define Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “define” in the English Dictionary

"define" in British English

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defineverb [T]

uk   us   /dɪˈfaɪn/
  • 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 ​answeryourquestion, could you define ​your terms a little more (= ​explain what you ​mean by the words you have used)?
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B2 to ​explain and ​describe the ​meaning and ​exactlimits of something: Your ​rights and ​responsibilities are defined in the ​citizens' ​charter. Your ​role in the ​project will be ​strictly defined (= ​limited to ​particularareas). I'd ​hate to ​feel that I was defined by (= that my ​life got ​itsmeaning and ​importance only from) my ​job.

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definable
adjective uk   us   /dɪˈfaɪ.nə.bl̩/
definable ​rules of ​grammar/​syntax
(Definition of define from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"define" in American English

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defineverb [T]

 us   /dɪˈfɑɪn/
  • define verb [T] (EXPLAIN)

English to ​describe the ​meaning of something, esp. a word, or to ​explain something more ​clearly so that it can be ​understood: How would you define “​jaded”?
  • define verb [T] (SHOW)

to show ​clearly the ​edge or ​shape of something: The ​darkfigures are ​sharply defined on the ​whitebackground.
definable
adjective  /dɪˈfɑɪ·nə·bəl/
(Definition of define from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"define" in Business English

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defineverb [T]

uk   us   /dɪˈfaɪn/
to say what the ​meaning of something, especially a word, is: Economists ​normally define a ​recession as two successive ​quarters of ​negativegrowth.
to explain and ​state the ​meaning and ​exactlimits of something: a defined ​goal/​objective If you want ​employees to be more ​productive, then you must define and ​measureproductivity precisely.
(Definition of define from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“define” in British English

“define” in American English

“define” in Business English

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