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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 periodicals archive ?
49) They diverge wildly from the clinical definition of mental retardation that they ostensibly illuminate.
As Sipe pointed out, however, the clinical definition puts the age of the abuse victim as 13 or younger, while the John Jay team chose to define instances of pedophilia as the cases where victims were 10 or younger.
a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the priestly sexual abuse scandal in The Boston Globe, summarized the findings of a study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice: "Of the 10,667 reported victims [between 1950 and 2002], 81 percent were male, the report said, and more than three-quarters of the victims were post-pubescent, meaning the abuse did not meet the clinical definition of pedophilia.
The first of these options, using a clinical definition, is relatively straightforward and therefore attractive to legislatures seeking to implement Atkins.
There's no clinical definition, but practitioners say it's a broader concept than health.
There is no clinical definition for infidelity but what it comes down to is crossing boundaries.
Indeed, the ancient world had a different concept of what we call "homosexuality"; our clinical definition is foreign to the world of the Bible.
Six out of 10 of us weigh more than we should; 27 percent of Americans over age 50 meet the clinical definition for obesity.
To complicate matters, his disease was quickly progressing to the clinical definition of AIDS (very low T-cell count).
We still use this functional and clinical definition today, though other definitions have been proposed.
The problem with these studies appears to be that the results have depended upon the population selected: Studies that have included only children with nasal washings positive for RSV or "pure" bronchiolitis tend to show less benefit, whereas bronchodilators have tended to work better in studies that use a clinical definition for bronchiolitis that includes repeated wheezing, which overlaps with asthma.
Whether his obituary relates specifically to the National Cholesterol Education Program's Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) (2) definition of metabolic syndrome or to all attempts at making a clinical definition of the metabolic syndrome is unclear.

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