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tabula rasa

[tab-yuh-luh rah-suh, -zuh, rey-; Latin tah-boo-lah rah-sah] /ˈtæb yə lə ˈrɑ sə, -zə, ˈreɪ-; Latin ˈtɑ bʊˌlɑ ˈrɑ sɑ/
noun, plural tabulae rasae
[tab-yuh-lee rah-see, -zee, rey-; Latin tah-boo-lahy rah-sahy] /ˈtæb yəˌli ˈrɑ si, -zi, ˈreɪ-; Latin ˈtɑ bʊˌlaɪ ˈrɑ saɪ/ (Show IPA)
a mind not yet affected by experiences, impressions, etc.
anything existing undisturbed in its original pure state.
Origin of tabula rasa
1525-35; < Latin tabula rāsa scraped tablet, clean slate Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for tabula rasa

tabula rasa

/ˈtæbjʊlə ˈrɑːsə/
noun (pl) tabulae rasae (ˈtæbjʊliː ˈrɑːsiː)
(esp in the philosophy of Locke) the mind in its uninformed original state
an opportunity for a fresh start; clean slate
Word Origin
Latin: a scraped tablet (one from which the writing has been erased)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tabula rasa

1530s, "the mind in its primary state," from Latin tabula rasa, literally "scraped tablet," from which writing has been erased, thus ready to be written on again, from tabula (see table) + rasa, fem. past participle of radere "to scrape away, erase" (see raze). A loan-translation of Aristotle's pinakis agraphos, literally "unwritten tablet" ("De anima," 7.22).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tabula rasa in Culture
tabula rasa [(tab-yuh-luh rah-zuh, rah-suh)]

Something new, fresh, unmarked, or uninfluenced. Tabula rasa is Latin for “blank slate.”

Note: John Locke believed that a child's mind was a tabula rasa.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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