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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 ?
The findings identify definitional issues in the law that needs to be replaced with a simple and all-encompassing descriptions to make the archaic labour laws speak to the modern day labours.
Revisions to current dollar measures reflect the definitional and statistical changes, including the incorporation of newly available or revised source data, introduced in this comprehensive update.
Is there a difference between the truth of a true ordinary sentence and the truth of a true definitional sentence?
These definitional issues give rise to another complicating issue: There is no universal taxonomy of risk factors.
(231) This definitional standard is largely similar to that used by the Bush Administration to detain terrorist suspects as "enemy combatants." Like the previous administration, the Obama Administration claims the power to militarily detain members of the Taliban or Al Qaeda, regardless of whether such persons were captured away from the battlefield in Afghanistan.
Others discuss issues concerning concept definition and data building, including varied definitions of armed conflict, the definitional problems in building a database on hostage-barricade terrorism and abductions, and the influence of temporal considerations in finding definitional clarity in the development of conflict prevention indicators.
Given its subject matter, the volume turns the editorial vice of not insisting on definitional and analytical congruity across the chapters into the virtue of allowing the reader to encounter a compelling range of "voices."
The AICPA Investment Companies Expert Panel developed a revised illustrative report on internal control required by the Securities and Exchange Commission under Form N-SAR that incorporates the definitional changes to material weakness and deficiency as described in Public Company Accounting Oversight Board Auditing Standard No.
The sources of the development are certain requirements on definition that Dancy considers to be at work in the 'Socratic' dialogues, primarily those that are 'definitional' in character.
However, Socrates' epistemological principles of "foreknowledge"--knowledge must be derived from pre-existent knowledge--and "priority of definitions"--knowledge requires definitional form first--conflicts with the Socratic dictum to discover, for if there were no pre-existent knowledge to start with except for definitional knowledge, then we could not discover anything, since we already know the object of inquiry.
The report provides essential historical commentary and analysis, as well as the definitional and conceptual frameworks that guide its conclusions, and which are exemplary reference points for anybody working in the human rights arena.
In the case of RTAs, they are seen as the creation of 'market officials' whose task it is to provide a 'cognitive guidebook to reality', in the form of (supranational) regional law, replete with definitional and normative notions, so that cross-cultural market participants' outlooks and expectations are aligned--'cognitive standardization'.