Definition


Definition
Definition Def`i*ni"tion, n. [L. definitio: cf. F. d['e]finition.] 1. The act of defining; determination of the limits; as, a telescope accurate in definition. [1913 Webster]

2. Act of ascertaining and explaining the signification; a description of a thing by its properties; an explanation of the meaning of a word or term; as, the definition of ``circle;'' the definition of ``wit;'' an exact definition; a loose definition. [1913 Webster]

Definition being nothing but making another understand by words what the term defined stands for. --Locke. [1913 Webster]

3. Description; sort. [R.] ``A new creature of another definition.'' --Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster]

4. (Logic) An exact enunciation of the constituents which make up the logical essence. [1913 Webster]

5. (Opt.) Distinctness or clearness, as of an image formed by an optical instrument; precision in detail.

Syn: {Definition}, {Explanation}, {Description}.

Usage: A definition is designed to settle a thing in its compass and extent; an explanation is intended to remove some obscurity or misunderstanding, and is therefore more extended and minute; a description enters into striking particulars with a view to interest or impress by graphic effect. It is not therefore true, though often said, that description is only an extended definition. ``Logicians distinguish definitions into essential and accidental. An essential definition states what are regarded as the constituent parts of the essence of that which is to be defined; and an accidental definition lays down what are regarded as circumstances belonging to it, viz., properties or accidents, such as causes, effects, etc.'' --Whately. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:
(of the meaning), / (by a statement of characteristic properties) / ,


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • definition — Definition. subst. fem. Explication de la nature d une chose, par son genre & sa difference. Definition juste, exacte. definition, claire, nette, obscure, imparfaite. les regles de la definition. Il sign. aussi, Decision, Reiglement. Avant la… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

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  • definition — I noun clarification, decipherment, decoding, delimitation, delineation, demarcation, description, elucidation, equivalent meaning, exact meaning, exact statement, explanation, explication, expressed meaning, formulation, identification,… …   Law dictionary

  • Definition — (v. lat.), 1) eigentliche Begrenzung; bes. 2) (Log.), Erklärung, die Angabe des Gattungsbegriffes u. der wesentlichen od. Hauptmerkmale eines Dings, wodurch der Begriff in bestimmte Grenzen eingeschlossen (definirt) wird. Die D en sind Verbal od …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon


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