It's all symbolic.

4 definitions found

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44 [gcide]:

Define \De*fine"\, verb (used without an object) To determine; to decide. [Obs.]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44 [gcide]:

Define \De*fine"\, verb (used with an object) [imp. & p. p. {Defined}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Defining}.] [OE. definer, usually, to end, to finish, F. d['e]finir to define, L. definire to limit, define; de- + finire to limit, end, finis boundary, limit, end. See {Final}, {Finish}.]

1. To fix the bounds of; to bring to a termination; to end. ''To define controversies.'' --Barrow.

2. To determine or clearly exhibit the boundaries of; to mark the limits of; as, to define the extent of a kingdom or country.

3. To determine with precision; to mark out with distinctness; to ascertain or exhibit clearly; as, the defining power of an optical instrument.

Rings . . . very distinct and well defined. --Sir I. Newton.

4. To determine the precise signification of; to fix the meaning of; to describe accurately; to explain; to expound or interpret; as, to define a word, a phrase, or a scientific term.

They define virtue to be life ordered according to nature. --Robynson (More's Utopia).

From WordNet (r) 2.0 [wn]:



1: give a definition for the meaning of a word; "Define 'sadness'"

2: determine the essential quality of [syn: {specify}, {delineate}, {delimit}, {delimitate}]

3: determine the nature of; "What defines a good wine?"

4: delineate the form or outline of; "The tree was clearly defined by the light"; "The camera could define the smallest object" [syn: {delineate}]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 [moby-thes]:

159 Moby Thesaurus words for "define": assign, baptize, be characteristic, bed, blaze, blaze a trail, blemish, blotch, bound, brand, call, chalk, chalk up, characterize, check, check off, christen, cicatrize, circle in, circumscribe, clarify, confirm, construe, dapple, dash, deep-dye, delimit, delimitate, delineate, demarcate, denominate, describe, designate, detail, determine, diagnose, differentiate, discolor, distinguish, dot, dub, earmark, edge, embed, enclose, engraft, engrave, entitle, entrench, establish, etch, explain, expound, fix, fleck, found, freckle, gash, ground, hatch, hem, identify, impact, implant, impress, imprint, infix, ingrain, inscribe, interpret, jam, keynote, label, lay down, lay off, limit, line, lodge, make a mark, margin, mark, mark boundaries, mark off, mark out, mark the periphery, mottle, name, nick, nickname, nominate, notch, outline, pack, pencil, pepper, plant, point, prick, print, punch, punctuate, puncture, read, read into, riddle, rim, root, rope off, scar, scarify, score, scotch, scratch, seal, seam, seat, set, set apart, set down, set in, set the limit, set the pace, set the tone, settle, skirt, sound the keynote, specify, speck, speckle, spell out, splotch, spot, stain, stake out, stamp, state, stereotype, stigmatize, streak, striate, stripe, style, surround, tag, take, take it that, take to mean, tattoo, term, tick, tick off, title, trace, underline, underscore, understand, understand by, verge, wedge