Definition lists?

Michel Fortin michel.fortin at
Sat Mar 20 09:33:29 EST 2004


I'm thinking about definition lists. I know Markdown does not support 
them currently, but it could be a useful addition later. At first I 
thought it may interfere with the code block syntax, but I've come to a 
great non-interfering syntax (I think). Here is an example:

     :   a conversation between two persons
     :   a literary composition in the form of a conversation between two
         people; "he has read Plato's Dialogues in the original Greek"
     :   the lines spoken by characters in drama or fiction

     :   a point equidistant from all points on the surface of a sphere.
     :   in some field sports, the player who holds the middle position
         on the field, court, or forward line.

As you can see I included many definitions per item. Each one of them 
is preceded by a colon and subsequent lines need to be indented just 
like for other list types. The defined items (there can be more than 
one) must be on the lines immediately before the colon not separated by 
any blank line. Subsequent definition groups are put in the same list 
and can have a blank line between them.

You can also include code blocks and other lists in the definition, 
just like you can already do with normal list items:

     Defined word
     :   First definition
         First definition line 2:
             Code block inside definition.

     :   Second definition for the same item.
         1. List inside definition.

     :   One meaning
         :   A subdefinition!
         Another meaning
         :   A subdefinition!

Michel Fortin
michel.fortin at

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