Definition of define
1a : to determine or identify the essential qualities or meaning of whatever defines us as humanb : to discover and set forth the meaning of (something, such as a word) how the dictionary defines “grotesque”c : to create on a computer define a window define a procedure
2a : to fix or mark the limits of : demarcate rigidly defined property linesb : to make distinct, clear, or detailed especially in outline the issues aren't too well defined eyes defined by mascara
: to make a definition (see definition 2b)
definementplay \-ˈfīn-mənt\ noun
definerplay \-ˈfī-nər\ noun
Examples of define in a Sentence
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.
Recent Examples of define from the Web
Hubbard was found guilty of receiving money from people and companies that employ lobbyists, who are defined as principals under the ethics law.
CHICAGO AT HEART A Chicago boy with an appreciation for country music, Smrz's personal touches are what define his space.
Legalising abortion was the defining defeat of the old order—censorious, hypocritical, male—in post-war France.
After three consecutive years of declining profits, Burberry is struggling to define its place in the business.
Next is, making sure there is a clear vision and mission that defines success.
His breakdown feels like the only appropriate outcome for a person stripped of his one defining quality.
That irked the Food and Drug Administration, the agency that oversees the rule defining milk as coming from healthy cows.
The outcome of this debate will define what the Republican Party stands for—and whether the problems of America’s entitlement state can ever be solved.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'define'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of define
Middle English, from Latin definire, from de- + finire to limit, end, from finis boundary, end
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
DEFINE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of define for English Language Learners
: 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
DEFINE Defined for Kids
Definition of define for Students
1 : to explain the meaning of define a word
2 : to make clear especially in outline Your responsibilities are defined in the handout.
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