- 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 definitionsinterpretation, explanation, solution, rationale, answer, translation, comment, elucidation, rendering, signification, analogue, clarification, fixing, gloss, cue, exposition, commentary, drift, clue, determination
Examples from the Web for definitions
Contemporary Examples of definitions
As I went spelunking through the research literature, I found a huge variation in definitions.You’re Never ‘Cured’ of an Eating Disorder
December 20, 2014
In Hollywood, a friendship with a movie star, especially a close friendship, requires its own terms and definitions.How to Guest Star in Your Own Life
May 10, 2014
Clusters of prefatory tags (“the ancient Greek philosopher Plato”) alternate with definitions of standard tropes and devices.John Sutherland‘s Enjoyable Little History of Literature
November 29, 2013
Still, some of the definitions below may still surprise you, or maybe gross you out.Six Words That Mean Something VERY Different to Porn Stars
March 29, 2013
Part of the confusion that Levine introduces may may also rest on his definitions.Flawed Questions About Israel's Right To Exist
March 12, 2013
Historical Examples of definitions
Let us avoid for the moment the treacherous territory of definitions.The American Mind
Here is a choice of three definitions, but not one of them is by itself satisfying.Storyology
We are growing more cautious, perhaps, with our definitions.Bunyan
James Anthony Froude
Now it is not only in our definitions that we need to be precise and to think clearly.Morals in Trade and Commerce
Frank B. Anderson
Oh, how tedious it was, pronouncing word after word, and giving their definitions!Pretty Madcap Dorothy
Laura Jean Libbey
- 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 definitions
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.