AskDefine | Define quotation

Dictionary Definition



1 a short note recognizing a source of information or of a quoted passage; "the student's essay failed to list several important citations"; "the acknowledgments are usually printed at the front of a book"; "the article includes mention of similar clinical cases" [syn: citation, acknowledgment, credit, reference, mention]
2 a passage or expression that is quoted or cited [syn: quote, citation]
3 a statement of the current market price of a security or commodity
4 the practice of quoting from books or plays etc.; "since he lacks originality he must rely on quotation"

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. a fragment of a human expression that is being referred to by somebody else. Most often a quotation is taken from literature, but also sentences from a speech, scenes from a movie, elements of a painting, etc. may be quoted.



fragment of a human expression
  • Arabic:
  • Bosnian: citat
  • Bulgarian: цитат
  • Chinese: 引語, 引语 (yǐnyǔ)
  • Czech: citát
  • Dutch: citaat
  • Finnish: sitaatti
  • French: citation
  • German: Zitat
  • Hebrew: צִטּוּט (tsitut) , מוּבָאָה (muvah) , צִיטָטָה (tsitata)
  • Icelandic: tilvitnun
  • Italian: citazione
  • Japanese: 引用 (いにょう, inyō)
  • Korean: 인용 (inyong)
  • Norwegian: sitat
  • Polish: cytat
  • Portuguese: citação
  • Romanian: citat
  • Russian: цитата
  • Spanish: cita
  • Swedish: citat
naming the price of a financial security
  • Czech: kótace

Extensive Definition

For the Wikipedia quotation templates, see :Category:Quotation templates.
A quotation is the repetition of one expression as part of another one, particularly when the quoted expression is well-known or explicitly attributed (as by citation) to its original source.
A quotation can also refer to the repeated use of units of any other form of expression, especially parts of artistic works: elements of a painting, scenes from a movie or sections from a musical composition.
The rest of this article addresses only written or oral quotations.

Reasons for using quotations

Quotations are used for a variety of reasons: to illuminate the meaning or to support the arguments of the work in which it is being quoted, or to provide direct information about the work being quoted (whether in order to discuss it, positively or negatively, to pay homage to the original work or author, to make the user of the quotation seem well-read). Quotations are also commonly printed as a means of inspiration and to invoke philosophical thoughts from the reader.

Common quotation sources

Famous quotations are frequently collected in books that are sometimes called quotation dictionaries or treasuries. Of these, Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations, The Yale Book of Quotations and The MacMillan Book of Proverbs, Maxims, and Famous Phrases are considered among the most reliable and comprehensive sources. Diaries and calendars often include quotations for entertainment or inspirational purposes, and small, dedicated sections in newspapers and weekly magazines — with recent quotations by leading personalities on current topics — have also become commonplace. Chiefly through the World Wide Web, the Internet has become the most commonly used quotation repository.


The art of quotation is fraught with difficulties. If the source of a quotation is not given it can lead readers to think that the author using the quotation originated the thought or that he is being dishonest. Some people are thought to have said certain things, but there is no evidence of these words in any of their surviving writings: in is the case, the words have merely been attributed to them. Many quotations are routinely incorrect or attributed to the wrong authors, and quotations from obscure writers are often attributed to far more famous writers by lax quoters. Good examples of this are Winston Churchill, to whom many political quotations of uncertain origin are attributed, and Oscar Wilde, who is believed to have said far more witty things than he possibly could have.
Deliberate misquotation is very common either because the misquotation is better known than the original or simply because the misquotation fits the situation better. Possibly worse than misquotation is deliberate misinterpretation, where an author's words are taken out of context and are used to support a position or idea that the author would never have agreed with and was not the author's intention. This can be especially problematic with playwrights and authors of fiction who do not necessarily agree with the sentiments of their characters.

Quotations and the Internet

Chiefly a text medium in the beginning, the World Wide Web gave rise to any number of personal quotation collections that continue to flourish, even though very few of them seem to facilitate accurate information or correct citation. In June 27, 2003, a sister project of the Wikimedia Foundation called Wikiquote was created as a free online encyclopedia of quotations in every language and it is now the biggest single quotation collection in the world.
The increase of written means of informal communication brought about by the Internet has produced the practice of using quotations as personal flags, as in one's own signature block. This is most commonly seen in email messages and Usenet posts, while is almost never seen in blog posts. Quotations are also popular as a user's personal message, a line under the user's nickname in some Instant Messaging clients (and here they often go uncited). In all these cases, quotations are usually included to give a glimpse of the user's personality, to make a statement of their beliefs, or to spread views and ideas.
The sheer bulk of online quotations, combined with more efficient search engines, has effectively made the Internet the world's quotation storehouse, encompassing an unprecedented number of easily obtainable quotations. Though matters of accuracy still remain, features such as's Search Inside the Book and Google Print may serve to alleviate such concerns.
In mid-February 2007, a web startup called Quotations Book launched, with a new approach to viewing quotations. They indexed the volunteer-led Project Gutenberg, and created surrounding text for classic quotations to be viewed in the context of a classic book, using the 19,000+ books at Project Gutenberg as the corpus (example). The site is a social network, expected to add features as time goes on [1].

External links

quotation in Arabic: اقتباس
quotation in Bulgarian: Цитат
quotation in Czech: Citát
quotation in Danish: Citat
quotation in German: Zitat
quotation in Spanish: Cita
quotation in Persian: گفتاورد
quotation in French: Citation (littérature)
quotation in Korean: 인용
quotation in Italian: Citazione
quotation in Hebrew: אמרת כנף
quotation in Dutch: Citaat
quotation in Japanese: 引用
quotation in Norwegian: Sitat
quotation in Russian: Цитата
quotation in Sicilian: Citazzioni
quotation in Swedish: Citat
quotation in Ukrainian: Цитата
quotation in Chinese: 语录

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

allusion, asking price, bargain price, bearish prices, bid, bid price, book value, bullish prices, call price, case, cash price, charge, citation, closing price, controlled price, cost, cross reference, current price, current quotation, cut price, decline, demonstration, doubling, duplication, echo, example, excerpt, exemplification, extract, face value, fixed price, flash price, flat rate, flurry, flutter, going price, high, illustration, imitation, instance, issue par, issue price, item, list price, low, market price, market value, neat price, net, nominal value, offering price, opening price, package price, par, par value, parity, particular, passage, piece price, plagiarism, price, price list, prices current, put price, quote, quoted price, rally, rate, reappearance, rebirth, recommended price, recurrence, redoubling, reduplication, reecho, reference, regurgitation, reincarnation, renewal, reoccurrence, repetition, reproduction, resumption, return, selection, selling price, settling price, stated value, stock market quotations, swings, trade price, unit price, value, wholesale price
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