The definition of define is to describe the meaning or character of something.verb
- An example of define is when you tell someone what a word means.
- An example of define is when you set clear rules for living in your house.
- to determine or set down the boundaries of
- to trace the precise outlines of; delineate
- to determine or state the extent and nature of; describe exactly: define your duties
- to give the distinguishing characteristics of
- to constitute the distinction of; differentiate: reason defines man
- to state the meaning or meanings of (as a word)
Origin: ME diffinen < OFr definer & ML diffinire, both < L definire, to limit, define < de-, from + finire, to set a limit to, bound: see finish
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
verb de·fined, de·fin·ing, de·fines verb, transitive
- a. To state the precise meaning of (a word or sense of a word, for example).b. To describe the nature or basic qualities of; explain: define the properties of a new drug; a study that defines people according to their median incomes.
- a. To delineate the outline or form of: gentle hills that were defined against the sky.b. To specify distinctly: define the weapons to be used in limited warfare.
- To give form or meaning to: “For him, a life is defined by action” (Jay Parini).
Origin: Middle English definen, diffinen, from Old French definir, diffiner, from Latin dēfīnīre, to limit, determine : dē-, intensive pref.; see de- + fīnis, boundary, limit.
- de·finˌa·bilˈi·ty noun
- de·finˈa·ble adjective
- de·finˈa·bly adverb
- de·fineˈment noun
- de·finˈer noun