The Law Dictionary

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DEFINE Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

To explain or state the exact meaning of words and phrases; to settle,make clear, establish boundaries. U. S. v. Smith, 5 Wheat. 100, 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, 80 Am. St. Rep. 924; Gould v. Ilutchins, 10 Me. 145.”An examination of our Session Laws will show that acts have frequently beenpassed, the constitutionality of which has never been questioned, where the powersand duties conferred could not be considered as merely explaining or making moreclear those previously conferred or attempted to be. although the word ‘define’ wasused in the title. In legislation it is frequently used in the creation, enlarging, and extending the powers and duties ofboards and officers, in defining certain offenses and providing punishment for thesame, aud thus enlarging and extending the scope of the criminal law. And it is properlyused in the title where the object of the act is to determine or fix boundaries, moreespecially where a dispute has arisen concerning them. It is used between difEerentgovernments, as to define the extent of a kingdom or country.” People v. Bradley, 30 Mich. 452.


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