De*fine" (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Defined (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Defining.] [OE. definer, usually, to end, to finish, F. d'efinir to define, L. definire to limit, define; de- + finire to limit, end, finis boundary, limit, end. See Final, Finish.]

1.

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

"To define controversies."

Barrow.

2.

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

3.

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

Rings . . . very distinct and well defined. Sir I. Newton.

4.

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.

They define virtue to be life ordered according to nature. Robynson (More's Utopia).

 

© Webster 1913.


De*fine" (?), v. i.

To determine; to decide.

[Obs.]

 

© Webster 1913.

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