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define

[dih-fahyn] /dɪˈfaɪn/
verb (used with object), defined, defining.
1.
to state or set forth the meaning of (a word, phrase, etc.): They disagreed on how to define “liberal.”.
2.
to explain or identify the nature or essential qualities of; describe:
to define judicial functions.
3.
to fix or lay down clearly and definitely; specify distinctly:
to define one's responsibilities.
4.
to determine or fix the boundaries or extent of:
to define property with stakes.
5.
to make clear the outline or form of:
The roof was boldly defined against the sky.
verb (used without object), defined, defining.
6.
to set forth the meaning of a word, phrase, etc.; construct a definition.
Origin
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English def(f)inen < Anglo-French, Old French definer to put an end to < Latin dēfīnīre to limit, define, equivalent to dē- de- + fīnīre; see finish
Related forms
definable, adjective
definability, noun
definably, adverb
definement, noun
definer, noun
misdefine, verb (used with object), misdefined, misdefining.
nondefinability, noun
nondefinable, adjective
nondefinably, adverb
nondefined, adjective
nondefiner, noun
predefine, verb (used with object), predefined, predefining.
redefine, verb (used with object), redefined, redefining.
self-defined, adjective
semidefined, adjective
undefinable, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for de-fine

define

/dɪˈfaɪn/
verb (transitive)
1.
to state precisely the meaning of (words, terms, etc)
2.
to describe the nature, properties, or essential qualities of
3.
to determine the boundary or extent of
4.
(often passive) to delineate the form or outline of the shape of the tree was clearly defined by the light behind it
5.
to fix with precision; specify
Derived Forms
definable, adjective
definability, noun
definably, adverb
definer, noun
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for de-fine
define
late 14c., from O.Fr. definir "to end, terminate, determine," from L. definire "to limit, determine, explain," from de- "completely" + finire "to bound, limit," from finis "boundary, end" (see finish). Definite means "defined, clear, precise, unmistakable;" definitive means "having the character of finality."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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