View synonyms for definition


[ def-uh-nish-uhn ]


  1. the act of defining, or of making something definite, distinct, or clear:

    We need a better definition of her responsibilities.

  2. the formal statement of the meaning or significance of a word, phrase, idiom, etc., as found in dictionaries. An online dictionary resource, such as, can give users direct, immediate access to the definitions of a term, allowing them to compare definitions from various dictionaries and stay up to date with an ever-expanding vocabulary.
  3. the condition of being definite, distinct, or clearly outlined:

    His biceps have great muscle definition.

  4. Optics. sharpness of the image formed by an optical system.
  5. Radio and Television. the accuracy of sound or picture reproduction.


/ ˌdɛfɪˈnɪʃən /


  1. a formal and concise statement of the meaning of a word, phrase, etc
  2. the act of defining a word, phrase, etc
  3. specification of the essential properties of something, or of the criteria which uniquely identify it
  4. the act of making clear or definite
  5. the state or condition of being clearly defined or definite
  6. a measure of the clarity of an optical, photographic, or television image as characterized by its sharpness and contrast
“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

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Derived Forms

  • ˌdefiˈnitional, adjective
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Other Words From

  • def·i·ni·tion·al adjective
  • def·i·ni·tion·al·ly adverb
  • pre·def·i·ni·tion noun
  • re·def·i·ni·tion noun
  • self-def·i·ni·tion noun
  • sub·def·i·ni·tion noun
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Word History and Origins

Origin of definition1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English diffinicioun, from Old French diffinition, from Latin dēfīnītiōn- (stem of dēfīnītiō ), equivalent to dēfīnīt(us) ( definite ) + -iōn- noun suffix ( -ion )
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Example Sentences

I can’t recall ever seeing an adjusted EBITDA definition with 12 different categories of exclusion.

“Part of the promise of this technology is that a fan of any show, by definition, usually wants to know more about it, more about the characters,” Moore said.

With every definition of home in shambles, it would be a wonder the homeless still feel so lost if it weren’t for the humanity at stake.

John Chaney, eternally fiery and relentlessly competitive, was the definition of toughnessThose holiday phone calls never lasted less than an hour.

There is no formal definition of an uncivil war, but America is increasingly split between members of two political parties that hate each other.

Nor does the jet have the ability to capture high-definition video, utilize an infra-red pointer.

Those who are by definition free of the biases that come with living near or working with those entrusted to protect us.

Editor's Note: This article has been revised to include the definition and text of Section 12.

Back in 2001, that “definition” of female beauty basically fell into two categories: Playboy chic, or heroin chic.

Under that definition, forced kissing can certainly constitute as a form of sexual assault.

Since we are to learn by thinking we must at the outset learn the definition of the three Laws of Thinking.

In a party of wits an argument took place as to the definition of a reasonable animal.

After much thinking I have arrived at a definition of Swadeshi that, perhaps, best illustrates my meaning.

Thus, as for religion, in order to satisfy the requirements of the definition, I must restrict myself to my ancestral religion.

They would probably have little effect on the definition, and at any rate could not be expected to improve it.





definite relative pronoundefinitions