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v. de·fined, de·fin·ing, de·fines
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 make clear the outline or form of; delineate: gentle hills that were defined against the sky.
b. To specify distinctly: define the weapons to be used in limited warfare.
3. To give form or meaning to: "For him, a life is defined by action" (Jay Parini).
To make or write a definition.

[Middle English definen, diffinen, from Old French definir, diffiner, from Latin dēfīnīre, to limit, determine : dē-, intensive pref.; see de- + fīnis, boundary, limit.]

de·fin′a·bil′i·ty n.
de·fin′a·ble adj.
de·fin′a·bly adv.
de·fine′ment n.
de·fin′er n.


1. the act of defining
2. another word for definition
References in periodicals archive ?
Sir, his definement suffers no perdition in you, though I know to divide him inventorially would dozy th'arithmetic of memory, and yet but yaw neither in respect of his quick sail.
par ce que le definement de la Papaute qui est prochain, apporte apres meints troubles et persecutions repos et consolation a l'Eglise de Dieu, au milieu de laquelle Jesus Christ, apres queil en aura deschasse cest Antechrist, regnera par sa parole: et lots il y aura matiere de joye, comme c'est le naturel des Comedies d'avoir commencement fascheux, et issue joyeuse.
Sir, his [Laertes's] definement suffers no perdition in you .