whence- in dictionary definitions

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txiki15

Senior Member
Spanish-Spain
I don't really understand the use of "whence" in general, but this definition really goes far beyond my understanding.

It is supposed to be a sort of dictionary definition for "peace":

"to fasten, whence, an ndisturbed state of mind, quiet, in repose"

Could someone help me to understand it? Thanks!
 
  • gotitadeleche

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. English
    I don't really understand the use of "whence" in general, but this definition really goes far beyond my understanding.

    It is supposed to be a sort of dictionary definition for "peace":

    "to fasten, whence, an ndisturbed state of mind, quiet, in repose"

    Could someone help me to understand it? Thanks!
    I suppose it is the following definition:
    By reason of which; from which: The dog was coal black from nose to tail, whence the name Shadow.

    But I don't understand what fasten has to do with it. I can't understand that as a definition of peace.

    Sorry, I'm not much help...:(
     

    bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    Can you quote the entirety of the "entry," if it indeed appears as such? Is it only "peace" that is being defined, or a more complex phrase or concept.

    Is the purpose of the "definition" to explain only one meaning of "peace?"

    As a guess, this fragment could be read as "to pacify something can be to control it, 'fasten,' which is the source/origin of (hence, 'whence') the use of peace to refer to an undisturbed state of mind."
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    If you are giving us part of the etymology of a word, you really do need to tell us what that word is, what the source is for this fragment of a sentence, and what the entire sentence is. A fragment of a sentence is insufficient context for answering such a cryptic question.
     

    txiki15

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Spain
    This is part of the problem. A friend of mine gave me a reflection she found on the word "peace" for me to do her the favor of translating it (She is sharing something on the word Peace next week with some other women). It has some paragraphs, each with a different type of definition of the word. So, under the general title, "peace", each paragraph defines it somehow. But the paragraph where my problem lies reads:

    Dictionary defintion: to fasten, whence, an indisturbed state of mind, quiet, in repose

    Given that the other paragraphs do fit as a defintion of the word, I gave for granted that it was my fault that I could not grasop the meaning of the sentence. But it seems that it is actually not so easy... right?

    I really thank all of you who have tried to help me solve the "quiz" :)

    And any other hint or help would be more than welcome!
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    This is not written carefully. They are not using "dictionary definition" with its usual meaning.

    By "Dictionary definition" they seem to mean an etymological derivation that connects peace and pact to a Latin word meaning "to bind, to fasten" (from the Online Etymology Dictionary.)

    They then say that the meaning of the original Latin word, "to fasten", is the source of the meanings of peace which they give as: "an undisturbed state of mind, quiet, in repose."

    "Whence" means "from here, from this meaning, come the following ..."

    (Some of this was touched on in earlier posts.)
     
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