defining

[ dih-fahy-ning ]
/ dɪˈfaɪ nɪŋ /

adjective

decisive; critically important: Taking a course in architecture was a defining turn in her life.

Nearby words

  1. define,
  2. defined,
  3. defined-benefit,
  4. definiendum,
  5. definiens,
  6. defining moment,
  7. definite,
  8. definite article,
  9. definite description,
  10. definite integral

Related formsnon·de·fin·ing, adjectiveself-de·fin·ing, adjective

define

[ dih-fahyn ]
/ dɪˈfaɪn /

verb (used with object), de·fined, de·fin·ing.

to state or set forth the meaning of (a word, phrase, etc.): They disagreed on how to define “liberal.”
to explain or identify the nature or essential qualities of; describe: to define judicial functions.
to fix or lay down clearly and definitely; specify distinctly: to define one's responsibilities.
to determine or fix the boundaries or extent of: to define property with stakes.
to make clear the outline or form of: The roof was boldly defined against the sky.

verb (used without object), de·fined, de·fin·ing.

to set forth the meaning of a word, phrase, etc.; construct a definition.

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 forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for defining


British Dictionary definitions for defining

define

/ (dɪˈfaɪn) /

verb (tr)

to state precisely the meaning of (words, terms, etc)
to describe the nature, properties, or essential qualities of
to determine the boundary or extent of
(often passive) to delineate the form or outline ofthe shape of the tree was clearly defined by the light behind it
to fix with precision; specify
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 defining

define

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper