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Word of the Day
Monday, February 18, 2008

Definitions for sine qua non

  1. An essential condition or element; an indispensable thing.

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Citations for sine qua non
Women's enfranchisement was crucial to them -- indeed, a sine qua non, since all other progress for which they worked, such as higher education and entrance into the professions, would be meaningless if women continued to be second-class citizens. Lillian Faderman, To Believe in Women
Of the various attributes we fiction-writers require, he said, "one of the most important is detachment. Of course tenacity of purpose is the sine qua non, otherwise we'd never keep on with it for the year or two years or longer that it takes to finish the work." Barry Unsworth, Sugar and Rum
Origin of sine qua non
Sine qua non is from the Late Latin, literally "without which not."