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verb
Define  v. t.  (past & past part. defined; pres. part. defining)  
1.
To fix the bounds of; to bring to a termination; to end. "To define controversies."
2.
To determine or clearly exhibit the boundaries of; to mark the limits of; as, to define the extent of a kingdom or country.
3.
To determine with precision; to mark out with distinctness; to ascertain or exhibit clearly; as, the defining power of an optical instrument. "Rings... very distinct and well defined."
4.
To determine the precise signification of; to fix the meaning of; to describe accurately; to explain; to expound or interpret; as, to define a word, a phrase, or a scientific term. "They define virtue to be life ordered according to nature."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Define" Quotes from Famous Books



... Richard III, for instance, was distinctly affected by that of Marlowe's hero Tamburlaine, a character to which the poet had given a passionate life and an energy that made him more than human. In other ways less easy to define, Shakespeare must have been stimulated by Marlowe's fire. The latter's greatest tragedies, Tamburlaine, Dr. Faustus, and Edward II, contain poetry so beautiful, feeling so intense, and a promise of future achievement ...
— An Introduction to Shakespeare • H. N. MacCracken

... finding himself a chair, he lighted one of the stogies and crossing his legs began to talk. He seemed intent upon convincing the boy of the advisability of adopting a line of conduct that he was himself unable to define. ...
— Winesburg, Ohio • Sherwood Anderson

... Persians failing to construct these themselves—to be recognised, and it seems quite sensible and fair to let Persia give a similar advantage to Russia in Northern Persia. Nothing but a friendly understanding between England and Russia, which should clearly define the respective spheres of influence, will save the integrity of Persia. That country should remain an independent buffer state between Russia and India. But to bring about this result it is more than necessary that we should support Persia on our side, as much as Russia does on hers, or ...
— Across Coveted Lands - or a Journey from Flushing (Holland) to Calcutta Overland • Arnold Henry Savage Landor

... did none there was nothing for it but that the kingdom of heaven should yield to his leisure. The delicate, the abstinent, the reticent graces were his in the heroic degree. Where shall I find a pen fastidious enough to define and limit and enforce so many significant negatives? Words seem to offend by too much assertion, and to check the suggestions of his reserve. That reserve was life-long. Loving literature, he never lifted a pen except to write ...
— The Rhythm of Life • Alice Meynell

... It is impossible to define Mr. Parton's opinion of his hero. It is not very clear to himself. He is inclined to admire him, and is quite sure that he has been harshly dealt with. In the Preface he intimates that it is his purpose to exhibit Burr's good qualities,—for, as he says, "it is the good in a man who goes ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 5, March, 1858 • Various

... there is something highly poetical about a forge. I am not singular in this opinion: various individuals have assured me that they can never pass by one, even in the midst of a crowded town, without experiencing sensations which they can scarcely define, but which are highly pleasurable. I have a decided penchant for forges, especially rural ones, placed in some quaint, quiet spot—a dingle, for example, which is a poetical place, or at a meeting of four roads, which is still more so; for how many a superstition—and ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... had or had not seceded, the old state governments of 1861, and the relations these governments once held with the Union, were destroyed by the so-called secession, and it was necessary to define some way by which they might be reestablished, or, as it was ...
— A School History of the United States • John Bach McMaster

... to their posts, using the necessary covering detachments when in advance of the march outpost. A support commander's order should fully explain the situation to subordinates, or to the entire command, if it be small. It should detail the troops for the different outguards and, when necessary, define the sector each is to cover. It should provide the necessary sentinels at the post of the support, the patrols to be sent therefrom, and should arrange for the ...
— Manual of Military Training - Second, Revised Edition • James A. Moss

... has a definition signifies via the signs that serve to define it; and the definitions point the way. Two signs cannot signify in the same manner if one is primitive and the other is defined by means of primitive signs. Names cannot be anatomized by means of definitions. (Nor can any sign that has a meaning ...
— Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus • Ludwig Wittgenstein

... Native Location Commission will reserve to the native tribes of the State such locations as they may be fairly and equitably entitled to, due regard being had to the actual occupation of such tribes. The Native Location Commission will clearly define the boundaries of such locations, and for that purpose will, in every instance, first of all ascertain the wishes of the parties interested in such land. In case land already granted in individual titles shall be required for the purpose of any location, the owners will receive ...
— Impressions of South Africa • James Bryce

... within the familiar limits of the old city, she paused, and leaning against the angle of a shop, looked curiously about her, as if endeavoring to define certain localities. At ...
— Leah Mordecai • Mrs. Belle Kendrick Abbott

... scope of the first part is easy to define. The history of pedagogics, of course, contains all the ideas or definitions of the nature of education; but it must not for that reason be substituted for the scientific investigation of the nature of education, which alone ...
— Pedagogics as a System • Karl Rosenkranz

... easy to define the intellectual and moral changes which passed over Italy in the period of the Counter-Reformation[7]; it is still less easy to refer those changes to distinct causes. Yet some analysis tending toward such definition ...
— Renaissance in Italy, Volumes 1 and 2 - The Catholic Reaction • John Addington Symonds

... 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 differed from ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 106, August, 1866 • Various

... class depend far less upon their sight than upon their hearing and sense of smell. Neither the fox nor the dog is capable of much discrimination with the eye; they seem to see things only in the mass; but with the nose they can analyze and define, and get at the most subtle shades of difference. The fox will not read a man from a stump or a rock, unless he gets his scent, and the dog does not know his master in a crowd until he has ...
— Winter Sunshine • John Burroughs

... contains sixteen other stories and sketches. To define them it is enough to say that they are written in M. Anatole France's prose. One sketch entitled "Riquet" may be found incorporated in the volume of Monsieur Bergeret a Paris. "Putois" is a remarkable little tale, significant, humorous, ...
— Notes on Life and Letters • Joseph Conrad

... has lost its empire over the souls of men, the most prominent boundary which divided good from evil is overthrown; the very elements of the moral world are indeterminate; the princes and the peoples of the earth are guided by chance, and none can define the natural limits of despotism and the bounds of license. Long revolutions have forever destroyed the respect which surrounded the rulers of the State; and since they have been relieved from the burden of public esteem, princes may henceforward surrender themselves without ...
— Democracy In America, Volume 1 (of 2) • Alexis de Tocqueville

... early Polly and Allin came. Allin had decided to study law, for his ambition had been roused by the appointment of really learned men to discuss the points of coming peace. And there would always be legal troubles to settle, property boundaries to define, wills to make, and Allin admitted he had seen quite enough of war, though, if the country needed him, he should go again. But Gilbert Vane was ...
— A Little Girl in Old Philadelphia • Amanda Minnie Douglas

... mind of Emilius in the same way as other mysteries. As a matter of fact, Emilius was led through pity up to humanity, or sociality in an imperfect signification, and there he was left without a further guide to define the marks of truly ...
— Rousseau - Volumes I. and II. • John Morley

... way does the value of our educated class define itself: we more than others should be able to divine the worthier and better leaders. The terms here are monstrously simplified, of course, but such a bird's-eye view lets us immediately take our bearings. In our democracy, where everything else is so shifting, we alumni and alumnae of the colleges ...
— English Prose - A Series of Related Essays for the Discussion and Practice • Frederick William Roe (edit. and select.)

... had accepted its reality, sympathising, through friendship rather than through moral or intellectual agreement. For he was one of those fortunate mortals who, while possessing a strong sense of God, have but small necessity to define Him. Many of Julius's keenest agonies appeared to him subjective, a matter of words and phrases. Yet he respected them, out of the sincere regard he bore the man who suffered them. He did more. He tried a practical remedy. Modestly, ...
— The History of Sir Richard Calmady - A Romance • Lucas Malet

... are practical, sensible, reasonable. And that is why—as it would seem—they have more sympathy with Englishmen, if not with the English Government, than with any other Westerners. East may be East and West West, though I very much doubt it. But if there be any truth in the aphorism, we must define our terms. The East must be confined to India, and China included in the West. That as a preliminary correction. I say nothing yet about Japan. But I shall have more to say, ...
— Appearances - Being Notes of Travel • Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson

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

... We scarcely distinguish anything at first; the moon has set on the other side of the hotel, and perhaps, too, some of the dimness of those twenty intervening years affects our eyesight. By degrees, however, objects begin to define themselves; the bed shows doubtfully white, and that dark blot upon the pillow must be the face of our sleeping man. It is turned towards the window; the mouth is open; probably the good Doctor is snoring, albeit, across this distance of time, ...
— Idolatry - A Romance • Julian Hawthorne

... the man that struck me as eccentric at that time I have never been wholly able to define, but I recall accurately the most trivial occurrences of our meeting and the very subject-matter of our conversation. I even remember the very words in which he declined a drink from my traveling-flask—for ...
— Complete Works of James Whitcomb Riley • James Whitcomb Riley

... define what it was about Mary that made her little speeches, half argumentative, all-pleading, so wonderfully persuasive. Her facts were mere fancies, and her logic was not even good sophistry. As to real argument and reasoning, there was ...
— When Knighthood Was in Flower • Charles Major

... to push next the question of the recognition of the Other House, whereas the Republicans desired to avoid that question as long as possible, so as to keep the Other House a mere nonentity, while the Commons proceeded, as the substantial and sovereign House, to define the powers of the Protector. On the 18th of February, the Republicans, having challenged a settlement of this difference by moving that the question of the negative voice of the Protector in passing laws should have precedence of the question of the Other ...
— The Life of John Milton, Volume 5 (of 7), 1654-1660 • David Masson

... 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 ...
— Clairvoyance • Charles Webster Leadbeater

... Laws define rights. Men enforce them. For definitions we go to books. For record of enforcement we go to acts and to conditions.[3] What health rights a community pretends to enforce will, as a rule, be found in its health code. What health rights ...
— Civics and Health • William H. Allen

... nm continental shelf: median line with neighbors exclusive economic zone: geographic coordinates define ...
— The 2004 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency

... and self-consciousness the dividing line seems to be as difficult to define as it is difficult to define the line between sub-consciousness and consciousness. My existence as a self-conscious entity capable of thinking "I am I" is the basic assumption of all thought. And though it is possible for my thought to turn round upon itself and ...
— The Complex Vision • John Cowper Powys

... with the first great problem outside of her experience. Somebody has declared that there are only seven plots in the world. There are many parallels in English literature to Cynthia's position,—so far as she was able to define that position,—the wealthy young peer, the parson's or physician's daughter, and the worldly, inexorable parents who had ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... not find religion to consist in belief, nor in a mere attitude towards the mysteries of an overworld. In keeping with the activistic tone of his whole philosophy he finds religion to be rooted in life, and would define religion as an action by which the human being ...
— Rudolph Eucken • Abel J. Jones

... for anyone who seeks to recover the missing or unidentified works of an artist like Giorgione, first to define his conception of the artist based upon a study of acknowledged materials. The preceding chapter has been devoted to a survey of the best authenticated pictures, the evidence for the genuineness of which is, as we have ...
— Giorgione • Herbert Cook

... 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 ...
— To Mars via The Moon - An Astronomical Story • Mark Wicks

... Christian felt that he was but a stranger and sojourner in the world, and that his real home was the kingdom of Christ, soon to be established here on earth. With such a view the Christian would naturally define his relation to the world as being in it, yet not of it. As time passed, the opinion became more common that the kingdom of Christ was not a future world-order to be set up on His return, but the Church here on earth. This thought, which is the key to the City of God ...
— A Source Book for Ancient Church History • Joseph Cullen Ayer, Jr., Ph.D.

... thick with autumn mud; and the horses made no great speed. Desmond, indeed, durst not urge them too much, for the mist was thickening, making the air even darker than the hour warranted; and as the roadway had neither hedge nor wall to define it, but was bounded on each side by a ditch, it behooved ...
— In Clive's Command - A Story of the Fight for India • Herbert Strang

... delicacy, her fine figure and the perfect outline of her features more developed; but the change from girl to woman had passed over her, and set its stamp on the anxious blue eye, and almost oppressed brow. Mary thought it would be hard to define where was that difference. It was not want of bloom, for of that Laura had more than any of the others, fresh, healthy, and bright, while Amy was always rather pale, and Lady Eveleen was positively ...
— The Heir of Redclyffe • Charlotte M. Yonge

... are formed in this way may be divided into three classes—physical, moral, and intellectual. To begin with the first; it is impossible for human speech to point out and define a subject or phenomenon in the series to which it belongs by resemblance, identity, or analogy, unless there is already in the mind a conception which includes the general qualities, or quality proper ...
— Myth and Science - An Essay • Tito Vignoli

... of your long supposition." He took the arm gracefully and proceeded to slip the pearl buttons through their holes. (Have you ever buttoned the gloves of a handsome woman? I have. And there is a subtile thrill about the proceeding which I can not quite define. Perhaps it is the nearness of physical beauty; perhaps it is the delicate scent of flowers; perhaps it is the touch of the cool, firm flesh; perhaps it is just romance.) The gaze which she bent upon ...
— The Man on the Box • Harold MacGrath

... up. And Boss know. Far as I can remember he keep give 'em that broken jug bout a year. You see he sponsible for key. Seem like I member right where we go beat that rice. Pine tree saw off and chip out make as good a mortar as that one I got. Dan'l, Summer, Define! Define the oldest brother my fadder have. Young Missus Bess, Florence, Georgia, Alice. Those boys the musicianer—go round play ...
— Slave Narratives Vol. XIV. South Carolina, Part 2 • Works Projects Administration

... house in the school in the matter of tone. The listening eleven, and the other prefects who, though not members of the victorious eleven, had been invited to the feast, cheered vigorously. They understood what tone meant though Mr. Dupre did not define it. They knew that it was mainly owing to the determined attitude of Mannix that young Latimer, who collected beetles and kept tame white mice, had been induced to wash himself properly and to use a clothes brush on the legs of his trousers. Latimer's appearance in the ...
— Priscilla's Spies 1912 • George A. Birmingham

... the only thing there was any comfort in. Afterwards she passed a night of a very agitating kind. She dozed and dreamed, and awoke and dreamed again. Her life seemed all to run into dreams,—a strange confusion was about her, through which she could define nothing. Once waking up, as she supposed, she saw a group round her bed, the doctor,—with a candle in his hand, (how should the doctor be there in the middle of the night?) holding her hand or feeling her pulse; little Mary ...
— Old Lady Mary - A Story of the Seen and the Unseen • Margaret O. (Wilson) Oliphant

... but as a child playing on the sea-shore. Some telescopic philosopher will arise one day, some great Snobonomer, to find the laws of the great science which we are now merely playing with, and to define, and settle, and classify that which is at present but vague theory, and loose though ...
— The Book of Snobs • William Makepeace Thackeray

... of Religion.—But, before we can set out on this inquiry, we are met by the question, What is it that we suppose to have been thus developed? In order to trace any process of evolution it is necessary to define that which is evolved; for it belongs to the very idea of evolution that the identity of the subject of it is not changed on the way up, but that the germ and the finished product are the same entity, only differing from ...
— History of Religion - A Sketch of Primitive Religious Beliefs and Practices, and of the Origin and Character of the Great Systems • Allan Menzies

... demand a reason for actions above reason. The heart is greater than the mind. No man can exactly define the cause for which the Confederate soldier fought. He was above human reason and above human law, secure in his own rectitude of purpose, accountable to God only, having assumed for himself a "nationality," which he was minded to defend with his life and ...
— Detailed Minutiae of Soldier life in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861-1865 • Carlton McCarthy

... which teacheth that universal or generall remedies ought ever to precede and goe before particulars. Now what these are in speciall, to fit every ones case in particular, it is impossible for me here, or any else to define precisely. Ars non versatur circa individua. We may see it true in mechanicall trades. No one shoemaker can fit all by one Last; nor any one taylor can suite all by one, and ...
— Spadacrene Anglica - The English Spa Fountain • Edmund Deane

... instinct: but we talk and build houses by reason. And so may the birds. It is more philosophical, surely, to attribute actions in them to the same causes to which we attribute them (from experience) in ourselves. 'But if so,' some will say, 'birds must have souls.' We must define what our own souls are, before we can define what kind of soul or no-soul a bird may or may not have. The truth is, that we want to set up some 'dignity of human nature;' some innate superiority to the animals, ...
— Prose Idylls • Charles Kingsley

... and tall timber, with the rushing river as sentinel, we seemed in a world all our own—a tiny human world, with a camp fire for its hub; and as we dreamed on, half conscious of the moonlight and shoutings, the deep inner beauty of the night stole upon us. A mystical, elusive beauty. difficult to define, that lay underneath and around, and within the moonlight—a beauty of deep nestling shadows, crooning whispers, ...
— We of the Never-Never • Jeanie "Mrs. Aeneas" Gunn

... certainly understands you better than you are understood by the greater part of those who have known you so long; and with regard to some others, I can perceive, from occasional lively hints, the unguarded expressions of the moment, that she could define many as accurately, did not delicacy forbid it. I wonder what she thinks of my father! She must admire him as a fine-looking man, with most gentlemanlike, dignified, consistent manners; but perhaps, having seen him so seldom, his reserve may be a little repulsive. ...
— Persuasion • Jane Austen

... attended her when she went to bed, harassed her sleep like a fever, woke her at early dawn and drew her to the window, where she leaned and listened, straining to define in the stillness the thing that seemed to whisper a warning to ...
— Trail's End • George W. Ogden

... master the process of exposition is to become a clear thinker. 'I know, when you do not ask me,'[13] replied a gentleman upon being requested to define a highly complex idea. Now some large concepts defy explicit definition; but no mind should take refuge behind such exceptions, for where definition fails, other forms succeed. Sometimes we feel confident that we have perfect mastery of an idea, but when ...
— The Art of Public Speaking • Dale Carnagey (AKA Dale Carnegie) and J. Berg Esenwein

... never put any of those thoughts into words, though in her books she loved best those words that expressed her half-formulated feelings. Had she been removed to the noise and the whirl of city life, she would very probably have known how to define what she had lost, she might even have made others feel what she herself had so keenly felt. But in the silent towers of her home, or amidst that noiseless, ever- growing life that belongs to undisturbed nature, all she could have wished to express ...
— Greifenstein • F. Marion Crawford

... correspond to our disbursing officers, save that they did not, I think, actually handle the money; hence, their functions rather correspond to a part of the duties of our auditors. It may be that the term cuentas is used in the accounting system to define accounts in general, items of any and all sorts owed to the state; and resultas, as referring to the accounts kept of money paid out, on one or another account, by the public treasury—its balances (alcances) being, therefore, the sums remaining over and above the amounts ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, Volume XXV, 1635-36 • Various

... from London" (who had been previously informed of the masters' decision) entered. You would have been puzzled to define his exact position, or what was the state of his mind as regarded education. He looked so self-conscious, so far from earnest, among the group of eager, fierce, absorbed men, among whom he now stood. He might have been a disgraced medical student of the Bob Sawyer ...
— Mary Barton • Elizabeth Gaskell

... It is almost impossible to answer that question because you have to define just what you mean by "living." If the chestnut tree is attacked first or early on the trunk, it is girdled and dies shortly, but if it is attacked first on the top there develop conditions like what is shown in this picture (showing ...
— Northern Nut Growers Association, Report of the Proceedings at the Seventh Annual Meeting • Various

... hunt commenced, nor had he wished to speak to any one. He desired to sell his horse,—and he desired also to succeed in the run for other reasons than that, though I think he would have found it difficult to define them. ...
— Can You Forgive Her? • Anthony Trollope

... within our own system is mental as well as physical, and here, as everywhere else with mind and evolution, there must be a cross, but not too wide a cross—that is to say, there must be a miracle, but not upon a large scale. Granted that no one can draw a clear line and define the limits within which a miracle is healthy working and beyond which it is unwholesome, any more than he can prescribe the exact degree of fineness to which we must comminute our food; granted, again, ...
— Luck or Cunning? • Samuel Butler

... Wordsworth's philosophy of poetry and life, and later his reading of Milton affected his style to some extent, but Shakespeare's influence was the widest, deepest and most lasting, though it is the hardest to define. His study of other poets left traces upon his work in turns of phrase or turns of thought: Shakespeare permeated his whole being, and his influence is to be detected not in a resemblance of style, for Shakespeare ...
— Keats: Poems Published in 1820 • John Keats

... Beautrelet watched Raymonde. She had listened to Lupin without saying a word and looked at him with eyes in which he read love, passion and something else besides, something which the lad could not define, a sort of anxious embarrassment and a vague sadness. But Lupin turned his eyes upon her and she gave him an affectionate smile. Their hands met over ...
— The Hollow Needle • Maurice Leblanc

... the Navy Board, who saw in it only a colourless substitute for the good old terms "seaman" and "mariner." Capt. Bertie, of the Ruby gunship, once reported the pressing of a "sailor," Thomas Letting by name, out of a collier in Yarmouth Roads, and was called upon by My Lords to define the new-fangled term. This he did with admirable circumlocution. "As for explaining the word 'sailor,'" said he, "I can doe it no otherwise than (by) letting of you know that Thomas Letting is a Sailor."—Admiralty Records ...
— The Press-Gang Afloat and Ashore • John R. Hutchinson

... source whence Pascal's taste, both for mathematics and religious philosophy, sprang. Next came the question of the possibility of a universally applicable scientific method of criticism, regarded as intellectual optics. If one were to define the critic's task as that of understanding, through the discovery and elucidation of the dependent and conditional contingencies that occur in the intellectual world, then there was a danger that he might approve everything, not only every ...
— Recollections Of My Childhood And Youth • George Brandes

... venture to assert that he was the greater poet? The truth is that we have struck here upon a principle which lies at the root, not only of Mr. Bailey's criticism of Racine, but of an entire critical method—the method which attempts to define the essential elements of poetry in general, and then proceeds to ask of any particular poem whether it possesses these elements, and to judge it accordingly. How often this method has been employed, and how often it has proved ...
— Books and Characters - French and English • Lytton Strachey

... denial virtuous and polite, selfishness vicious and vulgar? Is not truth virtuous and polite, scandal vicious and vulgar? Take every principle in the conventional code of the perfectly well-bred, and so define it, and ...
— Frost's Laws and By-Laws of American Society • Sarah Annie Frost

... his ten thousand Greeks hailed the sea, we are told, with a mighty shout. But to them Thalassa was merely a way-mark, a sign that they were nearing home. To Kettle it was more, far more, although he could not define the relationship. He had dwelt upon the sea the greater part of his days; he had got his meagre living from her; and although at all times she had been infinitely hard and cruel to him, and he had cursed her day in ...
— A Master of Fortune • Cutcliffe Hyne

... varying external conditions, in which each modification was suggested by circumstances and tested by experience. And with the complexity of our operations our animating ideas have been striking deeper and growing bolder. Speaking then up to date, I would define the root idea of 'University Extension' in the following simple formula: University Education for the Whole Nation organized on a basis of ...
— The History Of University Education In Maryland • Bernard Christian Steiner

... imperialism by "Realpolitik"? Even if it be thus explicable, it must be no less energetically condemned. "I am inclined to define the 'real politicians' as persons who are marching along with their eyes closed to the essential realities of the world and of mankind.... 'Real politics' may often seem to be right for a season; but in the long run it always proves to have been wrong.... The war that rages to-day is ...
— The Forerunners • Romain Rolland

... which it is impossible to define in a receipt, is catching the aroma. What sort of a genius is ...
— Vivian Grey • The Earl of Beaconsfield

... companionship of Lionel very much—too much, taking all things into consideration. It never occurred to her that, for that very reason, she might do well to keep away. She was not sufficiently experienced to define her own sensations; and she did not surmise that there was anything inexpedient or not perfectly orthodox in her being so much with Lionel. She liked to be with him, and she freely indulged the liking upon any ...
— Verner's Pride • Mrs. Henry Wood

... meaning all are divided; now a body of men who are daily excommunicating each other as heretics and apostates; now a universal idea; now the narrowest and most exclusive of all parties. Really, before you ask me to hear the Church, I have a right to ask you to define what ...
— Yeast: A Problem • Charles Kingsley

... on the best authority, that the laws of China define, in the most distinct and perspicuous manner, almost every shade of criminal offences, and the punishment awarded to each crime: that the greatest care appears to have been taken in constructing ...
— Travels in China, Containing Descriptions, Observations, and Comparisons, Made and Collected in the Course of a Short Residence at the Imperial Palace of Yuen-Min-Yuen, and on a Subsequent Journey thr • John Barrow

... principle, the outgrowth of the New Testament, which acknowledges God as the sole judge of human faith."(438) The doctrine that God has committed to the church the right to control the conscience, and to define and punish heresy, is one of the most deeply rooted of papal errors. While the Reformers rejected the creed of Rome, they were not entirely free from her spirit of intolerance. The dense darkness in which, through the long ages of her rule, popery had enveloped ...
— The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan • Ellen G. White

... We may define association, then, as the tendency among our thoughts to form such a system of bonds with each other that the objects of consciousness are vitally connected both (1) as they exist at any given moment, and (2) as they occur in succession in ...
— The Mind and Its Education • George Herbert Betts

... I am metaphysically established, and I throw upon the doubters the burden of proving my non-existence. When we consider how little has been found out about the mind, is it not amazing that any one should presume to define what one can know or cannot know? I admit that there are innumerable marvels in the visible universe unguessed by me. Likewise, O confident critic, there are a myriad sensations perceived by me of ...
— The World I Live In • Helen Keller

... first appearance of the new moon, because the new moon continued for more days than one; but not a day sooner, lest they should celebrate the new moon before there was any. And the Jews still keep a tradition in their books, that the Sanhedrim used diligently to define the new moons by sight: sending witnesses into mountainous places, and examining them about the moon's appearing, and translating the new moon from the day they had agreed on to the day before, as often ...
— Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John • Isaac Newton

... was held in 1844, and its first ordinance was an anti-slavery measure in the form of an attempt to define the law relating to slavery. It was a long process in those days for the Colony to get the Queen's approval of its legislative measures, so that a year had elapsed before a dispatch was returned from the Home Government disallowing the Ordinance as superfluous, slavery being already forbidden, ...
— Heathen Slaves and Christian Rulers • Elizabeth Wheeler Andrew and Katharine Caroline Bushnell

... fulfil his mission in its amplest sense must trace his facts back to the ideas which gave them birth; he must recognize and define these as the properties of specific peoples; and he must estimate their worth by their tendency to ...
— An Ethnologist's View of History • Daniel G. Brinton

... she had not played her part well; she had been too—had been too—she did not know what. She thought if she had held her head higher and shown herself less thankful—yes, there had been something amiss in her behaviour that ought to be corrected. She could not define what she had done, or ought to have done. How could she? An encounter of this sort was as new to her as Mrs. Rexford's sewing machine, which she had not yet been allowed to touch. Yet had she been shut up alone with the machine, ...
— What Necessity Knows • Lily Dougall

... check on his arrival in Greek waters. "We have heard," he wrote in August to his cousin, Mr. Stratford Canning, afterwards Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, the ambassador at Constantinople, "that Lord Cochrane is gone to the Mediterranean; whether it be really so, we know not." He then proceeded to define the bearing of English and international law in the existing circumstances. "Lord Cochrane may enter the Greek service, and continue therein. He may even, as a Greek commander, institute (as he did in Brazil) blockades which British officers ...
— The Life of Thomas, Lord Cochrane, Tenth Earl of Dundonald, G.C.B., Admiral of the Red, Rear-Admiral of the Fleet, Etc., Etc. • Thomas Cochrane, Earl of Dundonald

... know that I never meant it in that way; how can you think for an instant that I could have—have said that—that—" She felt it impossible to define her offence again without having the corners of her mouth give way; but she went close beside him and faced his vexation with earnest, upraised eyes the while that she laid one hand upon his arm with the sweet impulsive gesture of a ...
— A Woman's Will • Anne Warner

... define this word fact. Fact expresses for me something in its nature primary and unanalyzable. I start from that. I take as a typical statement of fact that I sit here at my desk writing with a fountain pen on a pad of ruled scribbling paper, that ...
— First and Last Things • H. G. Wells

... or not it exists, save as a concept of our own extremely limited intelligence. We are in total ignorance of the ultimate structure of matter, and of the arrangement and significance of those larger aggregations of matter, the galaxies. We do not know nor understand, nor can we define, even such fundamental ...
— Skylark Three • Edward Elmer Smith

... Others referred more especially to the politics of the day. From one, which appeared in 1837, reviewing Albany Fonblanque's "England under Seven Administrations," and speaking generally in high terms of the politics of "The Examiner," we may extract a few sentences which define very clearly the political ground taken by Mr. Mill, Mr. Fonblanque, and those who had then come to be called Philosophical Radicals. "There are divers schools of Radicals," said Mr. Mill. "There are the historical Radicals, who demand popular ...
— John Stuart Mill; His Life and Works • Herbert Spencer, Henry Fawcett, Frederic Harrison and Other

... travel too, and music and painting and books. His eighty-guinea breechloaders were dearer to him than the lady of the ivory frame. Who was the lady of the ivory frame? Gaston would have been happy to define with the leer of the boulevards the relations between his master and Philippa Cleve. Gaston had no doubt of them, nor had Frederick Cleve; Philippa had high hopes; Lawrence alone hung fire. If he continued to meet her and she to offer him lavish opportunities the situation ...
— Nightfall • Anthony Pryde

... think I want to be preachy or a beast in any way, but I want to what Father calls define the situation. ...
— The Story of the Amulet • E. Nesbit

... object of this chapter is to define certain governing principles. The substantive parts of the subject can be more clearly presented further along in ...
— The Armed Forces Officer - Department of the Army Pamphlet 600-2 • U. S. Department of Defense

... was all right so long as the door was open, but his wife resolutely refused to allow him to keep it open, and the moment it was shut his abject terror returned—a terror produced by nothing that he could in any way analyse or define. At last, ashamed of his cowardice, he screwed up courage, and, with a look of determined desperation in his eyes and mouth—an expression which sent his wife into fits of laughter—set out one night from his bedroom, candle in hand, and entered the bathroom. Shutting ...
— Scottish Ghost Stories • Elliott O'Donnell

... and conversation, I do affirm and maintain, and insist with my heart, and my plood, and my soul, that those persons are no petter than ignorant asses, and that they know not how to discern and distinguish and define true ridicule, or, as Aristotle calls it, the to Geloion, no more, look you, than a herd of mountain goats; for I will make pold to observe—and I hope this goot company will be of the same opinion—that there is nothing said of me in that performance ...
— The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, Volume I • Tobias Smollett

... implied that this question, although it has not yet received a solution in theory, has been already answered by Charmides himself, who has learned to practise the virtue of self-knowledge which philosophers are vainly trying to define in words. In a similar spirit we might say to a young man who is disturbed by theological difficulties, 'Do not trouble yourself about such matters, but only lead a good life;' and yet in either case it is not to be denied that right ideas of truth may ...
— Charmides • Plato

... The Bible is a vast collection of different treatises; a man who holds the divine authority of one may consider the other as merely human. Therefore, to ascertain Scripture you must have one Article more, and you must define what that Scripture is which you mean to teach.' Parl. Hist. ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 2 • Boswell

... which are based upon the forcible disregard of all Property and all vested interests of every sort. I don't say he did, you know, for I haven't conferred with him upon the subject: but he may have done so; and he may even have used, as I have used, the phrase "Christian communism," to define the temporary attitude of the apostles and the early Church in this matter. That, perhaps, my dear sir, may be the ...
— Philistia • Grant Allen

... mentally named him Mr. Crabapple. He was short and stout, had a round wizened face freckled to the fuscous tint of a russedon apple, and was endowed with a voice which had all the husky sonority of a greengrocer's. He was beardless and sandy-haired, and one of those persons whose age is a puzzle to define; he might have been anything between fifteen and five-and-thirty. As he talked of Harrow as if he had left it but yesterday, I was disposed to set him down as a queer public-school boy on vacation, until I was astounded by some self-possessed ...
— Romantic Spain - A Record of Personal Experiences (Vol. II) • John Augustus O'Shea

... began Lepany, "to define the Ideal—in other words, to define the indefinite, which alas! whether from a metaphysical, a philosophical, or an aesthetic point of view, is a task transcending immeasurably my ...
— In the Days of My Youth • Amelia Ann Blandford Edwards

... general air, and something that at the same time whispered to me he would never be very successful or rich. I don't know how this was. I became imbued with the notion on that first occasion before we sat down to dinner, but I cannot define by what means. ...
— Great Expectations • Charles Dickens

... excitement of the internal struggle was over. It had been bitterly fought within the party, and both Krylenko of the Revolutionary Tribunal and Peters of the Extraordinary Commission were there merely to witness the official act that would define their new position. Peters talked of his failure to get away for some shooting; Krylenko jeered at me for having refused to believe in the Lockhart conspiracy. Neither showed any traces of the bitter struggle waged within ...
— Russia in 1919 • Arthur Ransome

... previous volume we were discussing and drawing together the various threads which unite "Love and Pain," it will now be understood that we were standing throughout on the threshold of erotic symbolism. Pain itself, in the sense in which we slowly learned to define it in this relationship—as a state of intense emotional excitement—may, under a great variety of special circumstances, become an erotic symbol and afford the same relief as the emotions normally accompanying ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 5 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... we are afraid to define the terms we use so glibly? We talk of promoting chastity, for example. What is chastity? Surely chastity is happy, healthy sexual intercourse between a man and a woman who love one another; and unchastity is sexual intercourse between those who do not love one ...
— Safe Marriage - A Return to Sanity • Ettie A. Rout

... daily bread from his heart, and prayed heartily to be delivered from temptation. But I doubt whether he was competent to teach a creed,—or even to hold one, if it be necessary that a man should understand and define his creed before he can hold it. Whether he was free from, or whether he was scared by, any inward misgivings, who shall say? If there were such he never whispered a word of them even to the wife of his bosom. From the tone of his voice ...
— The Way We Live Now • Anthony Trollope

... the spires and chimney-tops, where the sky was so bright and blue, life, real life, unfolded itself under many a varied aspect, and with this suspicion, sprung up a lingering dissatisfaction, a longing for something which no words of mine could define. ...
— The Doctor's Daughter • "Vera"

... professed willingness to discharge such duties as he could legally perform. He was asked what explanation he had to offer, and what duties he was prepared to undertake. On the 26th he replied that he did not feel at liberty to pronounce an extra-judicial opinion, and that he could only define the precise nature of his duties when the matter should come judicially before him. The Executive thereupon pronounced his doom, and a writ was issued whereby he was removed from office until His Majesty's pleasure should be known. ...
— The Story of the Upper Canada Rebellion, Volume 1 • John Charles Dent

... at the two sorts of poetry, peculiarly cultivated by himself, and is an indirect apology for his own choice of them. For 1. vitae monstrata via est, is the character of his Sermones. And 2. all the rest of his Odes"—"I must add, the very terms of the Apology so expressly define and characterize Lyrick Poetry, that it is something strange, it should have escaped vulgar notice." There is much ingenuity in this interpretation, and it is supported, with much learning and ability; yet I cannot think that Horace meant to conclude ...
— The Art Of Poetry An Epistle To The Pisos - Q. Horatii Flacci Epistola Ad Pisones, De Arte Poetica. • Horace

... some who say that Jesus has held the attention and allegiance of the race by an appeal to the religious instinct; that all men naturally seek God, and long to know Him. But if we try to define the religious instinct, we shall find it a hard task. What might be called a religious instinct leads to human sacrifice upon the Aztec altar; directs the Hindu to cast the new-born child in the stream, the friend to sacrifice his best friend to ...
— The Warriors • Lindsay, Anna Robertson Brown

... satisfactory if we could fix with exactness the great Ostrogoth's birth-year, but though several circumstances point to 454 as a probable date, we are not able to define it ...
— Theodoric the Goth - Barbarian Champion of Civilisation • Thomas Hodgkin

... religion of this country, it is difficult for me to define it. Their tenets, although equally ignorant of heathen mythology or theological intricacies, seem to partake of both; and, like other nations in the early ages of society, are rendered subservient to political purposes, as ...
— Voyage of H.M.S. Pandora - Despatched to Arrest the Mutineers of the 'Bounty' in the - South Seas, 1790-1791 • Edward Edwards

... he is not on the confines but 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 and freshness of vegetable life which characterize the climate of the tropics. ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America • Alexander von Humboldt

... "Li," dogs "Seven Dogs." Thus we have him called the big dog, the great dog, the red-deer dog, the seven dogs, and the red dog, or "It-shou-ma-shungu," by the Gros Ventres. The dog was their universal beast of burthen, and so they multiplied the name in many ways to enable it to define the Superior powers of ...
— The Great Lone Land - A Narrative of Travel and Adventure in the North-West of America • W. F. Butler

... splendid profession," he said enthusiastically. "A fellow has to fight something all through life . . . didn't somebody once define man as a fighting animal? . . . and I want to fight disease and pain and ignorance . . . which are all members one of another. I want to do my share of honest, real work in the world, Anne . . . add a little to the sum of human knowledge that all the good men have been accumulating since it began. ...
— Anne Of Avonlea • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... throw its force on the muscles or the intellectual processes. Like the general-in-chief, its place is everywhere in the field of action. It is the least like an instrument of any of our faculties; the farthest removed from our conceptions of mechanism and matter, as we commonly define them." Holmes was correct in his idea, but faulty in his details. The Will does not change its seat, which is always in the center of the Ego, but the Will forces the mind to all parts, and in all directions, and it directs the Prana or ...
— A Series of Lessons in Raja Yoga • Yogi Ramacharaka

... strange fear stole over Fanny, while this gentleman thus viewed her so closely—a fear which she could not define, yet which rendered her excessively uneasy. Apparently the survey was satisfactory to the gentleman—for he smiled, and in doing so displayed two rows of teeth not unlike the fangs of a wolf. Then he beckoned Sow Nance to follow him ...
— Venus in Boston; - A Romance of City Life • George Thompson

... put a seed into the ground and it comes up a little green slip, that eventually becomes a tree. When I planted the seed in congenial soil, and watered and tended the slip, I assisted Nature. But I did not create the seed nor supply the force that made it develop into a tree, nor can I define ...
— Mizora: A Prophecy - A MSS. Found Among the Private Papers of the Princess Vera Zarovitch • Mary E. Bradley

... order. In her hand the figure bears a lamp, by which alone her figure and face are illuminated; and her features wear such an arch smile, as well becomes a pretty woman when practising some prankish roguery; in the background, and, excepting where the dim red light of an expiring fire serves to define the form, in total shadow, stands the figure of a man dressed in the old Flemish fashion, in an attitude of alarm, his hand being placed upon the hilt of his sword, which he appears to be in the act ...
— J. S. Le Fanu's Ghostly Tales, Volume 1 • Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu



Words linked to "Define" :   delineate, characterize, show, name, pick out, specify, fix, quantify, definition, determine, set, choose, be, take



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