- the act of defining, or of making something definite, distinct, or clear: We need a better definition of her responsibilities.
- the formal statement of the meaning or significance of a word, phrase, idiom, etc., as found in dictionaries. An online dictionary resource, such as Dictionary.com, 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.
- the condition of being definite, distinct, or clearly outlined: His biceps have great muscle definition.
- Optics. sharpness of the image formed by an optical system.
- Radio and Television. the accuracy of sound or picture reproduction.
Origin of definition
Related Words for definitioninterpretation, explanation, solution, rationale, answer, translation, comment, elucidation, rendering, signification, analogue, clarification, fixing, gloss, cue, exposition, commentary, drift, clue, determination
Examples from the Web for definition
Contemporary Examples of definition
Those who are by definition free of the biases that come with living near or working with those entrusted to protect us.Cops, CIA Share a Culture of Lawlessness
December 12, 2014
Editor's Note: This article has been revised to include the definition and text of Section 12.Prof: MIT Hospitalized Me For Ferguson Tweets
December 11, 2014
Under that definition, forced kissing can certainly constitute as a form of sexual assault.Fact-Checking the Sunday Shows: Dec. 7
December 7, 2014
But she still wants to make the point that it is still a romantic comedy, in the way that the definition of that term is evolving.Confessions of a Rom-Com Writer: Liz Tuccillo Talks ‘Sex and the City,’ ‘Take Care,’ and More
December 5, 2014
But IBC is also a fair bit more inclusive in its definition of war casualties.ISIS Fighters Are Killing Faster than Statisticians Can Count
December 5, 2014
Historical Examples of definition
Merely to abstain from definition was like a load taken off my mind.The Conquest of Fear
You must listen to the definition of a catachresis:—'A catachresis is the boldest of any trope.
Examples will give a better notion of this than can be conveyed by any definition.
The Assistant Commissioner gave this definition in an apologetic voice.The Secret Agent
The Century Dictionary will please not copy this definition.A Woman Tenderfoot
Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson
- a formal and concise statement of the meaning of a word, phrase, etc
- the act of defining a word, phrase, etc
- specification of the essential properties of something, or of the criteria which uniquely identify it
- the act of making clear or definite
- the state or condition of being clearly defined or definite
- a measure of the clarity of an optical, photographic, or television image as characterized by its sharpness and contrast
Word Origin and History for definition
late 14c., "decision, setting of boundaries," from Old French definicion, from Latin definitionem (nominative definitio), noun of action from past participle stem of definire (see define).
In logic, meaning "act of stating what something means" is from 1640s; meaning "a statement of the essential nature of something" is from late 14c.; the special focus on words developed after c.1550. Meaning "degree of distinctness of the details in a picture" is from 1889.