Webster 1913 Edition
imp. & p. p.
p. pr. & vb. n.
To fix the bounds of; to bring to a termination; to end.“To define controversies.”
To determine or clearly exhibit the boundaries of; to mark the limits of;
definethe extent of a kingdom or country
To determine with precision; to mark out with distinctness; to ascertain or exhibit clearly;
definingpower of an optical instrument
Rings . . . very distinct and well
Sir I. Newton.
To determine the precise signification of; to fix the meaning of; to describe accurately; to explain; to expound or interpret;
definea word, a phrase, or a scientific term
definevirtue to be life ordered according to nature.
Robynson (More’s Utopia).
To determine; to decide.
Webster 1828 Edition
1.To determine or describe the end or limit; as, to define the extent of a kingdom or country.
2.To determine with precision; to ascertain; as, to define the limits of a kingdom.
3.To mark the limit; to circumscribe; to bound.
4.To determine or ascertain the extent of the meaning of a word; to ascertain the signification of a term; to explain what a word is understood to express; as, to define the words, virtue, courage, belief, or charity.
5.To describe; to ascertain or explain the distinctive properties or circumstances of a thing; as, to define a line or an angle.