Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    To explain or state the exact meaning of words and phrases; to settle, make clear, establish boundaries. U. S. v. Smith, 5 Wheat. 160, 5 L. Ed. 57; Walters v. Richardson, 93 Ky. 374, 20 S. W. 279; Miller v. Improvement Co., 99 Va. 747, 40 S. E. 27, 86 Am. St Rep. 924; Gonid v. Hutchins, 10 Me. 145. "An examination of our Session Laws will show that acts have frequently been passed, the constitutionality of which has never been questioned, where the powers and duties conferred could not be considered as merely explaining or making more clear those previously conferred or attempted to be, although the word 'define' was used in the title. In legislation it is frequently used in the creation, eniarging, and extending the powers and duties of boards and officers, in defining certain offenses and providing punishment for the same, and thus enlarging and extending the scope of the criminal law. And it is properly used in the title where the object of the act is to determine or fix boundaries, more especially where a dispute has arisen concerning them. It is used between different governments, as to define the extent of a kingdom or country." People v. Bradley, 36 Mich. 452.