noun \ˌde-fə-ˈni-shən\

: an explanation of the meaning of a word, phrase, etc. : a statement that defines a word, phrase, etc.

: a statement that describes what something is

: a clear or perfect example of a person or thing

Full Definition of DEFINITION

:  an act of determining; specifically :  the formal proclamation of a Roman Catholic dogma
a :  a statement expressing the essential nature of something
b :  a statement of the meaning of a word or word group or a sign or symbol <dictionary definitions>
c :  a product of defining
:  the action or process of stating the meaning of a word or word group
a :  the action or the power of describing, explaining, or making definite and clear <the definition of a telescope> <her comic genius is beyond definition>
b (1) :  clarity of visual presentation :  distinctness of outline or detail <improve the definition of an image>
(2) :  clarity especially of musical sound in reproduction
c :  sharp demarcation of outlines or limits <a jacket with distinct waist definition>
def·i·ni·tion·al \-ˈni-shə-nəl\ adjective

Examples of DEFINITION

  1. What is the legal definition of a corporation?
  2. A week of fishing is my definition of a vacation.
  3. a monitor with good definition and vibrant colors
  4. For the last eight years or so, I've been watching the evolution of bikes made for women. At the beginning of that time, there were a small number of women's bikes available, most offered with low-end, sometimes no-name, spec, as if by definition all women riders were beginners. —Christine Bucher, Bicycling, March 2008


Middle English diffinicioun, from Anglo-French, from Latin definition-, definitio, from definire (see define)
First Known Use: 14th century


noun \ˌdef-ə-ˈnish-ən\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of DEFINITION

: the action or the power of making definite and clear <the definition of a microscope lens>


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In philosophy, the specification of the meaning of an expression relative to a language. Definitions may be classified as lexical, ostensive, and stipulative. Lexical definition specifies the meaning of an expression by stating it in terms of other expressions whose meaning is assumed to be known (e.g., a ewe is a female sheep). Ostensive definition specifies the meaning of an expression by pointing to examples of things to which the expression applies (e.g., green is the color of grass, limes, lily pads, and emeralds). Stipulative definition assigns a new meaning to an expression (or a meaning to a new expression); the expression defined (definiendum) may either be a new expression that is being introduced into the language for the first time, or an expression that is already current.


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