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verb de·fine \di-ˈfīn\

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. transitive verb
  2. 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>

  3. 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>

  4. 3 :  characterize, distinguish <you define yourself by the choices you make — Denison University Bulletin>

  5. intransitive verb
  6. :  to make a definition

de·fine·ment play \-ˈfīn-mənt\ noun
de·fin·er play \-ˈfī-nər\ noun

Examples of define

  1. a term that is difficult to define

  2. The government study seeks to define urban poverty.

  3. Her book aims to define acceptable social behavior.

  4. She believes that success should be defined in terms of health and happiness.

  5. 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

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February 12, 2016

of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

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