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text / tekst/ • n. 1. a book or other written or printed work, regarded in terms of its content rather than its physical form: a text which explores pain and grief. ∎  a piece of written or printed material regarded as conveying the authentic or primary form of a particular work: in some passages it is difficult to establish the original text the text of the lecture was available to guests. ∎  written or printed words, typically forming a connected piece of work: stylistic features of journalistic text. ∎  Comput. data in written form, esp. when stored, processed, or displayed in a word processor. ∎  a text message. ∎  [in sing.] the main body of a book or other piece of writing, as distinct from other material such as notes, appendices, and illustrations: the pictures are clear and relate well to the text. ∎  a script or libretto. ∎  a written work chosen or assigned as a subject of study: the book is intended as a secondary text for religion courses. ∎  a textbook. ∎  a passage from the Bible or other religious work, esp. when used as the subject of a sermon. ∎  a subject or theme for a discussion or exposition: he took as his text the fact that Australia is paradise. 2. (also text-hand) fine, large handwriting, used esp. for manuscripts. • v. to send a text message: I thought it was fantastic that he took the trouble to text me. DERIVATIVES: text·less adj.

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1. A continuous piece of WRITING, such as the entirety of a letter, poem, or novel, conceived originally as produced like cloth on a loom.

2. The main written or printed part of a letter, manuscript, typescript, book, newspaper, etc., excluding any titles, headings, illustrations, notes, appendices, indexes, etc.

3. The precise wording of anything written or printed: the definitive text of James Joyce's ‘Ulysses’.

4. A book prescribed as part of a course of study; a textbook: the prescribed texts for the exam.

5. In PRINTING, type as opposed to white space, illustrations, etc. Traditionally, text as a concept has suggested something fixed and with a quality of authority about it not unlike scripture. Electronic and laser technology, however, has made the concept more fluid. See CONTEXT, PARAGRAPH, PROSE.

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text wording of a passage; short passage used as a motto, subject of discourse, etc. XIV; theme XVII. ME. text(e), tixt(e) — ONF. tixte, (also modF.) texte — L. textus tissue, style of literary work, in medL. the Gospel, written character, f. pp. stem of texere weave.

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