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See more synonyms for defined on Thesaurus.com
  1. determined, fixed, or clearly marked out as to extent, outline, or form: an itchy red rash with sharply defined edges.
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Origin of defined

First recorded in 1720–30; define + -ed2


verb (used with object), de·fined, de·fin·ing.
  1. to state or set forth the meaning of (a word, phrase, etc.): They disagreed on how to define “liberal.”
  2. to explain or identify the nature or essential qualities of; describe: to define judicial functions.
  3. to fix or lay down clearly and definitely; specify distinctly: to define one's responsibilities.
  4. to determine or fix the boundaries or extent of: to define property with stakes.
  5. to make clear the outline or form of: The roof was boldly defined against the sky.
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verb (used without object), de·fined, de·fin·ing.
  1. to set forth the meaning of a word, phrase, etc.; construct a definition.
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Origin of define

1325–75; Middle English def(f)inen < Anglo-French, Old French definer to put an end to < Latin dēfīnīre to limit, define, equivalent to dē- de- + fīnīre; see finish
Related formsde·fin·a·ble, adjectivede·fin·a·bil·i·ty, nounde·fin·a·bly, adverbde·fine·ment, nounde·fin·er, nounmis·de·fine, verb (used with object), mis·de·fined, mis·de·fin·ing.non·de·fin·a·bil·i·ty, nounnon·de·fin·a·ble, adjectivenon·de·fin·a·bly, adverbnon·de·fined, adjectivenon·de·fin·er, nounpre·de·fine, verb (used with object), pre·de·fined, pre·de·fin·ing.re·de·fine, verb (used with object), re·de·fined, re·de·fin·ing.self-de·fined, adjectivesem·i·de·fined, adjectiveun·de·fin·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for defined

delineate, represent, decide, explain, describe, prescribe, detail, characterize, exemplify, specify, determine, construe, designate, interpret, illustrate, set, mark, limit, distinguish, establish

Examples from the Web for defined

Contemporary Examples of defined

Historical Examples of defined

  • You have defined her character, my dear sir, as correctly as if you had known her from her birth.

  • Such a formula expresses the commandment of sexual ethics as we have defined it.

  • He could not for his life have defined the difference, but there it was.

    A Singer from the Sea

    Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

  • May it not be defined as a period of about twenty years in a woman's life, and thirty in a man's?

  • The elements may be perceived by sense, but they are names, and cannot be defined.

British Dictionary definitions for defined


verb (tr)
  1. to state precisely the meaning of (words, terms, etc)
  2. to describe the nature, properties, or essential qualities of
  3. to determine the boundary or extent of
  4. (often passive) to delineate the form or outline ofthe shape of the tree was clearly defined by the light behind it
  5. to fix with precision; specify
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Derived Formsdefinable, adjectivedefinability, noundefinably, adverbdefiner, noun

Word Origin for define

C14: from Old French definer to determine, from Latin dēfīnīre to set bounds to, from fīnīre to finish
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for defined



late 14c., "to specify; to end," from Old French defenir "to end, terminate, determine," and directly from Latin definire "to limit, determine, explain," from de- "completely" (see de-) + finire "to bound, limit," from finis "boundary, end" (see finish (n.)). Related: Defined; defining.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper