Etymology
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define (v.)
Origin and meaning of define

late 14c., deffinen, diffinen, "to specify; to fix or establish authoritatively;" of words, phrases, etc., "state the signification of, explain what is meant by, describe in detail," from Old French defenir, definir "to finish, conclude, come to an end; bring to an end; define, determine with precision," and directly from Medieval Latin diffinire, definire, from Latin definire "to limit, determine, explain," from de "completely" (see de-) + finire "to bound, limit," from finis "boundary, end" (see finish (v.)). From c. 1400 as "determine, declare, or mark the limit of." Related: Defined; defining.

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undefined (adj.)
1610s, from un- (1) "not" + past participle of define (v.).
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predefine (v.)

"define or limit beforehand," 1540s, from pre- "before" + define (v.), or else from French predefinir or Medieval Latin *praedefinire. Related: Predefined; predefining; predefinition.

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redefine (v.)

"define again," 1848, from re- + define. Related: Redefined; redefining; redefinition.

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definable (adj.)

"capable of being defined or explained," 1650s; see define + -able. Related: Definably; definability.

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undefinable (adj.)
"indefinable," 1650s, from un- (1) "not" + definable (see define). Related: Undefinably; undefinability.
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indefinable (adj.)
"incapable of being exactly described," 1721, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + definable (see define). Related: Indefinably.
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indefinite (adj.)
1520s, "not precise, vague," from Latin indefinitus "indefinite," from in- "not, opposite of, without" (see in- (1)) + definitus, past participle of definire (see define). In reference to number, "The term was introduced by Pascal. Descartes distinguished between the indefinite, which has no particular limit, and the infinite which is incomparably greater than anything having a limit. The distinction is considered as highly important by many metaphysicians." [Century Dictionary]
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parameter (n.)

1650s in geometry, in reference to conic sections, from Modern Latin parameter (1630s), from Greek para- "beside, subsidiary" (see para- (1)) + metron "measure" (from PIE root *me- (2) "to measure").

A geometry term until late 1920s when it began to be extended to "measurable factor which helps to define a particular system," hence the common meaning (influenced by perimeter) of "boundary, limit, characteristic factor," common from 1950s. Related: Parametric; parametrical.

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aorist (n.)
1580s, the tense of Greek verbs that most closely corresponds to the simple past in English, from Greek aoristos (khronos) "indefinite (tense)," from aoristos "without boundaries, undefined, indefinite," from assimilated form of a- "not" (see a- (3)) + horistos "limited, defined," verbal adjective from horizein "to limit, define," from horos "boundary, limit, border" (see horizon). Related: Aoristic.
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