What does define mean?

Definitions for define

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word define.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. specify, define, delineate, delimit, delimitateverb

    determine the essential quality of

  2. defineverb

    give a definition for the meaning of a word

    "Define `sadness'"

  3. defineverb

    determine the nature of

    "What defines a good wine?"

  4. define, delineateverb

    show the form or outline of

    "The tree was clearly defined by the light"; "The camera could define the smallest object"

  5. specify, set, determine, define, fix, limitverb

    decide upon or fix definitely

    "fix the variables"; "specify the parameters"


  1. defineverb

    To determine.

  2. defineverb

    To express the essential nature of something.

  3. defineverb

    To state the meaning of a word or word group or a sign or symbol.

  4. defineverb

    To describe, explain, or make definite and clear.

  5. defineverb

    To demark sharply the outlines or limits of an area or concept.

  6. Etymology: From definen, from definer, variant of definir, from definio, from de + finio

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To DEFINEverb

    Etymology: definio, Lat. definir, French.

    Whose loss can’st thou mean,
    That do’st so well their miseries define? Philip Sidney, b. ii.

    Though defining be thought the proper way to make known the proper signification, yet there are some words that will not be defined. John Locke.

    When the rings, or some parts of them, appeared only black and white, they were very distinct and well defined, and the blackness seemed as intense as that of the central spot. Newt.

  2. To Defineverb

    To determine; to decide; to decree.

    The unjust judge is the capital remover of landmarks, when he defineth amiss of lands and properties. Francis Bacon, Ess. 57.


  1. define

    A definition is a statement of the meaning of a term (a word, phrase, or other set of symbols). Definitions can be classified into two large categories: intensional definitions (which try to give the sense of a term), and extensional definitions (which try to list the objects that a term describes). Another important category of definitions is the class of ostensive definitions, which convey the meaning of a term by pointing out examples. A term may have many different senses and multiple meanings, and thus require multiple definitions.In mathematics, a definition is used to give a precise meaning to a new term, by describing a condition which unambiguously qualifies what a mathematical term is and is not. Definitions and axioms form the basis on which all of modern mathematics is to be constructed.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Defineverb

    to fix the bounds of; to bring to a termination; to end

  2. Defineverb

    to determine or clearly exhibit the boundaries of; to mark the limits of; as, to define the extent of a kingdom or country

  3. Defineverb

    to determine with precision; to mark out with distinctness; to ascertain or exhibit clearly; as, the defining power of an optical instrument

  4. Defineverb

    to determine the precise signification of; to fix the meaning of; to describe accurately; to explain; to expound or interpret; as, to define a word, a phrase, or a scientific term

  5. Defineverb

    to determine; to decide

  6. Etymology: [OE. definer, usually, to end, to finish, F. dfinir to define, L. definire to limit, define; de- + finire to limit, end, finis boundary, limit, end. See Final, Finish.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Define

    de-fīn′, v.t. to fix the bounds or limits of: to determine with precision: to describe accurately: to fix the meaning of.—adj. Defin′able, that may be defined.—n. Define′ment (Shak.), description.—adj. Def′inite, defined: having distinct limits: fixed: exact: clear.—adv. Def′initely.—ns. Def′initeness; Defini′tion, a defining: a description of a thing by its properties: an explanation of the exact meaning of a word, term, or phrase.—adj. Defin′itive, defining or limiting: positive: final.—n. (gram.) an adjective used to limit the signification of a noun.—adv. Defin′itively.—ns. Defin′itiveness; Defin′itude, definitiveness. [Fr.,—L. definīre, -ītum, to set bounds to—de, finis, a limit.]

Editors Contribution

  1. define

    To create a definition for the meaning of a word.

    She did always define things simply and clearly.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 1, 2020  

  2. define

    To create an accurate and exact definition, meaning, term or reason.

    They did define the constitution easily and efficiently.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 20, 2020  

  3. define

    To create perfect, easy, accurate, specific, simple and just budgets, goals, law, legislation, objectives, plans, processes, procedures, rules, strategy, structures, systems, vision and treaties.

    The business management team had a team meeting for a complete working day to work together to create the business vision, goals, objectives, plans, processes, procedures, action.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 26, 2020  

  4. define

    To create specific, accurate, simple and just eligibility criteria, employees, expenditure, funding, guidelines, income, IT systems, liquidity, management, policies, resources and technology.

    The business management team had a team meeting for a complete working day to work together to create the business vision, goals, objectives, plans, processes, procedures, action.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 26, 2020  

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'define' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3960

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'define' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3382

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'define' in Verbs Frequency: #239

How to pronounce define?

How to say define in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of define in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of define in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of define in a Sentence

  1. Charles Haynes:

    Religious freedom is now in the eye of the beholder. People in different traditions, with different ideological commitments, define religious freedom differently.

  2. Carey Baker:

    It shouldn't be that way, but that's how it is, they need to better define what they're attempting to regulate.

  3. Laura Belmonte:

    Those images will endure, have left profound damage on our democratic processes, and will define the Donald Trump era.

  4. Yaakov Perry:

    You cannot define it as an organization.

  5. Todd Starnes:

    Once you understand Apocalyptic Islam, you understand just how dangerous it is to give Iran not just one path to nuclear weapons, but two, this president doesn’t understand the threat of radical Islam. He won’t even define that – much less Apocalyptic Islam.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for define

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    an embarrassing mistake
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