(Def"i*nite), n. A thing defined or determined. [Obs.]
(Def"i*nite*ly), adv. In a definite manner; with precision; precisely; determinately.
(Def"i*nite*ness), n. The state of being definite; determinateness; precision; certainty.
(Def`i*ni"tion) n. [L. definitio: cf. F. définition.]
1. The act of defining; determination of the limits; as, a telescope accurate in definition.
2. Act of ascertaining and explaining the signification; a description of a thing by its properties; an explanation
of the meaning of a word or term; as, the definition of "circle;" the definition of "wit;" an exact definition; a
Definition being nothing but making another understand by words what the term defined stands for.Locke.
3. Description; sort. [R.] "A new creature of another definition." Jer. Taylor.
4. (Logic) An exact enunciation of the constituents which make up the logical essence.
5. (Opt.) Distinctness or clearness, as of an image formed by an optical instrument; precision in detail.
Syn. Definition, Explanation, Description. A definition is designed to settle a thing in its compass
and extent; an explanation is intended to remove some obscurity or misunderstanding, and is therefore
more extended and minute; a description enters into striking particulars with a view to interest or impress
by graphic effect. It is not therefore true, though often said, that description is only an extended definition.
"Logicians distinguish definitions into essential and accidental. An essential definition states what
are regarded as the constituent parts of the essence of that which is to be defined; and an accidental
definition lays down what are regarded as circumstances belonging to it, viz., properties or accidents,
such as causes, effects, etc." Whately.
(Def`i*ni"tion*al) a. Relating to definition; of the nature of a definition; employed in defining.
(De*fin"i*tive) a. [L. definitivus: cf. F. définitif.]
1. Determinate; positive; final; conclusive; unconditional; express.
A strict and definitive truth.Sir T. Browne.
Some definitive . . . scheme of reconciliation.Prescott.
2. Limiting; determining; as, a definitive word.
3. Determined; resolved. [Obs.] Shak.
(De*fin"i*tive), n. (Gram.) A word used to define or limit the extent of the signification of a
common noun, such as the definite article, and some pronouns.