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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.)

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Because of the unique nature of the field of project and program management and the sometimes confusing interchanging of the two terms, it is necessary to define them clearly to understand the responsibilities that fall within each category.
For true culture change, the dominant culture should include a reliable process to define, measure, and deliver a high level of individual resident and family satisfaction.
In doing so, one can begin to define which responses are characteristic of the material and which are due to the extremes or variations in configuration.
This provides students the knowledge and skill to define and use the best methodologies and methods in any given product design situation.
Ultimately, the reason no one can define "innovation" in a textbook is that it depends on complex human interactions.
The result was the contractor architects focused on solving a specified problem set versus trying to define a perfect implementation for the next 20 years.
* Second, states may also define elder abuse as the willful physical abuse or gross neglect of an "impaired adult" with resulting serious mental or physical harm that may be punishable as an aggravated assault.
Ward's clinic is not representative of the larger HIV infected community, how can we define this population?
With your expert guidance, each patient can define success for themselves, on their own terms, and then go on to achieve it.
The specification developed by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) to define the interface is called the SMI Specification or SMI-S.
The meeting, held 14-15 May 2003 in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, convened a multidisciplinary group of research and computational scientists from academia, industry, and government to define the state of the science for the emerging area of metabolic profiling--also called metabonomics or metabolomics--and its application in basic and applied health research.