Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “define”

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.

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

initial

of or at the beginning

Word of the Day

Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

by Liz Walter​,
November 19, 2014
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

Read More 

ped-text verb

November 24, 2014
to text someone while walking I’m ped-texting, I’m looking down at my phone, 75 percent of the time.

Read More