A project by Marcel Benabou for the Oulipo journal Bibliotheque Oulipenne.
When certain words are 'broken' other words appear among their fragments. Defining those words allow greater or lesser words to be combined. The project of defining broken words involves a fine line between poetry and punnery.
People familiar with UK Crosswords and Cryptograms often find these sorts of definitions as clues in thepuzzle.

Examples include:
RRI -- a parcel of territory
ESU -- what Jesus and Vesuvius share
ICH -- the artichoke's heart
RAT -- never missing from any laboratory.
LIT -- illuminates solitude.
ACT -- determines the conclusion of a pact.

(paraphrased from Oulipo Compendium)

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