Simple Definition of define
: to explain the meaning of (a word, phrase, etc.)
: to show or describe (someone or something) clearly and completely
: to show the shape, outline, or edge of (something) very clearly
Full Definition of define
1 a : to determine or identify the essential qualities or meaning of <whatever defines us as human> b : to discover and set forth the meaning of (as a word) c : to create on a computer <define a window> <define a procedure>
2 a : to fix or mark the limits of : demarcate <rigidly defined property lines> b : to make distinct, clear, or detailed especially in outline <the issues aren't too well defined>
: to make a definition
Examples of define
a term that is difficult to define
The government study seeks to define urban poverty.
Her book aims to define acceptable social behavior.
She believes that success should be defined in terms of health and happiness.
That fence defines the far edge of the property.
Origin of define
Middle English, from Latin definire, from de- + finire to limit, end, from finis boundary, end
First Known Use: 14th century
Rhymes with define
A-line, affine, airline, align, alkyne, alpine, assign, at sign, balkline, baseline, beeline, benign, bloodline, blue line, blush wine, bovine, bowline, branchline, breadline, bright-line, buntline, bustline, byline, call sign, canine, caprine, carbine, carmine, cervine, chow line, clothesline, cloud nine, coastline, combine, compline, condign, confine, consign, corvine, cosign, cutline, dateline, deadline, decline, design, divine, dragline, driveline, earthshine, Einstein, eiswein, end line, enshrine, entwine, equine, ethyne, fall line, fault line, feline, ferine, first-line, flatline, flight line, foul line, fräulein, frontline, front line, goal line, gold mine, grapevine, guideline, hairline, hard-line, hard pine, headline, hemline, high sign, hipline, Holbein, hotline, ice wine, incline, indign, in fine, in-line, Irvine, jawline, jug wine, landline, land mine, lang syne, lifeline, load line, longline, lupine, mainline, main line, malign, midline, moline, moonshine, neckline, off-line, old-line, online, opine, outline, outshine, ovine, Pauline, peace sign, Petrine, pipeline, piscine, pitch pine, plotline, plumb line, plus sign, pontine, porcine, potline, pound sign, propine, punch line, rapine, recline, redline, red pine, refine, reline, repine, resign, Rhine wine, ridgeline, roofline, Sabine, saline, Scotch pine, scrub pine, setline, shoreline, short line, sideline, sight line, skyline, snow line, soft-line, spring line, straight-line, strandline, straw wine, streamline, strip mine, strychnine, subline, sunshine, supine, syncline, taurine, tie-line, times sign, topline, touchline, towline, tramline, trapline, tree line, trephine, trotline, truckline, trunk line, tumpline, turbine, untwine, ursine, vespine, V sign, vulpine, waistline, white line, white pine, white wine, woodbine, yard line, zebrine, Z line
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up define? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).