Definition of definition in English:

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Pronunciation: /dɛfɪˈnɪʃ(ə)n/


1A statement of the exact meaning of a word, especially in a dictionary: a dictionary definition of the verb
More example sentences
  • The Judge said she had, in the absence of any statutory definition, consulted several dictionaries for a definition of the word record.
  • No, it's not exactly the dictionary definition of the word.
  • The dictionary definition of the word is to ride on or along a wave on a board.
1.1An exact statement or description of the nature, scope, or meaning of something: our definition of what constitutes poetry
More example sentences
  • One widely accepted definition describes poverty as ‘an enforced lack of socially perceived necessities’.
  • Most definitions of the scheme describe it as operating alongside criminal action.
  • I'm struck how in the introductory sections, Publius returns again and again to a definition of ‘human nature.’
1.2 [mass noun] The action or process of defining something: a question of definition issues of methodology and definition
More example sentences
  • In all these examples we can see that whether a particular act is judged to be a crime or to be deviant is not explained by any quality of the act itself but by other considerations that enter into the process of labelling or definition.
  • It is equally important that our community have safe space in which to engage in that process of definition.
  • In the introduction, Lauret confronts the thorny questions of definition and categorization.
2 [mass noun] The degree of distinctness in outline of an object, image, or sound: the clarity and definition of pictures can be aided by using computer graphics
More example sentences
  • They have great resolution and incredible colour definition.
  • The anamorphic widescreen transfer is decent enough, with reasonable clarity and picture definition, though graininess can a problem now and again.
  • By looking at the graph and seeing the colors and shapes, these students were able to listen again and hear the shape of the sounds with more definition.
2.1The capacity of a device to make images distinct in outline: we’ve been pleased with the definition of this TV
More example sentences
  • I own a 60" DLP, and the TV's definition is great.
  • The TV's definition is great, you just have to be 20+ feet away from it, because it has the same number of pixels in it as a 1080p 46".
  • This television has excellent definition which makes the image jump right at you.


by definition

By its very nature; intrinsically: the assumption is that travel will, by definition, lead to creative insight
More example sentences
  • And lest we forget, Saints, by definition, have the means to perform miracles in times of need.
  • A fully biological account of the human has to be deterministic, by definition.
  • Violence, by definition, signals the loss, lapse and negation of a spiritual way of being.



Example sentences
  • Rates of self-harm and attempted suicide are difficult to compare internationally because of the definitional and reporting problems outlined in the earlier section on this topic.
  • If one accepts this definitional framework, then the moral equivalency argument sounds plausible.
  • However, it serves to indicate the nature of the definitional problem.


Example sentences
  • On any objective view, ‘crime’ has to be seen as a non-natural category of behaviour, crucially definitionally dependent on the censuring processes of a given society.
  • For example, area would definitionally be related to length and width.
  • Economies of scale or scope are expressed, definitionally, in the context of changes in total cost.


Late Middle English: from Latin definitio(n-), from the verb definire 'set bounds to' (see define).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: def¦in|ition

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