is something that has a distinct, separate, existence
, though it need not be a material existence. In particular, abstractions and legal fictions are usually regarded as entities. In general, there is also no presumption that an entity is animate.
The word 'entity' is often useful when one wants to refer to something that could be a human being, a non-human animal, a non-thinking life-form such as a plant or fungus, or a lifeless object; for instance, one could say that any entity that enters a black hole would be transported, in many pieces, to another dimension.
Sometimes, the word 'entity' is used in a general sense of a being, whether or not the referent has material existence; e.g. God is often referred to as an 'Entity' with no corporeal form.
In law, an entity is something capable of bearing legal rights and obligations -- legal entities generally include living persons and commercial entities.
- Entity is the root node of the SUMO ontology, and stands for the universal class of individuals.
- In VHDL, entity is the keyword for defining a new object.
- An SGML entity is an abbreviation for some expanded piece of SGML text.
- In databases, an entity can refer to a table.