[ dih-fahyn ]
/ dɪˈfaɪn /
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See synonyms for: define / defined / defines / defining on Thesaurus.com

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.
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Origin of define

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English def(f)inen, from Anglo-French, Old French definer “to put an end to,” from Latin dēfīnīre ”to limit, define,“ equivalent to dē- “from, away from, out of” + fīnīre “to end”; see origin at de-, finish


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use define in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for 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 forms of define

definable, 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