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An intensional definition, also called a connotative definition, specifies the necessary and sufficient conditions for a thing to be a member of a specific set. Any definition that attempts to set out the essence of something, such as that by genus and differentia, is an intensional definition. In classical thought, a definition was taken to be a statement of the essence of a thing. Aristotle had it that an object’s essential attributes form its “essential nature”, and that a definition of the object must include these essential attributes. This leads to a corresponding distinction between nominal and real definitions. A nominal definition is the definition explaining what a word means , and is definition in the classical sense as given above. A real definition, by contrast, is one expressing the real nature or quid rei of the thing.