definition

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definition

noun clarification, decipherment, decoding, delimitation, delineation, demarcation, description, equivalent meaning, exact meaning, exact statement, explanation, explication, expressed meaning, formulation, identification, illumination, interpretation, making intelligible, meaning, representation, simplification, statement of meannng, synonym, translation
Foreign phrases: Omnis definitio in jure civili periculosa est, parum est enim ut non subverti possit.Every definiiion in the law is dangerous, because there is little that cannot be subverted.
See also: clarification, construction, description, explanation, identification, meaning, rendition, specification

DEFINITION. An enumeration of the principal ideas of which a compound idea is formed, to ascertain and explain its nature and character; or it is that which denotes and points out the substance of a thing, to us. Ayliffe's Pand. 59.
     2. A definition ought to contain every idea which belongs to the thing defined, and exclude all others.
     3. A definition should be, 1st. Universal, that is, such that it will apply equally to all individuals of, the same kind. 2d. Proper, that is, such that it will not apply to any other individual of any other kind. 3d. Clear, that is, without any equivocal, vague, or unknown word. 4th. Short, that is, without any useless word, or any foreign to the idea intended to be defined.
     4. Definitions are always dangerous, because it is always difficult to prevent their being inaccurate, or their becoming so; omnis definitio injure civili periculosa est, parum est enim, ut non subvertipossit.
     5. All ideas are not susceptible of definitions, and many words cannot be defined. This inability is frequently supplied, in a considerable degree, by descriptions. (q.v.)

References in classic literature ?
However, Tarzan counted no time wasted which he devoted to these strange hunting expeditions into the game preserves of knowledge, for each word and each definition led on and on into strange places, into new worlds where, with increasing frequency, he met old, familiar faces.
Venerable venator, this is a method of reasoning which sets at nought the uses of definitions, and such as I do assure you is not at all tolerated in the schools.
Oh, I don't know; it's definitions, and axioms, and triangles, and things.
However contracted, that definition is the result of expanded meditation.
But in the definition of the word "rest" lies all the difference.
She might be defined, I reflected, as The Woman Who Is Worthy Of Us; but the improbability which every healthily conceited young man must feel of ever finding such a one made the definition seem a little unserviceable.
The direction of war implies the direction of the common strength; and the power of directing and employing the common strength, forms a usual and essential part in the definition of the executive authority.
Energy in government is essential to that security against external and internal danger, and to that prompt and salutary execution of the laws which enter into the very definition of good government.
Let us now discuss Tragedy, resuming its formal definition, as resulting from what has been already said.
Things are said to be named 'equivocally' when, though they have a common name, the definition corresponding with the name differs for each.
From land to land is the most concise definition of a ship's earthly fate.
Give me,' I demanded of a scholar some time ago, 'give me a definition of poetry.