De*fine" (?), v. t. [imp. & p.
p. Defined (?); p. pr. & vb. n.
Defining.] [OE. definer, usually, to end, to finish, F.
définir 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
They define virtue to be life ordered according
to nature. Robynson (More's Utopia).
De*fine" (?), v. i. To determine;
to decide. [Obs.]