Dictionary: DE-FER'RER – DE-FIN'ED

a | b | c | d | e | f | g | h | i | j | k | l | m | n | o | p | q | r | s | t | u | v | w | x | y | z |



One who delays or puts off. – B. Jonson.


Delaying; postponing.

DE-FI'ANCE, n. [French, in a different sense. See Defy.]

  1. A daring; a challenge to fight; invitation to combat; a call to an adversary to encounter, if he dare. Goliath bid defiance to the army of Israel.
  2. A challenge to meet in any contest; a call upon one to make good any assertion or charge; an invitation to maintain any cause or point.
  3. Contempt of opposition or danger; a daring or resistance that implies the contempt of an adversary, or of any opposing power. Men often transgress the law, and act in defiance of authority.


Bidding or bearing defiance. – Shelford.

DE-FI'CIEN-CY, or DE-FI'CIENCE, n. [L. deficiens, from deficio, to fail, de and facio, to do.]

  1. A failing; a falling short; imperfection; as, a deficiency in moral duties.
  2. Want; defect; something less than is necessary; as, a deficiency of means; a deficiency of revenue; a deficiency of blood.


  1. Wanting; defective; imperfect; not sufficient or adequate; as, deficient estate; deficient strength.
  2. Wanting; not having a full or adequate supply; as, the country may be deficient in the means of carrying on war. Deficient numbers, in arithmetic, are those numbers, whose parts, added together, make less than the integer, whose parts they are. – Johnson.


In a defective manner.


Want; deficiency; as, a deficit in the taxes or revenue.

DE-FI'ED, pp.

Challenged; dared to combat.

DE-FI'ER, n. [See Defy.]

A challenger; one who dares to combat or encounter; one who braves; one who acts in contempt of opposition, law, or authority; as, a defier of the laws. [Better written defyer.]


A disfiguring. [Not in use.] – Hall.

DE-FIG'URE, v.t.

To delineate. [Not in use.] – Weever.

DE-FILE', n. [Fr. defilé, from fil, file, a thread, a line.]

A narrow passage or way, in which troops may march only in a file, or with a narrow front; a long narrow pass, as between hills, &c.

DE-FILE', v.i. [Fr. defiler; de and file, a row or line, from L. filum, a thread.]

To march off in a line, or file by file; to file off. – Roscoe.

DE-FILE', v.t. [Sax. afylan, befylan, gefylan, afulan, from ful, fula, foul. See Foul. The Syr. ܛܦܠ tefal, is almost precisely the English word. Cast. 1553.]

  1. To make unclean; to render foul or dirty; in a general sense.
  2. To make impure; to render turbid; as, the water or liquor is defiled.
  3. To soil or sully; to tarnish; as, reputation, &c. He is among the greatest prelates of the age, however his character may be defiled by dirty hands. – Swift. They shall defile thy brightness. – Ezek. xxviii.
  4. To pollute; to make ceremonially unclean. That which dieth of itself, he shall not eat, to defile himself therewith. – Lev. xxii.
  5. To corrupt chastity; to debauch; to violate; to tarnish the purity of character by lewdness. Shechem defiled Dinah. – Gen. xxxiv.
  6. To taint, in a moral sense; to corrupt; to vitiate; to render impure with sin. Defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt. – Ezek. xx. He hath defiled the sanctuary of the Lord. – Num. xix.

DE-FIL'ED, pret.

Marched off in a line.

DE-FIL'ED, pp.

Made dirty, or foul; polluted; soiled; corrupted, violated; vitiated.


  1. The act of defiling, or state of being defiled; foulness; dirtiness; uncleanness.
  2. Corruption of morals, principles, or character; impunity; pollution by sin. The chaste can not rake into such filth without danger of defilement. – Addison.


One who defiles; one who corrupts or violates; that which pollutes.

DE-FIL'ING, ppr.

  1. Polluting; making impure.
  2. Marching in a file, or with a narrow front.

DE-FIN'A-BLE, a. [See Define.]

  1. Literally, that may be limited, or have its limits ascertained. Hence, capable of having its extent ascertained with precision; capable of being fixed and determined. The extent of the Russian empire is hardly definable. The limits are hardly definable.
  2. That may be defined or described; capable of having its signification rendered certain, or expressed with certainty or precision; as, definable words.
  3. That may be fixed, determined, or ascertained; as, the time or period is not definable.

DE-FIN'A-BLY, adv.

In a definable manner.

DE-FINE', v.i.

To determine; to decide. [Not used.] – Bacon.

DE-FINE', v.t. [L. definio; de and finio, to end, to limit, from finis, end; Fr. definir; Sp. definir; It. definire.]

  1. To determine or describe the end or limit; as, to define the extent of a kingdom or country.
  2. To determine with precision; to ascertain; as, to define the limits of a kingdom.
  3. To mark the limit; to circumscribe; to bound.
  4. To determine or ascertain the extent of the meaning of a word; to ascertain the signification of a term; to explain what a word is understood to express; as, to define the words virtue, courage, belief, or charity.
  5. To describe; to ascertain or explain the distinctive properties or circumstances of a thing; as, to define a line or an angle.

DE-FIN'ED, pp.

  1. Determined; having the extent ascertained; having the signification determined.
  2. Having the precise limit marked, or having a determinate limit; as, the shadow of a body is well defined.