follow Dictionary.com

What's the "een" in Halloween?

definition

[def-uh-nish-uh n] /ˌdɛf əˈnɪʃ ən/
noun
1.
the act of making definite, distinct, or clear; a defining:
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 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.
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.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English diffinicioun < Old French diffinition < Latin dēfīnītiōn- (stem of dēfīnītiō), equivalent to dēfīnīt(us) (see definite) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
definitional, adjective
definitionally, adverb
predefinition, noun
redefinition, noun
self-definition, noun
subdefinition, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for definition
  • The formal definition of a limit is defined with the ideas of "greater than" or "less than".
  • Have the class come up with a definition of migration.
  • In truth, there is no universally accepted definition of the term.
  • Clips can be shot in both high definition and standard definition.
  • Pain and pleasure are simple ideas, incapable of definition.
  • Using this definition, the media industry now includes strange newcomers.
  • Pluto is no longer a planet, according to a new official definition.
  • Publishers of all stripes are struggling with that definition, including children's publishers.
  • The new definition includes three basic stipulations.
  • That the definition of public policy is difficult and elusive is marked by the relatively few attempts to define it.
British Dictionary definitions for definition

definition

/ˌdɛfɪˈnɪʃən/
noun
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
Derived Forms
definitional, adjective
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for definition
n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for definition

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for definition

14
16
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with definition