Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Clearly defined; explicitly precise: synonym: explicit.
  • adjective Forthright and unambiguous.
  • adjective Clearly developed or firmly decided.
  • adjective Readily distinguished or certain.
  • adjective Grammar Limiting or particularizing.
  • adjective Of a fixed number usually less than 20, as certain floral organs, especially stamens.
  • adjective Cymose; determinate.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Having fixed limits; bounded with precision; determinate: as, definite dimensions; definite measure.
  • Expressly or precisely prescribed, fixed, or established.
  • Having clear limits in signification; determinate; certain precise: as, a definite word, term, or expression.
  • Fixed; determinate; exact.
  • In grammar, defining; limiting: applied to the article the and its correspondents in other languages.
  • In botany: Of a constant number, not exceeding twenty: as, stamens definite.
  • Limited in development: as, a definite inflorescence. See centrifugal inflorescence, under centrifugal.
  • noun A thing defined.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Having certain or distinct; determinate in extent or greatness; limited; fixed
  • adjective Having certain limits in signification; determinate; certain; precise; fixed; exact; clear.
  • adjective obsolete Determined; resolved.
  • adjective Serving to define or restrict; limiting; determining.
  • adjective (Gram.) the article the, which is used to designate a particular person or thing, or a particular class of persons or things; -- also called a definitive. See Definitive, n.
  • adjective (Bot.) See Determinate inflorescence, under Determinate.
  • adjective (Chem.) the essential law of chemical combination that every definite compound always contains the same elements in the same proportions by weight; and, if two or more elements form more than one compound with each other, the relative proportions of each are fixed. Compare Law of multiple proportions, under Multiple.
  • noun obsolete A thing defined or determined.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Having distinct limits.
  • adjective Free from any doubt.
  • adjective linguistics Designating an identified or immediately identifiable person or thing.
  • noun obsolete Anything that is defined or determined.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective precise; explicit and clearly defined
  • adjective known for certain

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English diffinite, defined, from Latin dēfīnītus, past participle of dēfīnīre, to define; see define.]

Examples

  • On March 12th Mr. Lippert communicated to us what he termed the definite proposals of the Government of the S.A.R., which were duly cabled to our friends in Europe (a copy of this cable has already been sent to you).

    The Transvaal from Within A Private Record of Public Affairs

  • But he said he too had been helped out by family connections with what he called a "definite leg-up internship" at his father's stockbrokers.

    WalesOnline - Home

  • Mr Cameron, however, openly acknowledged that he been helped out by family connections with what he called a "definite leg-up internship" at his father's stockbrokers.

    Evening Standard - Home

  • But he said he too had been helped out by family connections with what he called a "definite leg-up internship" at his father's stockbrokers.

    Evening Standard - Home

  • I have no certain -- "definite" thing to write my lord -- Nero.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • Island McGill was only so large, and the land could support but a certain definite proportion of those that dwelt upon it.

    THE SEA FARMER

  • Hers is a certain definite organism, somewhat different from all other female organisms.

    The Kempton-Wace Letters

  • Augustine undermines the question by pointing out that God did not bring creation into being at a certain definite moment in time, because time did not exist prior to creation.

    Augustine on Creation

  • Complaints to local police resulted in definite stonewalling, so a complaint to county HQ brought an initial assesment by an inspector.

    A Sign Of The Times. « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

  • As Mr. Finck has said, "Not till Dante's 'Vita Nuova' appeared was the gospel of modern love — the romantic adoration of a maiden by a youth — revealed for the first time in definite language."

    The Kempton-Wace Letters

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