definition

The act of defining or specifying.
The Definition of project goals was crucial.
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Introduction

The beginning or opening of something.
The Introduction of her book was captivating.
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Definition

A statement of the exact meaning of a word, especially in a dictionary
A dictionary definition of the verb
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Introduction

The action of introducing something
The introduction of muskrats into central Europe
Issues arising from the introduction of new technology
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Definition

The degree of distinctness in outline of an object, image, or sound
The clarity and definition of pictures can be aided by using computer graphics
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Introduction

A formal presentation of one person to another, in which each is told the other's name
He returned to his desk, leaving Michael to make the introductions
A letter of introduction
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Definition

A statement of the meaning of a word, phrase, or term, as in a dictionary entry.
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Introduction

The act or process of introducing or the state of being introduced.
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Definition

A statement or description of the fundamental character or scope of something
"[The panel] calls for a clearer definition of the status of people captured in American military operations" (Economist).
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Introduction

A means, such as a personal letter, of presenting one person to another.
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Definition

The act or process of stating a precise meaning or significance; formulation of a meaning
The definition of terms is essential to any successful scholarly study.
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Introduction

Something recently introduced; an innovation
"He loathed a fork.
It is a modern introduction which has still scarcely reached common people" (D.H. Lawrence).
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Definition

The state of being clearly outlined
"With the drizzle, the trees in the little clearing had lost definition" (Anthony Hyde).
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Introduction

A preface, as to a book.
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Definition

The level of detail in a recording, production, or digital encoding of an image or sound.
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Introduction

(Music) A short preliminary passage in a larger movement or work.
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Definition

A statement of the meaning of a word or word group or a sign or symbol (dictionary definitions).
Your definition of "elephant" needs to be more precise than "a big animal with large ears".
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Introduction

A basic introductory text or course of study.
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Definition

A clear instance conforming to the dictionary or textbook definition.
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Introduction

The act or process of introducing.
The introduction of a new product into the market
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Definition

A statement expressing the essential nature of something; formulation
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Introduction

A means, such as a personal letter, of presenting one person to another.
David was feeling groggy at his introduction to Sophie, and didn't remember her name.
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Definition

The action or process of defining.
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Introduction

An initial section of a book or article, which introduces the subject material.
This book features a preface by a well-known botanist, and an introduction by the author's mentor at university.
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Definition

The act of defining; determination of the limits.
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Introduction

A written or oral explanation of what constitutes the basis of an issue.
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Definition

A product of defining.
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Introduction

The act of introducing, or bringing to notice.
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Definition

The action or power of describing, explaining, or making definite and clear.
Her comic genius is beyond definition.
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Introduction

The act of formally making persons known to each other; a presentation or making known of one person to another by name; as, the introduction of one stranger to another.
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Definition

Clarity of visual presentation, distinctness of outline or detail.
The definition of a telescope.
Improve the definition of an image.
High-defintion videos
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Introduction

That part of a book or discourse which introduces or leads the way to the main subject, or part; preliminary; matter; preface; proem; exordium.
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Definition

Clarity, especially of musical sound in reproduction.
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Introduction

A formal and elaborate preliminary treatise; specifically, a treatise introductory to other treatises, or to a course of study; a guide; as, an introduction to English literature.
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Definition

Sharp demarcation of outlines or limits.
A jacket with distinct waist definition.
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Introduction

The first section of a communication
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Definition

(bodybuilding) The degree to which individual muscles are distinct on the body.
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Introduction

The act of beginning something new;
They looked forward to the debut of their new product line
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Definition

(programming) A statement which provides a previous declaration with a value or body of a subroutine (in the case of function).
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Introduction

Formally making a person known to another or to the public
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Definition

(mathematics) A statement that establishes the referent of a term or notation.
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Introduction

A basic or elementary instructional text
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Definition

The act of defining; determination of the limits; as, a telescope accurate in definition.
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Introduction

A new proposal;
They resisted the introduction of impractical alternatives
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Definition

Act of ascertaining and explaining the signification; a description of a thing by its properties; an explanation of the meaning of a word or term; as, the definition of "circle;" the definition of "wit;" an exact definition; a loose definition.
Definition being nothing but making another understand by words what the term defined stands for.
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Introduction

The act of putting one thing into another
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Definition

Description; sort.
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Introduction

The act of starting something for the first time; introducing something new;
She looked forward to her initiation as an adult
The foundation of a new scientific society
He regards the fork as a modern introduction
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Definition

An exact enunciation of the constituents which make up the logical essence.
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Definition

Distinctness or clearness, as of an image formed by an optical instrument; precision in detail.
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Definition

A concise explanation of the meaning of a word or phrase or symbol
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Definition

Clarity of outline;
Exercise had give his muscles superior definition
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Definition

Clarity or distinctness in visual or audio quality.
The Definition of the image was impeccable.
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Common Curiosities

Is a Definition always short?

Typically concise, a Definition can vary in length based on the term's complexity.
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What is an Introduction?

An Introduction presents or initiates a topic, offering context or background.
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How is a Definition useful?

A Definition provides the meaning or essence of a word or phrase.
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Do all words have a single Definition?

No, some words have multiple meanings or nuances.
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How does an Introduction aid comprehension?

It provides a roadmap, setting expectations and context.
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Is a Definition objective?

Ideally, but interpretations can vary based on context.
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Can an Introduction be lengthy?

Yes, depending on the content's complexity and the intended audience.
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Where is an Introduction typically found?

Usually at the beginning of articles, books, lectures, or presentations.
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Are Introductions always necessary?

While beneficial, not all content requires a formal Introduction.
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Why is a Definition crucial in academic writing?

It ensures clarity and precision in conveying concepts.
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Can a Definition be subjective?

In some contexts, like defining abstract concepts, interpretations may vary.
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Can an Introduction contain Definitions?

Yes, if introducing terms central to the content.
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Which comes first in a book, Introduction or Definitions?

Typically, the Introduction, but Definitions might be interspersed or in a glossary.
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How does an Introduction differ from a summary?

An Introduction sets the stage, while a summary condenses the main points.
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Do Definitions change over time?

Some do, as languages evolve and societal understandings shift.
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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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