Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “define”

See all translations

define

verb [T] uk   /dɪˈfaɪn/ us  

define verb [T] (EXPLAIN)

B2 to say what the meaning of something, especially a word, is: In the dictionary, "reality" is defined as "the state of things as they are, rather than as they are imagined to be". Before I answer your question, could you define your terms a little more (= explain what you mean by the words you have used)?
See also
B2 to explain and describe the meaning and exact limits of something: Your rights and responsibilities are defined in the citizens' charter. Your role in the project will be strictly defined (= limited to particular areas). I'd hate to feel that I was defined by (= that my life got its meaning and importance only from) my job.
More examples

define verb [T] (CLEARLY SHOW)

to show clearly the edge of something: The outline of the castle on the hill was clearly defined against the evening sky.
definable
adjective uk   /dɪˈfaɪ.nə.bl̩/ us  
definable rules of grammar/syntax
(Definition of define from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of define?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “define” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

past participle

the form of a verb, usually made by adding -ed, used in some grammatical structures such as the passive and the present perfect

Word of the Day

Euphemisms (Words used to Avoid Offending People)

by Kate Woodford,
March 04, 2015
​​​ We recently looked at the language that we use to describe lies and lying. One area of lying that we considered was ‘being slightly dishonest, or not speaking the complete truth’. One reason for not speaking the complete truth is to avoid saying something that might upset or offend people. Words and

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More