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Define   /dɪfˈaɪn/   Listen
Define

verb
(past & past part. defined; pres. part. defining)
1.
Determine the essential quality of.  Synonyms: delimit, delimitate, delineate, specify.
2.
Give a definition for the meaning of a word.
3.
Determine the nature of.
4.
Show the form or outline of.  Synonym: delineate.  "The camera could define the smallest object"
5.
Decide upon or fix definitely.  Synonyms: determine, fix, limit, set, specify.  "Specify the parameters"



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"Define" Quotes from Famous Books



... I crave pardon, I had lost my thoughts. Why humour, as 'tis 'ens', we thus define it, To be a quality of air, or water, And in itself holds these two properties, Moisture and fluxure: as, for demonstration, Pour water on this floor, 'twill wet and run: Likewise the air, forced through a horn or trumpet, Flows instantly away, and leaves behind ...
— Every Man Out Of His Humour • Ben Jonson

... wooden sword and cap and bells, and whose plain, honest features show that he has only executed such droll antics for the sake of his bread and butter. Schwalbe is merely ridiculous, but Adam is comic; the difference, to define it more clearly, consists in this; every caricature, because it diverges from laws which are eternal and necessary, without standing in eternity as a peculiarly constructed whole, has a tinge of incongruity, ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. IX - Friedrich Hebbel and Otto Ludwig • Various

... devotion to the democratic party. But, gentlemen, in saying that I am a Democrat, brings forward the great existing issues between the two leading parties of the country. I might go into a long discussion of the principles of those two parties, but in a nutshell I can define the differences of such vital import to the voters of this land. The principles of the Democratic party represent—er, well, they represent the principles which that great party stands for, and the principles of the Republican party, ahem! Yes, ...
— Shawn of Skarrow • James Tandy Ellis

... internal calamities, more formidable than war itself, menaced Bengal. The authors of the Regulating Act of 1773 had established two independent powers, the one judicial, the other political; and, with a carelessness scandalously common in English legislation, had omitted to define the limits of either. The judges took advantage of the indistinctness, and attempted to draw to themselves supreme authority, not only within Calcutta, but through the whole of the great territory subject to the presidency of Fort William. There are few Englishmen who will not admit that the English ...
— Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... strongest and cunningest lawyers in the Commonwealth. They drove the attorney for the State from corner to corner, taking his reasons from under him, and reducing him to silence, but not to submission. When hard-pressed, he revenged himself, in his turn, on the judge, by requiring the court to define what salvage was. The court, thus pushed, tried words, and said everything it could think of to fill the time, supposing cases, and describing duties of insurers, captains, pilots, and miscellaneous sea-officers that are or might be,—like a schoolmaster puzzled ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 11, September, 1858 • Various

... very few nights in the year when these immense instruments can be used to advantage on the planets, whilst a smaller instrument might define well three or four nights out of every six. It is on record that the user of Lord Rosse's great reflector stated that there were only about three nights in the year when its best definition could be obtained; and its use has produced very meagre results, ...
— To Mars via The Moon - An Astronomical Story • Mark Wicks

... jet-black, frizzy hair and very remarkable eyes, the finest of their type I have ever seen. She possessed beauty of a sort, of course, but without being exactly vulgar, it was what I may term ostentatious; and as I entered the library I found myself at a loss to define her exact place in ...
— The Hand Of Fu-Manchu - Being a New Phase in the Activities of Fu-Manchu, the Devil Doctor • Sax Rohmer

... plane-trees, with foliage now blighted yellow and bright green in February, define the embouchures of the three grim black ravines radiating from the upper heights, and broadening out as they approach the bay. The rounded grassy hill-heads setting off the horizontal curtains of dry stone, 'horticultural fortifications' which guard the slopes, and which rise ...
— To the Gold Coast for Gold - A Personal Narrative in Two Volumes.—Vol. I • Richard F. Burton

... and rapidity; and this rapidity of molecular discharge is what we call conduction. Conduction then is always preceded by atomic induction; and when, through some quality of the body which Faraday does not define, the atomic discharge is rendered slow and difficult, conduction ...
— Faraday As A Discoverer • John Tyndall

... to the inevitable; I cannot drug myself with phrases which evaporate as soon as they are exposed to a serious test. You profess to give me the only motives of conduct; and I know that at the first demand to define them honestly—to say precisely what you believe and why you believe it—you will be forced to withdraw, and explain and evade, and at last retire to the safe refuge of a mystery, which might as well be admitted at starting. As I have read and thought, I have been more and more impressed with ...
— Social Rights and Duties, Volume I (of 2) - Addresses to Ethical Societies • Sir Leslie Stephen

... Escott was always slow, and always so governed and coloured by the sentiment of the moment that his comprehension of things were always deformed or incomplete. In his mind the phenomenon of life was ever in nebulae, and though very often one thought would define itself, no group of thoughts, or part of a group, ever became clear, so there was no abiding principle, nothing that he might know and steer by. He was, of course, aware that the Brookes were not equal to him in rank, but he did not know, ...
— Spring Days • George Moore

... and devils,—urged with stimulants most powerful, though unreal,—their minds drugged, as it were, to preternatural excitement,— it is very difficult to judge of them. High merit, without doubt, there was in some of their number; but one may beg to be spared the attempt to measure or define it. To estimate a virtue involved in conditions so anomalous demands, perhaps, ...
— The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century • Francis Parkman

... our way a little further on this matter, we will define what we mean by the power of judgment; and then try to ascertain among what kind of studies the improvement of it ...
— The Idea of a University Defined and Illustrated: In Nine - Discourses Delivered to the Catholics of Dublin • John Henry Newman

... of his walks he went up to the window and stood looking out. The gulch always impressed him; it had a solemn melancholy majesty and desolate grandeur that is not easy to define in words: an icy splendour by moonlight, and a horrible gloomy beauty towards the fall of the day. It was at this time that Talbot stood looking out at its rugged edges and the snow-drifts turning grey as the sunlight left them, and listening with a sort of mechanical tension ...
— A Girl of the Klondike • Victoria Cross

... by my mother's massive hair, and pencilled brows. It was a timid, girlish face, with reverent eyes, and ripe, tremulous lips,—weak lips, as I remember them. From babyhood, I felt a want in the face. I had, of course, no capacity to define it; it was represented to me only by the fact that it ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 106, August, 1866 • Various

... already, in his "Some Free Thoughts upon the Present State of Affairs," attempted to re-define the distinctions of Whig and Tory. The latter, he urged, was of that party which pronounced for the principles of loyalty to the Church and the preservation of the Protestant succession in the House of Hanover. Swift felt that the majority of the people at ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, Vol. X. • Jonathan Swift

... this step, is met in two others. Professor Haeckel himself doubts whether the Fungi ought not to be removed into his Protista. If they are not, indeed, the Myxomycetes render the drawing of every line of demarcation between Protista and Plants impossible. But if they are, who is to define the Fungi from the Algae? Yet the sea-weeds are surely, in every respect, plants. On the other hand, Professor Haeckel puts the sponges among the Coelenterata (or polypes and corals), with the double inconvenience, as it appears to me, of separating the sponges from their immediate kindred, ...
— Critiques and Addresses • Thomas Henry Huxley

... "The purpose is to define my position in the matter; and I prefer that Bessy should do this with your help rather than ...
— The Fruit of the Tree • Edith Wharton

... the autumn of 1916 Mr. Wilson declared that "the people of the United States want to be sure what they are fighting about, and they want to be sure that they are fighting for the things that will bring the world justice and peace. Define the elements; let us know that we are not fighting for the prevalence of this nation over that, for the ambitions of this group of nations as compared with the ambitions of that group of nations, let us once be convinced that we are called in to ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... radiation injuries is somewhat difficult. Probably the two most direct designations are radiation injury and gamma ray injury. The former term is not entirely suitable in that it does not define the type of radiation as ionizing and allows possible confusion with other types of radiation (e.g., infra-red). The objection to the latter term is that it limits the ionizing radiation to gamma rays, which were undoubtedly the most important; but the possible contribution ...
— The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki • United States

... first place, it educates by Written Law. To be sure, laws are passed to define and protect human rights, in person, purse, family, or good name. People sometimes think that is all they do. But consider. These laws on the Statute Book are the Nation's deliberate convictions, so far, on right and wrong, a real code of morals, the decisions of the national conscience ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol IV, Issue VI, December 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... this woman may be difficult to define, but a glance at her society reveals, at least partly, its secret. Nowhere has the glamour of a great name more influence than at Paris. A few celebrities form a nucleus of sufficient attraction ...
— The Women of the French Salons • Amelia Gere Mason

... of assigning any definitional value to a "primordial germ" is due to the vagueness of idea attached to it in the popular mind, as well as to the diversified theories and speculations of the scientists concerning the origin of life. We can only define it as a "vital unit," as the chemist defines his smallest conceivable quantity—his "primary least"—of an element, as a ...
— Life: Its True Genesis • R. W. Wright

... temperature, the proportion of clear to cloudy skies, calms, the direction, strength and the duration of winds, do not wholly comprehend distinctive climatic features. There are other conditions of more or less character and note, some hard to define, yet ever present. Here the air is warm and soothing, seldom is it crisp and never really bracing. Hot dry winds are unknown, but in the height of the wet season—which coincides with the dry season of the Southern States—the moisture-laden air may be likened to the vapour of a steam ...
— The Confessions of a Beachcomber • E J Banfield

... interests, embracing as they do all that is not merely animal in a human life, are rightly understood, or justly provided for in the existing social order. Nor is it any more true that the constitutional differences of the sexes which should determine, define, and limit the resulting differences of office and duty, are adequately comprehended and ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume I • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... now, by Jove, she is a full-blown woman, and I catch myself standing in awe of her and calling her Dorothy. Yes, damme, standing in awe of my own child! That will never do, you know. What has wrought the change? And, after all, what is the change? I can't define it, but there has ...
— Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall • Charles Major

... further instructions. It now became apparent to everybody connected with the farce that if it was kept up further, Mr. Lincoln would be put in the attitude of suing the Confederacy for a peace. Lincoln determined to end the situation and at the same time define his position before the world, clearly. He dispatched John Hay to ...
— Slavery and Four Years of War, Vol. 1-2 • Joseph Warren Keifer

... the last year the writer has been doing what he can—and a number of other writers have been doing what they can—to bring about a united declaration of all the Atlantic Allies in favour of a League of Nations, and to define the necessary nature of that League. He has, in the course of this work, written a series of articles upon the League and upon the necessary sacrifices of preconceptions that the idea involves in the London press. He has also been trying to clear ...
— In The Fourth Year - Anticipations of a World Peace (1918) • H.G. Wells

... part thereof, and shal and may minister vnto them, and euery of them good iustice in all their causes, plaints, quarrels, and disorders between them moued, and to be moued, and assemble, deliberate, consult, conclude, define, determine, and make such actes, and ordinances, as he so commended with his Assistants shall thinke good and meete for the good order, gouernment and rule of the said Marchants, and all other Englishmen repairing to this our saide empire or dominions, or any part thereof, and to set and leuie ...
— The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, • Richard Hakluyt

... term; it may mean much or nothing. Every human being—unless dwelling alone in a cave—is a member of society of one sort or another, and therefore it is well to define what is to be understood by the term "Best Society" and why its authority is recognized. Best Society abroad is always the oldest aristocracy; composed not so much of persons of title, which may ...
— Etiquette • Emily Post

... the Persian walnut is difficult to define. To again quote Dr. Waite, "Juglans regia, as we know it in the east and north, frequently succeeds over long intervals of time under conditions of climate, soil, elevation, and general environment suitable for the peach. It is perhaps a trifle more subject to injury by radical ...
— Northern Nut Growers Association Report of the Proceedings at the Fifteenth Annual Meeting • Various

... that the present situation is not satisfactory, and cannot be put on a permanently satisfactory basis unless we put an end to the period of groping and declare for a fixed policy, a policy which shall clearly define and punish wrong-doing, which shall put a stop to the iniquities done in the name of business, but which shall do strict equity to business. We demand that big business give the people a square deal; in return we must insist that when any one engaged in ...
— Theodore Roosevelt - An Autobiography by Theodore Roosevelt • Theodore Roosevelt

... need to bid her hold her tongue. She regarded the secret with dread and horror, and a sense of something amiss which she could not quite define, though she told herself she was only acting in obedience to her husband, and indeed her judgment ...
— Unknown to History - A Story of the Captivity of Mary of Scotland • Charlotte M. Yonge

... in the centre of the torrid zone; not in one of the West India Islands, but on a vast continent where everything is gigantic,—mountains, rivers, and the mass of vegetation. If he feel strongly the beauty of picturesque scenery he can scarcely define the various emotions which crowd upon his mind; he can scarcely distinguish what most excites his admiration, the deep silence of those solitudes, the individual beauty and contrast of forms, or that vigour ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America • Alexander von Humboldt

... They were content to leave things as they were, to gain nothing if they lost nothing, to renounce all premature striving for reform if they could succeed in avoiding a doctrine which they were as unwilling to discuss as to define. The words of Ginoulhiac to Strossmayer, "You terrify me with your pitiless logic," expressed the inmost feelings of many who gloried in the grace and the splendour of his eloquence. No words were too strong for them if they prevented the necessity of action, and spared the bishops the distressing ...
— The History of Freedom • John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

... there was something much finer in her than the image he had carried with him, that there was a charm of speech and voice and expression that made her different from any other woman he had ever seen. Who can define this charm, this difference? Some women have it for the universal man—they are desired of every man who sees them; their way to marriage (which is commonly unfortunate) is over a causeway of prostrate forms, if not of cracked hearts; a few such ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... and for the fashionable half-world associations into which it introduced him rather than from any present interest in the lady. He stood watching Susan with a peculiar expression—one he might perhaps have found it hard to define himself. He bent over her and carelessly brushed her ear with his lips. "How did your royal highness make out?" ...
— Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise • David Graham Phillips

... hard to define the expression of rapidly changing emotions which passed over the sick man's face, which made his breast heave, and his great heart quiver and tremble painfully. Displeasure and pity, sympathy and contempt, anger and grief, ...
— The Most Interesting Stories of All Nations • Julian Hawthorne

... the philosopher, a hope of the reformer, or a prayer of the saint which does not eventually take form in a story. The novel has wings, while logic plods with a staff. In the hour it takes the metaphysician to define his premises, the story-teller has reached the goal—and after ...
— Pushing to the Front • Orison Swett Marden

... books still define an island as a body of land surrounded by water, it is," rejoined the man, ...
— The Girl Aviators' Sky Cruise • Margaret Burnham

... with another, but ever with a vague dread of being recalled to prison; not that prison, but one which was in itself a dim idea—not of a place, but of a care and sorrow: of something oppressive and always present, and yet impossible to define. At last, the morning dawned, and there was the jail itself—cold, black, and dreary, and very real indeed. He was left to himself, however, and there was comfort in that. He had liberty to walk in a small paved yard at ...
— The Old Curiosity Shop • Charles Dickens

... a manifesto which should define the cause of offence, declare a friendly disposition towards the Afghan people and reluctance to interfere in their internal affairs, and should fix the whole responsibility of what might ...
— Forty-one years in India - From Subaltern To Commander-In-Chief • Frederick Sleigh Roberts

... on the stairs, and when she came in view his dim eyes were startled by the transformation in her. She had put on the plainest of her gowns, and she wore no jewels. By other ways which he felt but could not analyze she expressed some portentous shift of mood. He could not define why, but her step scared him, so measured and ...
— Money Magic - A Novel • Hamlin Garland

... journalism covers barely fifteen years, the writer would not be bold enough to attempt to define a "story" further than to state that it is something in which an editor hopes his public will be interested at the time the paper or magazine appears upon the newsstands. To-morrow morning or next month the same readers might ...
— If You Don't Write Fiction • Charles Phelps Cushing

... define. That conception which regards beauty as the power to awaken merely agreeable emotions is limited and in so far false. Another source of misunderstanding is the confusion of beauty with moralistic values. It is said that beauty is the Ideal; ...
— The Enjoyment of Art • Carleton Noyes

... growth of a mere hair, for instance, can we, unaided by the revelation of God's Word, climb by reason—that reason so blind to things within its natural realm—into the realm of heavenly mysteries and comprehend and define God in ...
— Epistle Sermons, Vol. III - Trinity Sunday to Advent • Martin Luther

... That modern thing, the lounger, was then unknown; that ancient thing, the vagrant, was alone understood. A suspicious appearance, that indescribable something which all understand and none can define, was sufficient reason that society should take a man by the collar. "Where do you live? How do you get your living?" And if he could not answer, harsh penalties awaited him. Iron and fire were in the code: the law practised ...
— The Man Who Laughs • Victor Hugo

... all sorts of pleasures, but only in those that in themselves are good and honest. There is a party among them who place happiness in bare virtue; others think that our natures are conducted by virtue to happiness, as that which is the chief good of man. They define virtue thus—that it is a living according to Nature, and think that we are made by God for that end; they believe that a man then follows the dictates of Nature when he pursues or avoids things according to ...
— Utopia • Thomas More

... began to feel something in the air. He couldn't recognise it, nor define it, but it was imperative—some kind of urge. There was the sense of emergency, perfectly clear; so much that he turned and looked about, listening for a call. He thought of Carlin; could she be in any need? He was glad she wasn't here; this was a good ...
— Son of Power • Will Levington Comfort and Zamin Ki Dost

... "Define the word 'home,'" she was once asked when very young. "Where Mother is," was her ready reply. "Where Love is," would be her later and more ...
— Banked Fires • E. W. (Ethel Winifred) Savi

... and, as it were, on the same plane of being. Locke, like a good Protestant, felt the right of the conscious inner man to assert himself: and when he looked into his own mind, he found nothing to define this mind except the ideas which occupied it. The existence which he was so sure of in himself was therefore the existence of ...
— Some Turns of Thought in Modern Philosophy - Five Essays • George Santayana

... on the ocean, And our little sons and heirs From a natural emotion Wish the luminary theirs; Then a feeling hard to stifle, Even harder to define, Makes me feel I 'd give a trifle For the days ...
— Green Bays. Verses and Parodies • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... Wharne's indignant protest against people who "did not know their daily bread," and his insistence upon the two things for human creatures to do: the receiving and the giving; the taking from God, in the sunshine, to grow; the ripening into generous uses for others,—was it all one, and did it define the whole, and was it identical, in the broadest and highest, with that sublime double command whereon "hang ...
— A Summer in Leslie Goldthwaite's Life. • Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney

... Comte de Soissons, Robert II. Comte de Flandre, and Enguerrand I. Sire de Coucy, the three loftiest and lordliest personages then of this part of the world, to a conference at his chateau in Anizy, there to fix and define where the authority of the Sire de Coucy ended and that of the bishops of Laon began. In 1210 the burgh of Anizy became a free commune and elected its first mayor. The next year its seigneur, Robert ...
— France and the Republic - A Record of Things Seen and Learned in the French Provinces - During the 'Centennial' Year 1889 • William Henry Hurlbert

... contemporaries. We now come to a period of his life which is in some respects necessarily less interesting. We all have to pass through that painful era of self-consciousness which prefaces manhood, that time when we feel so deeply, and are so utterly unable to express to others, or even to define clearly to ourselves, what it is we do feel. The natural freedom of childhood is dead within us; the conventional freedom of riper years is struggling to birth, and its efforts are sometimes ludicrous to an unsympathetic observer. In Lewis Carroll's mental attitude during ...
— The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll • Stuart Dodgson Collingwood

... as I hear truth I am bathed by a beautiful element and am not conscious of any limits to my nature. The suggestions are thousandfold that I hear and see. The waters of the great deep have ingress and egress to the soul. But if I speak, I define, I confine and am less. When Socrates speaks, Lysis and Menexenus are afflicted by no shame that they do not speak. They also are good. He likewise defers to them, loves them, whilst he speaks. Because a true and natural man contains and is the same truth which an eloquent man articulates; ...
— Essays, First Series • Ralph Waldo Emerson

... over the left shoulder on the anniversary of Bealdin (the Gaelic for no other than Baal) to appease the spirits of the mists, the winds, the ravens, the eagles, and thus protect the crops and flocks. There is a thin boundary line as difficult to define as "to distinguish and divide a hair 'twixt south and southwest side," between true ...
— The Frontiersmen • Charles Egbert Craddock

... It is impossible to define exactly Jeremy's ultimate impression as the entertainment proceeded. Perhaps he had no ultimate impression. It cannot in reality have been a very wonderful Pantomime. Even at Drury Lane thirty years back there were many things that they did not ...
— Jeremy • Hugh Walpole

... known as thrombosis and embolism are so intimately associated with the diseases of blood vessels that it is convenient to define these terms ...
— Manual of Surgery - Volume First: General Surgery. Sixth Edition. • Alexis Thomson and Alexander Miles

... purgatory of my childhood. This was a bewildering, yet very delightful emotion fluttering about me like a faint summer wind, and filling my imagination with a thousand half-remembrances, which looked as vivid as sunshine, at a side-glance, but faded quite away whenever I attempted to grasp and define them. Of course, the explanation of the mystery was, that history, poetry, and fiction, books of travel, and the talk of tourists, had given me pretty accurate preconceptions of the common objects of English scenery, and these, being long ago vivified by a youthful fancy, had insensibly ...
— Our Old Home - A Series of English Sketches • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... characteristic. This name is given to the subjunctive when used in relative clauses to define or restrict an indefinite or general antecedent. So here it is not 'no one was found,' but 'no one willing to undertake this ...
— Ritchie's Fabulae Faciles - A First Latin Reader • John Kirtland, ed.

... a motive which even his own analytical mind could not define, the Secretary sought Lucia Catherwood. He admired her height, her strength and resolved beauty—knew that she was of a type as admirable as it was rare, and wondered once or twice why he did not love her instead of Helen Harley. Here was a woman with a mind akin to his own—bold, ...
— Before the Dawn - A Story of the Fall of Richmond • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... first define its domain, produce and collect its materials: before system, facts; before the age of art, the age of learning. The economic science, subject like every other to the law of time and the conditions of experience, before seeking to ascertain how things OUGHT TO TAKE PLACE in society, had to ...
— The Philosophy of Misery • Joseph-Pierre Proudhon

... she rode with the duke to the spot where Shaw had drawn his line in the road. She felt a thrill of something she could not define on discovering that the wet soil on the opposite side of the line was disfigured by a mass of fresh hoof-prints. She rejoiced to find that his vigil was incessant and worthy of the respect it imposed. The desire to visit the haunted house was growing more and ...
— Master Tales of Mystery, Volume 3 • Collected and Arranged by Francis J. Reynolds

... sat there waiting, he gradually became aware of a sound that stole upon the quiet, a soft, low sound, exactly what he could not define, nevertheless it greatly perturbed him. Therefore he rose, and approaching that part of the room whence it proceeded, he saw another door. And then, all at once, as he stood before this door, he knew what the sound was, and why it had so distressed him; ...
— The Amateur Gentleman • Jeffery Farnol et al

... while your men of science are thus vacillating, in the definition of the species of the only animal they have the opportunity of studying inside and out, between one and sixty-three; and disputing about the origin, in past ages, of what they cannot define in the present ones; and deciphering the filthy heraldries which record the relation of humanity to the ascidian and the crocodile, you have ceased utterly to distinguish between the two species of man, evermore separate by infinite ...
— Love's Meinie - Three Lectures on Greek and English Birds • John Ruskin

... child has no sense of time, and almost none of space, it reaches for the chandelier with the same confidence that it reaches for its mother's breast, and at first with almost the same expectation. Only very gradually does function define itself. To complete inexperience this is a coherent and undifferentiated world, in which, as someone has said of a school of philosophers, all facts are born free and equal. Those facts which belong together in the world have not yet been separated from those which happen ...
— Public Opinion • Walter Lippmann

... for rural places filed a demurrer against six of the seven trunks. He endeavored to define, picture, elucidate, set forth and describe a farm. His own words sounded strange in his ears. He had not realized how thoroughly urbsidized ...
— The Voice of the City • O. Henry

... in geography. The texts usually define a desert as a sandy waste, often a plain, that receives too little rain to support much vegetable or animal life. Pictures are given showing the character of the plants, and perhaps the appearance of such a region. Beyond that little is usually attempted. In the larger books the ...
— How To Study and Teaching How To Study • F. M. McMurry

... error to suppose that because a thing is vulgar therefore it is not refined; that is, subtle and hard to define. A drawing-room song of my youth which began "In the gloaming, O, my darling," was vulgar enough as a song; but the connection between human passion and the twilight is none the less an exquisite and even inscrutable thing. Or to take another obvious ...
— What's Wrong With The World • G.K. Chesterton

... define diphallic terata as individuals provided with two more or less well-formed and more or less separate penises, who may show also other malformations of the adjoining parts and organs (e.g., septate bladder), but who are not possessed of more than two lower limbs. This definition excludes, ...
— Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine • George M. Gould

... you would kindly define what you mean by heavy talk? As for you, Frederic, I think you had an interview with ...
— The Son of Monte Cristo • Jules Lermina

... righteousness, Gaudama the Buddha also stopped, because here his standing-ground failed. It is not true, that which has been imputed to the Buddha by those who have never tried to understand him—that he denied some power greater than ourselves; that because he never tried to define the indefinite, to confine the infinite within the corners of a phrase, therefore his creed was materialistic. We do not say of Newton that he was an atheist because when he taught us of gravity he did not go further and define to us in equations Him who made gravity; ...
— The Soul of a People • H. Fielding

... The incidents here related define the views and feelings of General Lee as accurately as they could be set forth in a whole volume. The defeated commander, who could open his poor purse to "one of our old soldiers who fought on the other side," and pray daily during the bitterest of conflicts for his enemies, must ...
— A Life of Gen. Robert E. Lee • John Esten Cooke

... Continually it presented itself to her mind, and always with the same call for escape, the same foreboding of some danger against which she must provide. Always, too, it seemed to hinge upon Tom Verity's visit, and something in her relation to the young man himself which she could not define. She revolved the question now—Theresa being safely packed off to her tea-party—in shade of the ilex trees, with solemn ...
— Deadham Hard • Lucas Malet

... the question was already taking shape—were we to follow it up or revert to last night's decision and strike with what weapons we had? It was a pressing question, too, the last of many—was there to be no end to the emergencies of this crowded day?—pressing for reasons I could not define, while convinced that we must be ready with ...
— Riddle of the Sands • Erskine Childers

... increasing class who are neither white nor black, called mulattoes? We have not been informed to what country they belong; but the point ought to be settled before any classification be made. Colonizationists must define, moreover, the exact shade of color which is to retain or banish individuals; for every candid mind will admit, that it would be as unnatural to send white blood to Africa, as to keep black blood in America. 'If the color of the skin is to give construction to our constitution and laws, ...
— Thoughts on African Colonization • William Lloyd Garrison

... true, and gave too much blame or credit—whichever you will—to Bess; but Richard made no objections, and permitted Bess to define her position as best ...
— The President - A novel • Alfred Henry Lewis

... say, it was with no corresponding jubilation of spirits that I slowly realised the momentous fact. Indeed, as I dressed, a dull disagreeable feeling that I could not define grew within me—something like a physical bruise. Harold was evidently feeling it too, for after repeating "She's going to-day!" in a tone more befitting the Litany, he looked hard in my face for direction as to how the situation was to be taken. But I crossly bade him look ...
— The Golden Age • Kenneth Grahame

... wristbands and fronts. This is a brilliant specimen of the helps to memory which the grinder affords, as splendid in its arrangement as the topographical methods of calling to mind the course of the large arteries, which define the abdominal aorta as Cheapside, its two common iliac branches, as Newgate-street and St. Paul's Churchyard, and the medio sacralis given off between them, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete • Various

... to define Modesty, I would call it The Reflection of an Ingenuous Mind, either when a Man has committed an Action for which he censures himself, or fancies that he is exposed to the ...
— The Spectator, Volume 2. • Addison and Steele

... with some extravagant tom-foolery, and plenty of vulgarity. But its originality, its irrepressible drolleries, its substantial human nature, and its intense vitality, place it quite in a class by itself. We can no more group it, or test it by any canon of criticism, than we could group or define Pantagruel or Faust. There are some works of genius which seem to transcend all criticism, of which the very extravagances and incoherences increase the charm. And Pickwick ought to live with ...
— Studies in Early Victorian Literature • Frederic Harrison

... is the factor which multiplied by the mass gives the resulting force. To define and express the significance of this unknown factor—the spirit of an ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... unpremeditatedly funny collocation of title and author, the lettering read as follows: "Who am I? Jones." Evidently it had puzzled Jones to know who he was, or he would n't have written a book about it, and come to so lame and impotent a conclusion. It certainly puzzled me at that instant to define my identity. "Thirty years ago," I reflected, "I was nothing; fifty years hence I shall be nothing again, humanly speaking. In the mean time, who am I, sure-enough?" It had never before occurred to me what an indefinite article I was. ...
— Miss Mehetabel's Son • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... treatment than they had given, and he suggested Johnston's conference with the best Southern men, so that he might be ready to act without delay if modifications should be required in the final convention. "It may be," he said, "that the lawyers will want us to define more minutely what is meant by the guaranty of rights of person and property. It may be construed into a compact for us to undo the past as to the rights of slaves, and 'leases of plantations' on the Mississippi, of 'vacant and abandoned' plantations. I ...
— Military Reminiscences of the Civil War V2 • Jacob Dolson Cox

... had been digging for roots; and, later on, they came upon the fresh track of eight or ten horses. But these were soon scattered, and the explorers only found that the general direction of the trails was up into the mountains which define the boundary between Montana and Idaho. Skirting the base of these mountains (the Bitter Root), the party endeavored to find a plain trail, or Indian road, leading up to a practicable pass. Travelling in a southwesterly direction along the main stream, they entered a valley which ...
— First Across the Continent • Noah Brooks

... situation from her mind, could not free herself from the atmosphere of tragedy and mystery that shrouded the fate of the captured one. Her reason told her it was ten chances to one that the rebels would promptly shoot him as a dangerous enemy. Still, an uncanny something that she could not define would not allow her to believe that he was dead: rather was she inclined to think that he was that very moment alive, but in imminent peril of his life and thinking of her. So strongly at times did this strange fancy ...
— The Rising of the Red Man - A Romance of the Louis Riel Rebellion • John Mackie

... able to give it sweetness or softness, although he was a diligent and finished painter. This may have happened because he was always making trial of certain reflections, half-lights, and shadows, with which, cutting the relief in the middle, he contrived to define light and shade very abruptly, in such a way that the colouring of all his works was always crude and unpleasant, although he strove laboriously with his art to imitate Nature. By the hand of this master are numerous works in many places in Friuli, particularly ...
— Lives of the Most Eminent Painters Sculptors and Architects - Vol. 05 ( of 10) Andrea da Fiesole to Lorenzo Lotto • Giorgio Vasari

... in stead of yellow earth, and more afraid, then hurt, are forced to abandon their enterprise, and seeke shelter of the next house they could get into. Whether this proceeded from a naturall accident, or a working of the diuell, I will not vndertake to define. It may bee, God giueth him such power ouer those, who begin a matter, vpon couetousnesse to gaine by extraordinarie meanes, and prosecute it with a wrong, in entring and breaking another mans land, without his leaue, ...
— The Survey of Cornwall • Richard Carew

... between Bogota and the mining district in the neighbourhood of Mariquita. As he ascended the slopes of the mountain-range, and reached the first step of the table-land, he was struck beyond expression with the noble view of the valley of the Magdalena behind him, so vast that he failed in attempting to define the point at which the course of the river blended with the horizon. Like all travellers in the district, he noted the remarkable changes of climate and vegetation, as he rose from the burning plains towards the fresh breath of the mountains. From an atmosphere as hot as that of an oven he ...
— Lives of the Engineers - The Locomotive. George and Robert Stephenson • Samuel Smiles

... author, or that he is deceiving himself and means the author's general temperament—not the author's verbal style, but a peculiar quality which runs through all the matter written by the author. Just as one may like a man for something which is always coming out of him, which one cannot define, and which is of the very essence ...
— Literary Taste: How to Form It • Arnold Bennett

... rewarder of good deeds, is continually bringing to pass: would that she could always do so! She is a kind of sublime agent of the powerful Deity, dwelling, according to common belief, above the human circle; or, as others define her, she is a substantial protection, presiding over the particular destinies of individuals, and feigned by the ancient theologians to be the daughter of Justice, looking down from a certain inscrutable eternity upon ...
— The Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus • Ammianus Marcellinus

... she seemed to have been gradually, inevitably approaching, dragging reluctant feet towards something horrible, unendurable. She could not look this veiled horror in the face. She never attempted to define it to herself. Her one object was to get away ...
— Prisoners - Fast Bound In Misery And Iron • Mary Cholmondeley

... nature and with matter; and shall not pretend—as some would have it to do just now—to go out of its own sphere to meddle with moral and spiritual matters. But, for practical purposes, we may define the natural history of the causes which have made it what it is, and filled it with the natural objects which it holds. And if any one would know how to study the natural history of any given spot as the history of the causes which have made it what it is, and filled it with ...
— Scientific Essays and Lectures • Charles Kingsley

... the Parallel of fouretie three degrees in Latitude, it was presently counted a place very hardly and vneasily to be inhabited for the great colde. And how then can such men define vpon other Regions very farre without that Parallel, whether they were inhabited or not, seeing that in so neere a place they so grossely mistooke the matter, and others their followers being contented with the inuentions of the olde Authors, ...
— The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, and Discoveries of The English Nation, Vol. XII., America, Part I. • Richard Hakluyt

... for I like to be on the safe side of things and I had not the remotest idea what the position and functions of an adjutant are. I know now that he is something like an archdeacon, a man of enormous importance whose duties it is a little difficult to define exactly. He expected me. With the help of the sergeant-major he had found a servant for me and assigned a hut ...
— A Padre in France • George A. Birmingham

... purpose of this treatise we may, perhaps, define it as the power to see what is hidden from ordinary physical sight. It will be as well to premise that it is very frequently (though by no means always) accompanied by what is called clairaudience, or the power to hear what would be inaudible to ...
— Clairvoyance • Charles Webster Leadbeater

... in the light of his own infirmity, to which he still yields from time to time, as he has always done. He professes to find there a law which would account for a great many facts of human experience otherwise inexplicable. He does not attempt to define this occult preservative principle, but he offers himself and the Social Union as proofs of its existence; and he argues that if they can only last long enough they will finally be established in a virtue and prosperity as great as those of Mr. ...
— Annie Kilburn - A Novel • W. D. Howells

... rosy face: in spite of former long sea-wear, not blowzed, but delicately tinted; he snuffled when he talked in a way which I could only define as classical; and it was admitted that his nosegay vest and blue coat, as far as tender refinement went, far surpassed anything ...
— Vesty of the Basins • Sarah P. McLean Greene

... subject to calamities of nature; but God cannot be expected to suspend the operation of general laws to spare the virtuous. Objectors who would construct a system in which all virtuous men are blest, are challenged to define the virtuous and to specify what is meant by blessings. Honors, nobility, fame, superior talents, often merely serve to make their possessors unhappy. Virtue alone is happiness, and virtue consists in a recognition of the laws of Providence, and ...
— The Rape of the Lock and Other Poems • Alexander Pope

... Henry of Monmouth's future character and conduct were, under Providence, affected by the circumstances of his family and its several members, it would perhaps be less philosophical than presumptuous to define. But, that those circumstances were (p. 003) peculiarly calculated to influence him in his principles and views and actions, will be acknowledged by every one who becomes acquainted with them, and who is at the same time in the least ...
— Henry of Monmouth, Volume 1 - Memoirs of Henry the Fifth • J. Endell Tyler

... Who, then, dares define Soul as something within man? As well might you declare some old castle to be peopled with demons or angels, though never a light or form was discerned therein, and not a spectre had ever been seen going in ...
— Unity of Good • Mary Baker Eddy

... now rapidly disappearing in its turn. In spite of his exceeding mental perturbation, Simpson struggled hard to detect its nature, and define it, but the ascertaining of an elusive scent, not recognized subconsciously and at once, is a very subtle operation of the mind. And he failed. It was gone before he could properly seize or name it. Approximate description, even, seems to have been difficult, for it was unlike any smell he ...
— The Wendigo • Algernon Blackwood

... Standard Employment Contract, however, is short, explicit, and iron-clad. The employer can discharge the employee for any one of a number of offenses, including insubordination; which, as a matter of fact, the employer himself is allowed to define. On the other hand, the employee cannot quit except for some such fantastic reason as the non-tendering—not non-payment, mind you, ...
— The Galaxy Primes • Edward Elmer Smith

... about—I mean, that the destruction of them by death is so entire as to remove even the least suspicion of any sense remaining. When, therefore, this point is once well grounded and established, we must correctly define what the term to want means; that there may be no mistake in the word. To want, then, signifies this: to be without that which you would be glad to have; for inclination for a thing is implied in the word want, excepting when we use the word ...
— Cicero's Tusculan Disputations - Also, Treatises On The Nature Of The Gods, And On The Commonwealth • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... suffrage, of course, is intelligence and virtue; but as we can not define those, as we can not draw the line that shall mark the amount of intelligence and virtue that any individual possesses, we come as near as we can to it by imperfect conditions. It certainly will not be contended that the feminine part of ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... where all things are rounded and full. It is only in modelling that we really draw,—in other words, that we detach things from their surroundings and put them in their due relief. The proper distribution of light can alone reveal the whole body. For this reason I do not sharply define lineaments; I diffuse about their outline a haze of warm, light half-tints, so that I defy any one to place a finger on the exact spot where the parts join the groundwork of the picture. If seen near by this sort ...
— The Hidden Masterpiece • Honore de Balzac

... the hypothesis that these races also were originally connected, although, if there was such a connection, it certainly must have been anterior to all traceable development of culture and language. We cannot define more exactly their original locality, nor are we able to accompany the individual stocks in the course of their migrations. The European branch probably lingered in Persia and Armenia for some considerable time after the departure of the Indians; for, ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... tones of a little child, and her eyes were very bright, with the tears, quivering on her long silken lashes. Leaning back in his chair, with his hands clasped behind his head, a position he always assumed when puzzled and perplexed, the rector looked at her a moment before he spoke. He could not define to himself the nature of the interest he took in Lucy Harcourt. He admired her greatly, and the self-denials and generous exertions she had made to be of use to him since Anna went away had touched a tender chord and made her ...
— The Rector of St. Mark's • Mary J. Holmes

... to find ourselves compelled to dissent very widely from many of Professor Kolliker's remarks; and from none more thoroughly than from those in which he seeks to define what we may term the philosophical ...
— Criticisms on "The Origin of Species" - From 'The Natural History Review', 1864 • Thomas H. Huxley

... into thin grass again, and in the distance there was a rim of melancholy mountains, and the peasants I saw along the road seemed a counterpart of the landscape. "The land has made them," I said, "according to its own image and likeness," and I tried to find words to define the yearning that I read in their eyes as we drove past. But I could find no ...
— The Untilled Field • George Moore

... so disgusted me with eye surgeons that for one week I had daily passed his house, instinctively avoiding an entrance. One day, however, I quite as instinctively sought an interview with the Doctor, impelled by some strange impulse I could not well define. I was familiarly but courteously greeted with these words, "You have been in the city an entire week, and yet have not called to see me." In reply I frankly confessed that I avoided upon principle the members of his branch of the ...
— The World As I Have Found It - Sequel to Incidents in the Life of a Blind Girl • Mary L. Day Arms

... necessary to make these comparisons, in order to define the position which this edition claims to hold with regard to its predecessors. On the other hand, no one can regret more sincerely than myself—no one has more cause to regret—the circumstances which placed ...
— The Works Of Lord Byron, Letters and Journals, Vol. 1 • Lord Byron, Edited by Rowland E. Prothero

... to define a sentiment; but does it not strike you that in proportion as the tendency of modern civilization has been to raise women more and more to an intellectual equality with men, in proportion as they read and study and think, an uneasy sentiment, perhaps querulous, perhaps unreasonable, grows up ...
— The Parisians, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... the ballad and the epic. So much difficulty has been introduced into the study of the first developments of song, by confusing these distinct sorts of composition under the name of popular poetry, that it may be well, in writing of a poem which occupies a middle place between epic and ballad, to define what we mean ...
— Custom and Myth • Andrew Lang

... is no other provision for the disposition of the estate. He has put it squarely up to you. There is no other solution. You may be sure, sir, that I do not care what you do with the money, and I fancy no one else will undertake to define your—" ...
— From the Housetops • George Barr McCutcheon

... that this first part is now divided into two: for in the first, the opinions of others are placed; in the second, those opinions are confuted; and this second part begins: "Whoever shall define The man a living tree." Again, the first part which remains has two clauses: the first is the variation of the opinion of the Emperor; the second is the variation of the opinion of the Common People, which is naked or void of all reason; and this second clause or division begins: "Another, lightly ...
— The Banquet (Il Convito) • Dante Alighieri

... first verse entire and sorter sample the others?" The editor thought not. There was clearly nothing to do but to make a more rigid selection—a difficult performance when the material was uniformly on a certain dead level, which it is not necessary to define here. Among the rejections were, of course, the usual plagiarisms from well-known authors imposed upon an inexperienced country press; several admirable pieces detected as acrostics of patent medicines, and certain veiled libels and indecencies such ...
— The Bell-Ringer of Angel's and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... touching the jurisdictional treaty rights of the United States in Turkey. An earnest effort will be made to define those rights to the satisfaction ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Volume IX. • Benjamin Harrison

... strictly professional feeling," he commented. "But other professions or trades know nothing of it. It is only this calling whose primary appeal lies in the suggestion of restless adventure which holds out that deep sensation to those who embrace it. It is difficult to define, I admit." ...
— Chance - A Tale in Two Parts • Joseph Conrad

... the million tricks of civilization. At the same time, being a man of some discrimination at least, he rarely let himself go completely. Of these wilder, simpler instincts he was afraid. They might flood all else. If he yielded entirely, something he dreaded, without being able to define, would happen; the structure of his being would suffer a nameless violence, so that he would have to break with the world. These cravings stood for that loot of the soul which he must deny himself. ...
— The Centaur • Algernon Blackwood

... have done with theological refinements. There is an excuse for the Fathers, because the heretics forced them to define particular points; but every definition is a misfortune, and for us to persevere in the same way is sheer folly. Is no man to be admitted to grace who does not know how the Father differs from the Son, and both ...
— Short Studies on Great Subjects • James Anthony Froude

... attracted attention, and he was promoted to official duties in the service of the State. He was commissioned to accompany the famous Belisarius during his command of the army in the East, in the capacity of Counsellor or Assessor: it is not easy to define exactly the meaning of the Greek term, and the functions it embraced. The term "Judge-Advocate" has been suggested[1], a legal adviser who had a measure of judicial as well as administrative power. From his vivid ...
— The Secret History of the Court of Justinian • Procopius

... side with a neutral one. A curious effect is produced on the meaning of a word when the very term which is stigmatized by the world (e.g. Methodists) is adopted by the obnoxious or derided class; this tends to define the meaning. Or, again, the opposite result is produced, when the world refuses to allow some sect or body of men the possession of an honourable name which they have assumed, or applies it to them only in mockery ...
— Sophist • Plato

... directly or indirectly, to any request of a requesting entity for a copy or copies of an article or articles published in any issue of a periodical, the publication date of which is more than five years prior to the date when the request is made. These guidelines do not define the meaning, with respect to such a request, of ". . . such aggregate quantities as to substitute for a subscription ...
— Reproduction of Copyrighted Works By Educators and Librarians • Library of Congress. Copyright Office.

... Dozen serjeants served after them aright. Darkling they lie till comes the clear daylight. That Emperour does with the morning rise; Matins and Mass are said then in his sight. Forth goes that King, and stays beneath a pine; Barons he calls, good counsel to define, For with his Franks he's ever of a ...
— The Song of Roland • Anonymous

... define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offences against ...
— Community Civics and Rural Life • Arthur W. Dunn

... found; The stupid youth confess'd his fault, and pray'd The generous 'Squire to spare a gentle maid, Of whom her tender mother, full of fears, Had written much—"she caught her oft in tears, For ever thinking on a youth above Her humble fortune—still she own'd not love; Nor can define, dear girl! the cherish'd pain, But would rejoice to see the cause again: That neighbouring youth, whom she endured before, She now rejects, and will behold no more; Raised by her passion, she no longer stoops To her own equals, but she pines and droops, ...
— Tales • George Crabbe

... calumny. A fact may be an exception; but the feeling is the law, and it is that which you must neither garble nor belie. The whole tenor of a conversation is a part of the meaning of each separate statement; the beginning and the end define and travesty the intermediate conversation. You never speak to God; you address a fellow-man, full of his own tempers: and to tell truth, rightly understood, is not to state the true facts, but to convey a true impression; truth in ...
— The Pocket R.L.S. - Being Favourite Passages from the Works of Stevenson • Robert Louis Stevenson

... The denial of place is by no means necessarily the denial of being. So, too, with consciousness. It is conceivable that there is a being superior to all the modes of consciousness now known to us. We are, indeed, unable to define this, yet it may be. The profoundest analysis shows that consciousness consists of co ordinated changes.45 "Consciousness is a succession of changes combined and arranged in special ways." Now, in contrast to the Occidental thinker, who covets alternation ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... year 1857. There was small difficulty in casting it anew in its four acts. Only at that time I left in it too many of the grotesque adornments which clothed the Sabbath of a later period; nor did I clearly enough define what belonged to the older shell, so dark ...
— La Sorciere: The Witch of the Middle Ages • Jules Michelet



Words linked to "Define" :   quantify, be, defining, name, characterise, choose, select, determine, characterize, show, definition, reset, pick out, take



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